September has arrived with beautiful weather, some would say hot, but I shall desist from saying it.
Yesterday we wandered along to Paper Mill, lots of people at the tea place, slice of carrot cake and a mug of tea went down nicely. You can feel autumn in the air though, it is in the muted colour of the grasses and trees, a slow turning of the season. In the garden I cut the heads of hydrangeas and lacecaps for drying for winter vases, remembering the golden rod and tansy I used to cut years ago for the same purpose, there bright yellow colouring turning to biscuit over the winter months. The bumble bees dance ahead of me in the garden alighting on the cosmos and two collared doves tamely peck round the lawn as I garden, we are used to each other.
The willows on the river are a lovely silver-green, it never ceases to amaze me this soft green, the leaves turning in the wind silverside up and that soft whooshing rattle of noise. I should be dyeing some wool, but natural materials are hard to find, so I continue with my patchwork. A design has been decided on 4 square pattern alongside a pale cream square, Cotton Patch has sent me a catalogue with a whole load of templates and rules, I am hardly past the 'square' stage so a 'log' design is some way away yet.
A new book to read, To the River by Olivia Lang, it is said to be in the style of Robert MacFarlane, I am not so sure When it hurts, we return to the banks of certain rivers, gives us a perception of one of her motives, a past love affair haunts the pages, also history comes alive along this particular river, which is the River Ouse, famous for Virginia Woolf's suicide. Laing has done a great deal of reading, Woolf quotations meander through the chapters, but a return to the wilderness it is not. This southern river is too tamed, to near to towns to give a feeling of lost landscapes, it is more a historic trail, a palimpsest of historical layers, one page sinking into another, and yet her descriptions of the wild flowers that lined the ditches of fields of wheat, shows that our native wild flowers are still with us. Still I have not finished reading, yet to arrive at the sea - the endless motion of water.
one step-width water
of linked stones
trills in the stones
glides in the trills
eels in the glides
in each eel a fingerwidth of sea
Alice Oswald - The River Dart.