Saturday, November 14, 2020

keeping going, amazing work, long fiction seminar, portuguese memories, under water, glorious spindle berries!

The last month or so has been phenomenally busy at the University as everyone tries to keep things going under Covid conditions.

Amazing work has been done by colleagues.

Enjoyed meeting the Diploma students last week for the first long fiction seminar.

This weekend a year ago, we flew to Portugal to stay with friends and had one of the loveliest mini-breaks ever. How times have changed... 

Would have liked to tidy up on the allotment but everything is drenched. 

In the early autumn, after another soaking that left much of the plot under water, I lifted the spuds. Half of the crop succumbed to blight but what remains in store is good. Carrots, beetroot and leeks still to be harvested and there are onions and shallots in shed. Runner beans kept going till late October! Such a generous crop.

Have enjoyed some autumn walks, despite slipping all over the place. The spindle berries this year are glorious!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

t, 23rd april 2005-27th october 2020

Darling T, Thank you for all the wonderful years of love and happiness. Rest in peace. You will forever be in our hearts. F&J xx

Tufty, 23rd Apr 2005-27th October 2020.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

early morning walks, misty meadows and clear skies, mst reading, trust: a family story, dialogue with yourself, there now

Really enjoying my early morning walks to the north and west of the village. Some earlier than others.

A low mist over the meadows one day, clear skies the next.

Loved reading from Trust: A family story at the (virtual) residence of the new cohort of MSt in Creative Writing students.

Yes, Trust is finished. I think when I've said this in the past it has been wishful thinking. The rewriting and editing stages bring you back into contact with painful memories and you can only bear that for short periods. There have to be longish intervals between them, and as the years pass you hope you have got there. But the next 'final' read through proves you wrong.

On a positive note, the successive re-readings form an extensive dialogue with yourself over time and this helps you to come to terms with the past.

It is there now.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

holiday!, cotswold wildlife park, apples and toms, time, sisters by daisy johnson

Have had a great week off - and the holiday still has a few days to go. Didn't head for Switzerland and the French Alps this year, for obvious, sad, reasons. West Oxfordshire and the allotment have been excellent alternatives, if a little flatter. Went to the Cotswold Wildlife Park mid-week for the first time since we moved here. Not a fan of zoos generally but loved walking round. Beautiful landscape and the animals and birds looked well, were wonderful to see and were fascinating. Would definitely go back.

Apples and tomatoes have been delicious but are coming to an end - the apples definitely, the toms probably.

I realise there have been loads of things I meant to write about here over the past month or so, which I never had a moment for, it was so busy at work.

Holiday reading: Sisters by Daisy Johnson.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

holiday harvest, truly delicious maris peer!, allotment-cation


Allotment harvest for our holiday Sunday lunch. J doing roast beef.

Curious shapes and some crops not doing as well as they might due to the high winds during the week. Bean poles at crazy angles.

Maris Peer spuds, though, are amazing. You could eat a saucepan full on their own - that good. Can't take any credit for this - must have hit the season right. Just as other years I hit it completely wrong.

Have over a week off now, which is terrific. Need a bit of a break.

Staycation? Of course. Allotment-cation, as well!

Friday, August 28, 2020

st mary's bampton, north view, high moor, holidays, vc's day off!


St Mary's, Bampton, photographed from the north this time (previous view was from the west), from the start of the high moor - if I have interpreted the location of that geographical feature correctly.

Have some time off now - hooray! Starting with today's Vice Chancellor's holiday - a day off for the whole university in recognition of all the work that has been done during the pandemic, thus far.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

fiery, st mary's bampton, downton abbey church


A fiery start earlier this week.

St Mary's Bampton - the Downton Abbey church - from the Ham Court track.