October 2010

Books read in October:

  1. Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel.
  2. Thomas the Rhymer, by Ellen Kushner.
  3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J. K. Rowling.
  4. The Birthday of the World by Ursula K. Le Guin.

I didn’t get to dress up for Halloween, but I did sing in Evensong so I still got to sweep around town wearing a black gown. Tonight is NaNoWriMo Eve — it isn’t even November yet, and I’m already behind: behind on housecleaning, marking essays, my own research, least of all planning the novel that I’m going to write in the next 30 days. Note the faint strain of panic, everyone, and wish me luck.

My Ebenezer

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by thy help I’ve come;
And I hope by thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering far from the fold of God.
He to rescue me from danger
Interposed his precious blood.

-from the hymn, ‘Come thou fount of every blessing’.

It’s been happening at odd moments here and there across the past couple of weeks: I’ll be listening to the radio while doing dishes, or walking into town, to a friend’s house, down a perfectly mundane street and think, ‘Yes, I love this place’. This afternoon, restlessness drove me out of the office and down to the sea. Despite it being chill, damp, windy, I walked the length of East Sands and back. For the most part it was only me and the waves, the gulls, and the flock of swans gliding across the bay. I don’t go down to the sea nearly often enough, but the deep pull of the tide has already cast its spell on my heart, the crash of the surf resounds always even in the silences of night. I thank the Lord my God that of all the shores I could wash up on I was cast here, to this small town on the edge of the North Sea.

‘There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.’ (1 John 4.18-19)

Words, words, words

This morning I found an old Dove Promises wrapper in my Bible. It read, ‘Find your passion’.

My passion is words — words strung into stories, stories that tell of our lives, of our past, future, where we come from and where we are going. Stories about what we do, believe, feel, think, live, love, and how, why. Stories about who we are.

It’s no wonder my life is wrapped up in books.

The Autumn Monster

Six pumpkins, five adults, two children, and a very yellow kitchen.

Morley and Charlie with the autumn monsters.

Glowing masterpieces.

Humphrey and Boggart hard at work warding off evil spirits.


I woke up with Ros’s cold. It’s been raining steadily all day. I taught another double-session of The Dream of the Rood and have been fielding emails from students about their essays due on Monday. I’m glad I went to The Central this afternoon: that half-pint was rather nice.

Off to make dinner — here’s hoping the poltergeist has had a Friday drink, too.


Things I have not done:

  • Washed my breakfast dishes;
  • Done laundry;
  • Emailed/Skyped/Called at least 5 people with whom I regularly correspond (and have not done so for weeks if not months);
  • Put out chickpeas to soak so I can cook them later;
  • Renewed my railcard;
  • Read my NYT headlines for the past three weeks.

Things I have done:

  • Picked blackberries;
  • Prepared for tutorials;
  • Successfully led a 2-hour tutorial on The Dream of the Rood;
  • Eaten a fudge doughnut.

It’s Monday

After cutting my finger open with the cheese grater, setting off the fire alarm and running around in a frenzy trying to find something long enough to reach the ceiling to turn it off, melting the only scraper we have, getting olive oil on my jeans — let alone the reappearance of the kitchen poltergeist — I finally got my dinner of chicken parmesan. The sheer amount of times I exclaimed, ‘Heavens!’ this evening would be enough to catch any angel’s attention.

It’s Monday.

I was going to call my parents tonight, but once they read this post, I think they’ll understand why I might call them later this week instead.

I want a new cheese grater for NaNoWriMo Eve. And a mallet.