Wild West Wind.

‘O wild west wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being, Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing’ Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red …’ Last weekend I stood silently on the crest of a hill surveying the...

Intimacy to Insult

When did ‘thou’, ‘thee, ‘thy’ and ‘thine’ die an unnatural death? They lingered on in regional dialects into the last century, but I suspect they dropped out of common usage well over a century ago in the more formal Victorian era. Intimate insult was used during the...

The Greenness of Grass

I look out on the grass in front of Beverley Minster and marvel at how green it is. In all these years I have never seen it such a rich shade of green. Have I changed, or has it? Perhaps I am influenced by a book I’m reading set in China after the Communist revolution...

Just Stones When driving through the patchwork of green fields and grazing sheep in North Yorkshire  this weekend, I marvelled at the hard simplicity of the stone walls. Once these hillsides and valleys crossed by fast-flowing rivers must have been as strewn with...