Sunday, February 02, 2014


Back from a weekend 'de-assimilating from the digital hive' (as Ray Mears put it in a recent Desert Island Discs - or words to that effect) on the north French coast. This time, no snow just high winds & rain (Friday night) battering the windows followed by two days of superb sunshine. We couldn't have been luckier.

Fish soup, mussels, salt lamb, walks along the beach & promenade, great lungfuls of sea air, & that uncanny & immediately evocative sound of wading birds far out on the mud flats & the chink of sail ropes against masts.

Each time we come here I think if only we lived here & what you could do every day & then the question of what would you live on arises. These perpetual quandaries into which the mind sinks up to its ankles.

Far out on the path leading from the harbour there's a tourist information board about a local artist who obviously felt a particular affinity with the place. They reproduce one of his statements about never underestimating the effect of the earliest experiences of light upon a person's subsequent life. How memory is not so much olfactory as ocular. There's a thought.

As usual I bring with me back issues of the LRB knowing I will ensconce myself in the 'salon' & work through the articles I've been meaning to read. The James Meak piece is long but worth it - the scandalous selling off of local council housing. Today's Observer then reports Gove's latest interference with British education. The agenda is so blatantly evident in both instances & yet who is prepared/able to respond?

"Right to buy" yet another example of the treacherous double-speak of political language.

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. rrh'isOIV  ... a wasp just buzzed in through the Velux & went scrabbling across the desk & keyboard ... now up & ...