Saturday, 16 March 2013

While I was gone...

I am so happy to be back in the Highlands again, after a month of fashion shows and travelling (New York, London, Milan, Paris...) If any of you have been reading Harper's Bazaar, you'll know something of what I have been doing there as the editor (you can read more here and here), and I have finally succumbed to twitter (@JPicardie). But I suppose what might not be apparent in those mediums is all the other, more internal thoughts that have been skittering through my mind. Like:  When will the daffodils finally emerge in Tillypronie? Did the mice eat all the crocus bulbs in the garden? Why is it still snowing in March? And where did Louis MacNeice write this poem about snow?

The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes -
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one's hands -
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.


Is that not a wonderful poem? In the room where I am writing, there are no roses, but a bowl of sweet-scented blue hyacinths. The snow outside is silent, but I am going to light a fire, and curl up in front of it with the dog and my beloved...



12 comments:

kairu said...

What a lovely poem!

Am just back from two weeks in England, mostly cold and gray with moments of pure sunshine amongst the rain and snow...it was the most perfect of trips, all too short and leaving me with the hope that I might return soon...

Justine Picardie said...

Which was your favourite place in England?

kairu said...

Justine, there isn't one favorite place! Bath was a beautiful jewel of a town, with its layers of history and charm everywhere you looked. I loved the soft greens of the fields in Cornwall, the wild cliffs, the cream teas, the fleecy lambs feeding in the pastures. I didn't get to Fowey, sadly, which means I will have to go back.

And London, London, London...I walked and walked and took the tube in every direction and still have barely touched the surface. I saw three plays: Macbeth, If You Don't Let Us Dream, We Won't Let You Sleep, and Old Times. I bought books at Persephone Books and presents at Liberty and had breakfast at Ottolenghi and I would go back in a heartbeat.

I won't let another sixteen years go by before I come back again.

Photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kairuy/

enid said...

What a wonderful poem. I am glad you are back blogging . I missed you. Kairu I agree London is the best and I cannot wait for my next visit. Which Persephone books did you buy ?
I do hope that good weather arrives soon, Justine. We are having such hot weather that a little coolth would be welcome. When is the next HB out ?

Lilac In May said...

Hello Justine, what a whirlwind of a time you are having, my enjoyment of Twitter comes from watching the feed during a momentous tv event, such as last years olympics. It makes me feel as if I am part of an enormous, funny conversation.

Kairu, your photos are lovely, my favourites are the ones you took of the tube, so creative.

What we wouldn't give to swap some coolth for some of Edith's warmth. I drove my little Mini through driving snow on my way home from Oxford this morning. Brrr

Justine Picardie said...

Snow in Scotland as well -- we need some of Enid's warmth here, too. The snowdrops are only just coming out -- in mid-March! Lovely pictures, Kairu; and glad you went to such beguiling places. Did you see the golden boat on top of Liberty?
Lilac: you are exactly right about twitter; that's what it feels like during the fashion shows -- a sprawling, appealingly chaotic conversation...
Enid: new HB comes out in the first week of every month. This issue (April) includes several wonderfully atmospheric memoirs, including one by Julie Myerson about family ghosts...

kairu said...

Enid - I bought Dorothy Whipple's Someone at a Distance, Emma Smith's The Far Cry, John Coates' Patience, and a funny little cookbook called Dinners for Beginners.

Lilacs - Thank you! I had so much fun taking pictures of, well, everything, but it was especially fun to take photos in the tube because everyone else was rushing to and from their next destination, while I was patiently waiting for the crush to subside to take my next shot...

Justine - Indeed, what a gorgeous building Liberty has, with the dark timbering and the clock face and flowers everywhere...We had a late breakfast/early lunch in the beautiful café, and the Victoria Sponge was fantastic.

I love Twitter for its intertwining threads of conversation. It is like being at a giiiaaaant cocktail party - you meet new friends, come across old ones, jump from one group to another and back again...welcome to the party, Justine.

Lazywell said...

Mm, I'm afraid that having resisted Twitter for so long, she's now become addicted.

The Scrivener said...

That poem's new to me. Lovely. Thanks, Justine. And all that pristine untrodden snow behind you in the pic - stunning.

Kairu - Enjoyed looking through your flickr of your trip - you have a really good photographer's eye. Always interesting to see your hometown through someone else's eyes or rather viewfinder in this case. You saw so many things I've never seen/noticed, I've certainly never seen Burlington Arcade empty! Was it very early?

Kate

kairu said...

Lazywell, it is a slippery slope. Perhaps I should wait a bit before I show Instagram to Justine?

Scrivener - it was a Sunday morning, not terribly early but still a few hours before the shops opened! We were killing time before brunch at Nopi; as I recall, I had to poke my camera lens between the bars of the iron gates...

enid said...

I know this has nothing to do with snow just the opposite but Instructions for a Heat wave by Maggie O"Farrell is superb just as you said in a previous blog. She writes so well about things that we all experience. I am savoring every word

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