Thursday, May 28, 2015

The thrill of words

Report from Windermere while in traffic on the M6: Writing is my favorite thing to do and has been since I was a little girl. I spotted this quote while visiting Wray Castle near Ambleside on Lake Windermere. Wray Castle was a bit like Beatrix Potter's Jewell Ridge. Her family ended up there for their summer holiday when their usual spot in Scotland was unavailable. At Wray Castle, when she was 16, Beatrix Potter met a vicar who was also naturalist and he encouraged her -- the rest is history. 

So much of life is planned out, but a story can go anywhere. Last week, I was walking through York with our friend Alfred and he was talking about a boat he had when he was a child. He said something that took my breath away, because I knew it was the beginning of a song.

Songs surprise me. They make my hair stand on end. I have to write them or I wouldn't be me. I have to go down the rabbit hole and follow strings of words. It's like no other feeling.

Nothing compares to a crisp notebook, a fresh pen, and the OED by my side. If I could have lived in the Bodleian at Oxford, I would have. Lifetime goal -- a permanent reader's card at the Bodleian, a stone crofter's cottage in Sutherland in Scotland at the edge of the sea, heat from an Aga Stove, Billy making up melodies in the next room, a cup of rooibos tea with coconut milk, and notebooks calling for ink. (Oh, and a little reliable car to get us from Oxford to Sutherland when I need to gather wool from the old books from time to time). 

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