Thursday, 31 March 2011


The last day of March this year began windy, blowing a gale as my grandma would say, and early cherry blossom was rudely flung from the trees and onto the lawn like sad confetti. I ate museli, fed the cat and the rabbit, and watched The Lady Vanishes. I also remembered how I used to write and write and write - for catharsis, for pleasure, for the capture of something that otherwise might fly by too fast to recall or understand. It helps to make sense of things, to tie up loose ends and see where everything smooths out and becomes clear. For me, not much has been captured, offered catharsis or given pleasure for a while. There have been different kinds of capture, release and happiness, but nothing that has compelled me to write.

The morning slowly bubbled into rage. Behold, the vanishing girl. Certain certainties and truths I used to know have disappeared. How? When? At what point did I get lost? I forgot to eat my lunch, and reached a boiling point of frustration and discontent that was somehow hilarious in an empty house. So I went for a walk.

There are woods outside my house, just a small copse of trees that extend less than a mile, but I would always go there when I was small, when the weather was nice and when I needed to think about something. The wind died down, and the sun shone. Everything was quietly pushing itself upwards and outwards and the birds were calling back and forth to one another. I hitched my skirt up and climbed over stiles, held a conference with a grey horse and a Shetland pony and saw two magpies. I cut down apple blossom and the branches wept petals all the way home, leaving a breadcrumb trail behind me. No great or remarkable realisation dawned on me as I muddied my boots, but there was some kind of circumnavigationand my thoughts began to calm and organise.

I had not realised how much I had needed a homecoming, or how easy it seems to be to lose sight of yourself. Even if you look yourself in the mirror each day or constantly sign your name on pieces of paper, forgetting who you are, what you want and what you need is horribly effortless. Sometimes you need to be lost for a while in order to realise you need to be found. I want to reclaim my ambition to one day be a part of something big as well as all things small that make a life complete. I need not to vanish.

Sunday, 20 March 2011


I am writing an essay on brotherhood in Irish Fenian tales, another about community archaeology in Scotland and a third comparing two traditional folk-drama plays from where my family live in Yorkshire. I have a bad habit of letting my work surround me until I can't see anything over or around it, and I look a little like this in my own imagination.

I have been dreaming of BKFST and listening to snow tunes. Despite the fact that the crocuses are all out and Spring is pushing through, the melodies take me straight back to a bone-deep exhaustion, endless woollen layers, frostbitten finger tips and the smell of winter.
I will be home for Spring break by the time the daffodils are out.

Thursday, 17 March 2011


One of my books to finish at home over Easter is 'The Long Way to Freedom'.
It makes me so happy that Mandela was freed in the year of my birth.
I always think that coming home is freeing.

"I am the master of my fate.
I am the captain of my soul."
- William Ernest Henley

Who can truly say this?

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


Isbells - Reunite

"Now this enchantress claims that her spells can liberate
One heart, or can inject love-pangs, just as she wishes;
Can stop the flow of rivers, send the stars flying backwards,
Conjure ghosts in the night: she can make the earth cry out
Under one's feet, and elm trees come trooping down from the mountain."
- Dido in Book IV, lines 457-461; The Aeneid by Virgil (Oxford World's Classics)

Joseph Noel Paton's "The Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania" (1847)

You have power over someone.