Maidens October 2016

crumpet-and-kali-october-essex-fieldwild-applesCooking up Aga roasted butternut squash, upside down apple cake (thanks Imogen), bullises and other gifts from the hedgerow like late blackberries, walking by and enjoying the fall of abundant wild pears, apples, crabs, golden, yellow, and red. Clive admiring the turn of his maples. And Tinks. As I found myself saying to Barry’s other half, I love her, my sister. The growth removed 20 years ago has returned, surgery was swift, scan revealed contained, I arrived the first day out of hospital. As a wise friend of her’s says, now for the next 20 years. Brave, unusually vulnerable, open, gentle, honest, questioning.  And wise about my life too!

We both bemoan Brexit both feeling isolated, disenfranchised, separate from the land we thought was also us. And Trump. On the journey back, listening to the only radio station that works in the van (thankfully not 2 hours of football as on the way down), I catch this conversation: Questioned on the rise of fear of immigration, Beto O’Rourke, El Passo’s Democrative representative said: ‘The fear is loss. Biggest fear of any human. Loss of jobs, security. It’s been happening throughout this last century. The mill towns in Carolina. The same factory that was producing jeans in the 70’s, that plant may go to Brazil. This is the natural progression of capitalism. But we have such short life spans we cannot see this long view.

Finished All the Light we Cannot See, curled up on the sofa in the van – cases unpacked beside me, dog pissed off – as soon as I returned to Suffolk. Yes, it is about the goodness of human nature in adversity. The two people, the blind Marie-Laure, who (Lear like) sees, and  the young orphan Werner who comes to see through the fog of circumstances and terrible survival choices. Anthony Doerr writes so well, all the present, the two lives interwoven with different time zones, which works with this attention to detail, he is there in the streets. I’ve ordered a copy for Tinks on Amazon.


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