ON RETURNING to our hilltop parking spot, we found all well, a few more brown leaves blowing about the wheels, and a sense of relief at being amongst hedgerows again. The colour of things is definitely changing, and small creatures are preparing for winter, in rather interesting ways... We opened our food cupboard to find that during our week away small mouse teeth had been gnawing determinedly at (of all things) the vitamin B12 jar!! Their nibbling had almost succeeded in opening the plastic lid! What strange mice, perhaps they sense themselves deficient in this particular vitamin? It reminded me of a passage in one of my favourite books - Master Snickup's Cloak, by Alexander Theroux, illustrated by Brian Froud.
To reach eventually the Black Sea where, living alone on a shale island, he chastised himself with thongs and subsisted only on air and dew. Rain fell on his blue cloak, which he sucked, supplying himself with vitamin B12.
Swallows sang upon his wrists.
This artful writing is combined with illustrations of wonderful medieval strangeness. A delight indeed! And I wonder what it is about vitamin B12?!
My muscles ache today from many happy hours of log stacking yesterday. Tui's job was to wheelbarrow the logs from their piles in the field to me in the woodshed where logs are organised by dryness and stacked in sturdy towers.
This kind of outdoor work on a sunny autumn day leaves excellent space for mind-wandering and thinking up more words for my tale. These last few days I have tried hard to climb back into the story which I have picked up off and on like an old piece of knitting over the past year. I carry this little notebook everywhere; in a strange way I almost have come to love it and what it contains, the thought of losing it fills me with horror. It is so hard though to keep a work like this going, when you have other tasks that earn money or are everyday necessities to do instead. I must try to make a little corner for this story every day, even if it is just one word I adjust. Each time I return to it I reread what I have written from the beginning, therefore becoming absurdly familiar with the first few lines. I cross out, rewrite passages, add little scribbled ideas in the back of the book, when words fail I draw, and I go on imagining.
One day I will bring you a finished book, with words and pictures, and a tale that is my own.
Here is the corner of the truck where I work, which is rather messy with boots and things, on the desk you can just see the clock that I have been busy painting.. I shall show you that soon, when it is done!
After our logging day, we made an outdoor fire in a firepit that is a few yards away down the field. The plan was to sit and eat dinner by the fire whilst watching a film on the laptop, but that idea proved more romantic in its imagination than in its realisation - the wind blew smoke this way and that, and so we retreated, eyes stinging, to the warmth of our lovely vehicle home, where we could have a fire without smoke (the marvels of a chimney!) and sit in comfort whilst watching The Secret Of Roan Inish- a lovely Irish film about the legend of the Selkies.
Tui's latest construction is an ingenious wood and rope laptop-swing that can be hooked from the beam in our luton sleeping loft. And he's fitted two more little speakers in amongst the books there, so that we can sit in bed watching films with surround-sound and hot chocolate and the night tree-breeze blowing in through our round window. Not bad for a rustic peasant life eh? :)
Our autumn walks have been scattered with autumn treasure: chestnuts popped new from their shells, downy-soft and shy, exactly the sheen of a horse. Upside-down mushrooms and right-way-up mushrooms - red Fly Agarics - waiting like Christmas amongst tree roots ... who will nibble first?
Once I stepped into this world-wide-web, I was delighted to find that this here blog has been listed by Blogger as a Blog Of Note! Gosh, thousands more visitors are now following our happy little peripheral tale! The internet never fails to amaze me, though it is scary too, you are all very welcome! I'm back off up that white cat lane now, back to our little wooden wheeled house, and a cup of tea and to this exquisite view...