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Word From Wormingford

Richard on February 5th, 2016

Winter sunshine leads Ronald Blythe to think of the summer ahead O, TO be in England now that January is there. Soft winter winds brush the flowering bulbs, and a chattering army of walkers breast the hill. To find snow and ice one has to travel to New York, on the nine o’clock news. The air is […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford 5 February 2016

Richard on February 5th, 2016

Ronald Blythe sniffs the air and looks out on a white landscape WAKING early, I can smell that frost has performed its secret ministry, as Coleridge put it. The scent of it is indescribable. Jack Frost has not filled the window-panes with his artistry; so I look out on to white pastures and rose beds. It […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford 29 January 2016

Richard on January 22nd, 2016

The snow reminds Ronald Blythe of holidays in Scotland THEY promise snow, and back it up with descriptions of Moscow, where it is raked up and put in the river. Here, in the Stour Valley, snow-laden skies hold back their burden, and it doesn’t seem cold enough for a wintry landscape. All the same, the white cat […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 22 January 2016

Richard on January 15th, 2016

Ronald Blythe steps outside, and feels a cold north wind WALKING in the January garden, who would have thought that it would be so bleak? Blazing sun on the windows, the frozen screen running to the river — but the sky is so summery, the birds at war over old Christmas cake, the washing blowing, the […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford 15 January 2016

Richard on January 8th, 2016

Ronald Blythe gathers up holly and cards, and checks the fridge EVER since I was a boy, natural light and religious light have got tangled up in my imagination; so that, at this moment, the Epiphany and the pale sunshine flooding Duncan’s field are one. It is mild and still, and a little gardening would not […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford 8 January 2016

Richard on January 8th, 2016

Ronald Blythe ponders diaries and journals, private and public DIARIES come in all sizes, and are not to be judged by length. Some are a long life’s length: Samuel Pepys’s is nine years long. They could be kept for a special occasion, a war, a journey, or a love affair. They could be read to amuse […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford 1 January 2016

Richard on December 18th, 2015

Ronald Blythe thinks of how three composers saved the carol IN 1928, three remarkable Church of England composers — Percy Dearmer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Martin Shaw — rescued the carol from what could have been its extinction — a fate that many of the clergy hoped might overcome it. “Please, sir, may we sing a […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 18 December 2015

Richard on December 5th, 2015

Ronald Blythe compares Robert Louis Stevenson’s and Jesus’s storytelling MATCHLESS mornings; no birdsong, but the thinning oaks in a kind of aloof conversation. Not a soul about. My neighbour Vicky rings up to ask if I need “supplies”. I like this word for shopping. It makes me feel that I live in the Wild West. It […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 4 December 2015

Richard on December 5th, 2015

Ronald Blythe attends the deathbed of an old friend WHEN I was a boy, the old miller spoke of the tempest, not the storm. “Did the tempest keep you awake last night?” Now, they speak of Agatha, or some such wild woman. She will bring the last leaves down. We stand on the brink of Advent. […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 27 November 2015

Richard on November 20th, 2015

November is a time of decay and renewal, says Ronald Blythe RELENTLESS rain. It bounces off the oaks, which, in turn, rise from a lake of roots. Yesterday, I planted tubs of bulbs, and thought twice about the fallen leaves. Let them squelch. I read about life, and I sit by a deathbed. Each season begins with […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 20 November 2015