Saturday, 20 June 2009

Full of Flu

And using this as an excuse to stay in bed and read. Finished 'The Aye-Aye and I' by Gerald Durrell, which I adored. I want my writing to be as witty and easy to connect to. Also, by today's standards the man's vocabulary was fantastic and varied, which I feel all writers should aim to achieve.

Now on to 'Notes from Walnut Tree Farm', by the marvellous Roger Deakin. What a pleasure it must have been to have known this man. His writing is a fruitcake-rich appreciation of the British landscape, including mammals, birds, weather, country living, hills and trees. I am envious of his knowledge of trees, and the ease with which he describes them:

I love the creasing and wrinkling of the tree's skin at the points where branches have been bent over and then healed, like the bending of an elephants trunk. Woodmen call these 'elbows', and I have often found, in Welsh or Cumbrian hedges especially, that the laid branches of hazel or ash will pleach themselves together, two or three different trees fusing into one in a series of swollen, gnarled elbows.

This passage is a good example of Deakin's ability to combine knowledge, experience and language into a sort of "found poem". Beautiful stuff. Must read up on my trees.

Frog and FOF have been joined by a third, a spectacularly green accomplice who I found in the shade of my neighbour's brambles. These brambles seem to be an eco-system in themselves, so thriving with bees and frogs. I am only vaguely disappointed to find no hedgehogs there, but will continue to look.

The weather is muggy, although perhaps that is only my raised temperature. The river, as usual for a saturday, is busy with rowers and over-looked by collared doves.

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