Half a dead magpie appeared overnight at the side of the hedge, courtesy, I presume, of one of the local cats. A pair of swallows were flying frantically back and forth, low across the back lawn, gathering insects to feed lazy offspring perched on telephone wires above the gate.
Later, long-tailed tits kicked up a commotion in the trees at the side of the road as I climbed the stile and made my way down through the woods into Hebden Bridge. I was en route to the latest Caught by the River event at the Trades Club.
Today’s event was dedicated to fiction. Despite reading almost no fiction these days, I enjoyed it immensely—especially the sessions in which various pairs of authors had conversations on stage. My favourite quote was a passing remark made by the author Helen Mort: “It never gets easier; it just gets better.” She was referring to running and rock-climbing, but the writer in me realised it also applies to writing. (Or, at least, I hope it does.)
“…wonderfully droll, witty and entertaining… At their best Carter’s moorland walks and his meandering intellectual talk are part of a single, deeply coherent enterprise: a restless inquiry into the meaning of place and the nature of self.”
—Mark Cocker, author and naturalist
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