distracted by details

Sometimes it seems that my work involves so much talking and so many emails that I run out of words and need to top up the supply by reading. At such times I revert to my childhood habit of reading indiscriminately and almost compulsively.

My tastes in fiction are fairly catholic and it’s definitely a question of quantity not quality for these binges: I don’t really care what the genre is, I just want words and more words.
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expect delays

I was slightly taken aback by the road sign in the photo.

On the one hand it’s eminently logical: if the road is to be closed for seven weeks, there probably will be delays.

On the other hand, the advice to “consider alternative route” seems to have been added as an afterthought – as if we all have so much time on our hands that we could realistically contemplate sitting in our cars waiting for seven weeks watching while the contractors dig holes and fill them in.
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a sense of order

Occasionally, offices, hotels and bars choose books as a decorative element in their communal and public spaces, particularly if they have such a suitable setting and furniture as the room in the photo.

Of course, such lovely old shelves require a certain standard or style of books and, all too often, these are bought for the bindings rather than the content.
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comfort reading

Somewhere in a lock-up unit in Spain, in a box surrounded by other boxes filled with books, is my copy of The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.

It’s a simple, moral story of love and truth, where faith and magic work together to set the world to rights; It’s also one of the books I turn to when I’m in need of comfort. (At least it was before I had to leave it in storage and it will be again, I am sure.)
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what are you reading?

I don’t know what the book was that caused this damselfly to go bug-eyed and blush right down to the tip of his tail, but I think he looks as if he wants to tell someone about it:

large red damsel fly

new year, new thoughts

horses in a field
A few years back, I wrote the post what’s in the poem, where I said that I didn’t like how poets tend to use an explanatory “blurb” between pieces at readings to tell the audience how they should understand the poem rather than giving listeners the chance to respond for themselves.

This week, though, I attended a poetry reading by Michael Hulse and saw just how well that inter-poem blurb can be used.
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no movement but sound

I went out early today, but the birds must all have been awake long before me and when I left the house the noise in the street was startlingly loud for a Sunday morning. I suppose they were busy discussing air pressure and wind speed, temperature and flight paths or whatever it is that birds talk about before they get moving in the morning.

There was so much sound, but no movement and not a single bird to be seen even though the trees are bare of leaves and they must surely have been visible as dark blotches among the branches.

Telegraph pole silhouetted against sky at daybreak
I remember thinking as a child that the insulators on telegraph poles were birds perching; I reckon it was a reasonable mistake.
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