Wednesday, 3 September 2014


A strange thing happened to me today - I ventured into Waterstones looking for inspiration. Or something. My eye lit upon 'The Wild Places' by Robert Macfarlane, whose name keeps cropping-up recently:

Chapter 1 - 'Beechwood';  first line - 'The wind was rising so I went out to the woods....' I chuckled, remembering how, a few years ago, a high wind would pull me out to the beechwood above the town , with a note on the gate - 'Do not walk in these woods in a high wind...' The dog and I would revel in the sound of the gale in the treetops and the creaking of old unstable branches... we would meet few others.

I read on  - the view Macfarlane described from his favourite tree in the unnamed beechwood above his town was utterly familiar and I soon realised that he does in fact live not a mile from where we were and was describing the same countryside, drawn by the same need to experience the wind in his hair as I had experienced in the flat East Anglian town. I probably knew him by sight, particularly if our dogs had met...

£9.99? No I didn't buy The Wild Places, but will look out for it on my friends' shelves and inquire in the 2nd-hand bookshop. And, when I do get to read it, I will slip easily into its skin from the first line..

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