October 21st, 2017

Large, Round Object

Someone- I think it must have been Julia- has left a big pumpkin sitting on the lawn at the corner of the drive. I suppose it's in the nature of a Halloween gift- and very splendid and transatlantic it looks! But every time I see it my first thought is some kid must have kicked their football over the hedge, which is an impossibility because there are no kids within kicking range.

O Wild West Wind Etc

The latest autumn storm is called Brian. It sweeps over in great gusts, with brief sunny intervals. I watch maple seeds spin overhead and try to remember the opening lines of Shelley's Ode to the West Wind.

O wild west wind, thou breath of autumn's being.
Ti-tum, ti-tum, ti-tum, ti-tum....

We seem to be in the process of buying a house in Hastings. I say "seem" because I don't like to call a thing certain until it's actually done and dusted. The house is on one floor- and is a sprawling thing that has coalesced around a 17th century core. It's free-standing with a small, manageable garden. Ailz and I are beginning to play "doll's house"- working out what piece of furniture should go where.

The pumpkin referred to in the previous post has gone home with my sister who has neighbours who will convert it into a jack o'lantern.

Past, Future, Present

I came across this today- attributed to Lao Tse:

If you're depressed it's because you're living in the past.

If you're anxious it's because you're living in the future.

If you feel at peace it's because you're living in the moment.


I'm feeling anxious today and thanks to Lao Tze I can pin down the reason. It's because- now that we've committed to the move- I'd like to jump over the months that separate us from life in the new house. What I need to do is pull my mind back from that imagined future and relocate it firmly in mid-October 2017. This part of my life is as important as any other part and requires my full attention. Besides, living in the present will make me happy.

As if to confirm this diagnosis I just read an interview with the actor Claire Foy where she says "Trying to be in the moment is the constant endeavour of my life."