Friday, 31 October 2008

Down the road, early evening.

I suddenly see the setting sun is turning the last of the maize into as mad a marigold as the pumpkin's flesh I'm scooping. We hurry out, almost too late.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Up the road, afternoon.

Alban's old vegetable garden has, since he died, been sown with phacelia and now grass. It is fenced as a paddock, and today, a solitary, heavily pregnant cow grazes there.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Trédaniel plan d'eau, afternoon

Picking up coloured leaves, I hear several odd, hoarse-sounding squeaks from the ground nearby. Something invisible, tiny and fierce, probably mammalian, is trying to frighten me, and everso slightly succeeding.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Up the road, afternoon

The clocks back an hour, and the sun's warmth battles with the wind's cold, and mostly loses, but ah my foes and oh my friends it gives a lovely light!

Down the road, late afternoon (Sunday).

Near monochrome in drizzle, maize stalks bereft in mud crosshatched by harvester and tractors, an occasional gunshot further off, it is a bleak scene, and not one we linger in.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Woods near Pledran, by Gillian's (Saturday).

We with our oil black, white gold dogs kicking through banknote leaves, stooping to pick up chestnut copper coins tumbled from velvet-lined husks of purses, talking about our prospects.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Trédaniel plan d'eau, morning.

A solitary swallow flies in a wide arc overhead, doesn't linger, hurrying on to the southern hemisphere.

Brings a deep and startled wonder which I can't share, am losing already.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Up the road, afternoon.

Since heaven relocated elsewhere, or nowhere, we seem to ignore the landscape and drama of the sky; or perhaps they are simply too sublime to be described by earthbound language...

Up the road, afternoon.

Mounds and sacks of apples collected for cider in the small orchard at Bel Orient fill the air with perfume. A brown hen blackbird bobs away from them quickly, exclaiming.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Down the road, late afternoon.

A thick, flat drizzle settles into the evening; yellow leaves, the crab apples and marigolds in our garden glow through it only dimly. All we want is wine and supper.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Up the road, afternoon

I understood Holstein-Friesian bulls, and those of dairy breeds in general, to be aggressive. This one, however, ruminating with his girlfriends, seems quite placid. Nevertheless, I'm glad the electric fence is there...

Up the road, afternoon

My attention is drawn to Marcelle's spruce tree by a robin duelling mellifluously with another in the ash across the road.

Two tiny, enamelled goldcrests are flickering among the branches.

Friday, 17 October 2008

The old railtrack, Gare de Moncontour, morning.

The trees here grow on the steep slopes above and below the track, which gives a sense of walking both at their root level and high amongst their upper branches.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Down the road, late afternoon.

I squat on my haunches, take out the pad and pencil and try to draw the dead bark peeling from the electric fence post. Molly gives me about five minutes.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Trédaniel plan d'eau, morning.

The leaves floating on the water are specks of gold light suspended.

A cluster of mushrooms draws me over the wet grass, shoes and trouser bottoms slurp up the moisture.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Up the road, afternoon

Too warm in sandals and t-shirt.

A curly-headed Friesian bull rises reluctantly from his ruminations.

A family playing on swings; 'Coucou t'es haut!' the father calls rhythmically as he pushes.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Down the road, late afternoon.

We duck under the fence, cross the field and enter our goat willow plantation. I think I can't have been in here for about seven years. It has grown enormously.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Cesson beach, afternoon.

Two hours of anaesthesia to pass. Black crows on the white shell banks, oystercatchers and curlews at the striped sea's edge. We walk out to the water and touch it.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Up the road, afternoon.

There is no sun like October sun. It rests on my forehead like a blessing, and plays graceful shadows through thinning leaves. My light jacket grows too warm.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Trédaniel plan d'eau, afternoon

More chestnuts. Molly and I have sore paws and fingers from the spines at this time of year. I photograph them, and their furry husks, then pocket them for later.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Charnier car park, St Brieuc.

Outside the music college, a slim woman takes a small, cream-coloured harp from her car, and leaves it standing momentarily alone on the grass among the fallen plane tree leaves.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Up the road, afternoon

A somewhat sooty smell from Marcel's chimney indicates their first fire of the winter. He and Anne sit side by side by the window, reading.

Marcelle gives me three walnuts.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Up the road, afternoon

Chestnuts are like seashells: I vow not to pick any up, but then I do.

A pocketful, two brown mushrooms found opposite the house, apple, onion, ham, rice, make supper.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Down the road, late afternoon.

It is wintry cold, and rainy. Some chestnuts are falling, it probably won't be a good chestnut year. I fancy a fire this evening, but we won't give in yet.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Down the road, late afternoon.

A brighter, kinder day than yesterday, the sun flashing off the ivied trunks and casting Hopkins' 'sandalled shadow' through the branches of the poplars.

The electricity cables beaded with starlings.

Down the road, late afternoon (Tuesday).

We go looking, but there are neither horse mushrooms in the valley, nor flat ones in the field, only corncobs raided and chewed by badgers, and a grey heron stalking.