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Celebrating his 90th birthday in November 2012, the writer Ronald Blythe, celebrated for his observations on literature, the Church, and the countryside, talks about his life and times to Malcolm Doney of the Church Times.   Figure in a landscape   BOTTENGOMS FARM looks like a fairy-tale cottage. Or that is how it seems in the […]

Continue reading about Ronald Blythe at 90 – a Church Times interview by Malcolm Doney

Richard on December 15th, 2012

Music keeps Ronald Blythe in high spirits as Christmas approaches   WHAT Coleridge called “the secret ministry of frost” was given early this morning. At 5 a.m., they say. The garden stiffens, the blackbirds catch the crumbs that fall from the blue tits’ table. The air is as sharp as a knife. The bare trees creak. The sky […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 14 December 2012

Richard on December 15th, 2012

Ronald Blythe takes the bus to make some seasonal purchases   EACH December, I wander about the town in search of the charity-card shop, this time as I come, reassured, from the dentist. And there it is, with a lady sweeping its pavement, and its racks of greetings and fearful diseases, snowy churches, and Renaissance nativi­ties. […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 7 December 2012

Richard on December 15th, 2012

Ronald Blythe makes a visit to the Isle of Eels, and hears a rumour   I AM in Cambridge, and far from home. Drizzle marks my path. Peter and I stare at signatures in the university library, chat to young folk who are making their way in the world, and, eventually, take our places at high […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 30 November 2012

Richard on December 15th, 2012

Ronald Blythe thinks of St Cecilia pulling all the stops out   EARLY morning just before Advent, with the dawn making the most of it. A bright yellow wedge prises the fields from the sky, and there is a glimpse of countless crazy birds, then a retreat into darkness. The white cat sprawls on me as […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 23 November 2012

Richard on December 15th, 2012

Ronald Blythe sees a giant brought low, and thinks of New York   SOMEBODY has sent me Cerrini’s Head of Goliath, on a postcard from Rome. The giant-killer is beautiful, and the head is appalling. A shepherd’s sling and the giant’s sword lie on the ground. David looks up to heaven, and poor Goliath to the earth. […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 16 November 2012

Richard on December 15th, 2012

Ronald Blythe tidies up ready for Christmas, and hears a confession   ALL HALLOWS. A furtive sun, a drift of, mercifully, unblemished ash-leaves. They sail across the study window, semi-shrivelled and blotched like old hands. But the rose John Clare flowers, and a yucca promises to, any minute now. Which is unwise of it. The season […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 9 November 2012

Richard on December 15th, 2012

Ronald Blythe takes a moment to watch the wildlife in the garden THREE muntjacs – two grown up, one a fawn – are feeding on wet blackberries,50 yardsfrom the house. When they sleep, do they dream about Java? They eat delicately, taking each sodden fruit at a time. Their red-brown coats are thick and damp. They […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 2 November 2012

Richard on December 15th, 2012

Ronald Blythe is caught on the hop by unexpected visitors   A MODEST wind shakes the poplars in celebration of October 1987. Rooks and gulls whirl around. I am writing a sermon about St Luke and his publisher, the most excellent Theophilus, when friends arrive from Norfolk. Being still in my dressing gown, I hastily tell […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 26 October 2012

Richard on December 15th, 2012

In a time of dearth, Ronald Blythe turns to John Donne   TWO blackbirds gorge on berries below the study window. They stand a yard apart, eating and balancing. But no fruit in the orchard for me. Not an apple, not a plum. And the wheat harvest is way down, and were we living in Thomas Hardy’s […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 19 October 2012