Monday, November 12, 2018

'Dull' November? WIth Kate Walker

When I was  growing up, I remember that my mother always used to quote from a poem that she had learned  as a girl.  It started with these lines:

January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow.

And then went through all the months, rainy February, breezy March, hot July . . .  But I’d forgotten what the poem said about November. So I looked it up:

Dull November brings the blast,
Then the leaves go whirling past.

Well, that’s certainly been the way the weather has gone the last week or so.  Dull, windy – lots of leaves falling from the trees. And when the clocks changed, being put back an hour, it seemed as if darkness had suddenly fallen so very early. The evenings closed in, the sun – such as it was – disappeared. It  was so hard to deal with at first. It reminded me of another poem- this one by Thomas Hood:

No sun - no moon!
No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! -

Oh dear.  Summer was definitely over. Autumn (Fall)  seemed to have gone too.  It was cold and miserable . . . but then  we lit the first proper fire of the year. And instantly everything changed. The flames licked at the coal, burning it steadily until it glowed red and warm.  The cats came and sat in front of the flames, curling up on the rug – or stretching out to get the heat along every inch of their bodies.

And I rediscovered the joy of curling up in an armchair,  a blanket over my legs -  and sometimes a cat on top of that blanket for extra warmth – and best of all a lovely thick, absorbing book to lose myself in as I read.

I love sitting on a beach – or out in the garden with a chance to read  and the sun on my back. But really, that just doesn’t compare with the delight of settling down in front of a real, blazing fire, with a book I want to read and a long dark evening in which to read it. I don’t even notice the darkness outside, or the cold. I lose all awareness of the wind or the rain.
Perhaps it’s something like going back to my childhood when my sisters and I used  to gather round the fire and Mother would read to us – or perhaps it’s   the thought of images I’ve seen of Victorian families reading by firelight – but there’s something special about those long, cosy nights  - with a good book.

And I have such a huge TBR pile that I can’t wait to settle down in the evenings and start to make my way through it.  I have more than enough books to last me between now and Christmas and – who know – there may well be some new titles under the Christmas tree (I’m sure there will  be!!)  so that they’ll keep me happy  right through until the next Spring.

What about you? Do you prefer to read  inside , snug and warm in winter – or do you long for the long hot summer days to read outside or on the beach?

You can read more about me and my books on my web site and my blog -  and catch up with me too on my Facebook page

1 comment:

dstoutholcomb said...

I love November--I was born in November. And in the US, we celebrate Thanksgiving in November.