After all the editing, the funeral and the consequent busyness, we had a week of being away, first to Belfast with my family, then for a few days to Glastonbury. This is the canal in the Avalon Marshes Nature Reserve, with Glastonbury Tor very far off in the distance. We were there principally to see things like this:
which is a replica built by volunteers of the Meare Track, which was made in the Iron Age. The real thing is feet deep in the peat, but you can walk this one. I wanted to see the Sweet Track, too, which is a replica of a neolithic track, and I did, but my phone ran out of charge so I couldn’t photograph it. If you google it, you will get an impression of its structure, but we were there at the end of the day, when it was quiet, and more overgrown than the photos show, and it was moody and atmospheric and wonderful.
I love the marshes, the green quiet, reeds and willow trees, the hidden birds, dragonflies and open skies. I love the distinctive smell – mud, yes, and stagnant water, a little, but something fresh and green, too. We went back again he next day, and as we walked through the canal trail, we saw this:
This is a very poor picture, but the deer was a long way ahead. It stood for a long time watching us before it decided we were getting too close and jumped away.
We spent a day in Glastonbury itself, exploring the Chalice Well Gardens (me) and the Tor (my husband), and visting the Lake Village Museum, marvelled at the esoteric bookshops, tarot consultations and alternative healing, and the preparations for a zombie walk, which was due to happen the following weekend. We had lunch in what described itself as a zombie sanctuary! We also went to Wells where we saw the famous Cathedral clock:
I love this – the sun showing the hours and the star showing the minutes – the moon which displays the phases of the moon as it goes – and isn’t far out – and the knights forever knocking each other about.
There has been a lot of poetry in my life lately – I’ve been reading Liz Berry’s Republic of Motherhood, and Sylvia Plath’s Winter Trees. Sometimes I can’t see what the fuss is about Sylvia Plath – her language seems overblown and her violent imagery sometimes excessive – but this book includes Three Women, and it is wonderful. And I’m editing two new collections which will come out next year. All I can say is I feel very lucky to have the chance to get to know these poems so well!