Walking down the road towards Uppacott. Chagford in the middle distance and on the skyline snow dusting Steeperton and Oke Tors, and to the far right High Willhays and Yes Tor.
And walking the long hill home from Uppacott, long tailed tits in the hedgerow, bumbling along with us, chattering to each other, and early honeysuckle breaking leaf. Spring isn’t quite here but it isn’t far off.
There are times living in a number of different worlds is far from comfortable.
There is the world out there – the real world. This morning’s photograph is a good illustration of quite how beautiful it is in this part of Devon, and last night, late, I lay in an entirely silent house listening to owls call across the valley; then there is the world of work – even now this remains pretty well all consuming. I have just spent the first part of the morning drafting a note for trustees on a salary increase for the Chief Executive; there is my interior life (not necessarily for this blog); and lastly there is the political world that shapes so very much of our lives.
I cannot control the first but that doesn’t matter. Certainly I whinge about the Devon weather but in this part of the world weather comes over like an express train, so it is mainly all down to clothing. I have some control over the world of work, as I choose when and what (unlike so much of my working life as a lawyer) – and if I want to watch a film on Curzon in the afternoon, no one stops me. But the political world is the one that not only can I not control but much of the time at the moment it fills me with despair. The pandemic, Brexit, social care, Windrush, Grenfell – the list seems endless.
There are some actions I have taken. I gave up on Twitter in the early summer, I try to limit my news intake (not always successfully), and I listen to a lot more music. My latest crush is Sara Correia’s 2020 album of Fado.
And then there is condensed reading – possibly not quite the right description but each morning starts with John Naughton, Jonty Bloom, and The Monocle Minute. Jonty Bloom’s Why “Sovereignty” matters this morning is a short and perfect piece. I found Jonty Bloom thanks to John Naughton and Memex 1.1 – from him each morning a Photo, Quote of the Day, a musical alternative to the morning’s radio news, a Long read, and more. Here is John Naughton today. And then there is The Monocle Minute – although I am not into Japanese present wrapping . . .
Finally there is always coffee – probably more than is good for me but not even I can drink Negronis before 6:00.
And my music choice – Sara Correia and António Zambujo
Walking is a very necessary corrective to politics.
On the way up to Mardon Down this morning.
And on the way down, a blackcap in an ash tree