And a grey damp chilly road it is too this morning. Heavy rain is forecast, and frost by the end of the week, so we went for a walk while we could. There were crows and magpies in the oystercatcher field and deer browsing in the field below the Craigs, so winter has definitely arrived. A skein of geese flew along the Ochils, looking like nothing more than a fast-moving wisp of cloud until the leaders caught the sun, then lifted and disappeared over the brow of the hill.
Gardening is over for the season, apart from the cabbages and kale in the greenhouse, and the sparrows are back in the hedges, squabbling for places on the birdfeeders. The kitchen is full of jam, pickles and mincemeat and I have made the Christmas puddings, though we still don’t know who will be here to eat them with us. The rainbows we decorated our windows with at the start of the first lockdown have gone, and we are replacing them with Advent lights and decorations – this winter will need all the sparkle it can get!
Lockdown has hit everyone hard, and we are all sick and weary of it, but finally there does appear to be hope on the horizon for the spring, and meanwhile, I have been setting seeds for next year, working on my next collection – not nearly as close to finishing as I thought – thinking about plans for this blog, and for re-engaging with poetry in real life as soon as it is at all possible. I have read some great poetry, and some very inspiring nature writing, and discovered a lot of resources for the next phase – the Nature Library, Emergence Magazine, and the Inkcap newsletter. When I was first online there was a site called Habitat which provided a roundup of all the environmental news – needless to state it soon got overwhelmed by the avalanche of information available, and the demands of keeping up to date with the technology. Journalist Sophie Yeo who runs Inkcap seems to have a much more sustainable model, and provides an excellent service!
And on the poetry front, Colin Bancroft spent his lockdown putting together the amazing resource the Poets Directory. This includes the online magazine 192, and soon, the small press Nine Pens. I’m quite glad to report that, after all this activity supporting other poets, Colin has a pamphlet out himself, published by Maytree Press.
I’m also very pleased to tell you that I will have a a weird little sea poem in the next edition of 192 – another way in which I am back on the road!