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Does even an insect-woman have feelings to hurt? Harry appears to be an ascetic, grasshopperish man who has come to share some cake with his friend.

Harry is a widower. He bakes.

Thomas Hardy: His Life and Friends

Crucially, his motivations are not up for discussion. His sister, meanwhile, would be pitiable if she were any more than a stock character of ridicule: a dessicated old spinster intent on snaring Grandad with cake and not even a good, rich indulgent cake, at that, but one made from stale bread, Harriet herself being stale bread in female form: past its best, unwanted, surplus to requirement.

Harry has my slightly uncomfortable regard: the best Harriet can hope for is my pity. She is more likely to earn my scorn. Assuming she has feelings. Assuming she has something more than lukewarm tea weakly thrumming in her veins. Turn it about as I might, whichever angle I view this from it looks like the same thing: internalised misogyny. And that is not an easy thing to sit with as a woman in her mid-forties. Nan was in the kitchen, slicing spuds to be made into the best chips in the world. Postscript In a reverse-Proustian manoeuvre I made a tin of bread pudding a few days after writing this.

Roger Whale - AbeBooks

It was just as I had remembered. Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver.

Published by Faber, I read the e-book, borrowed from the library on Overdrive. Well, this is a conundrum! I cannot abide being bludgeoned with a lecture in a novel and Kingsolver landed many a hefty didactic punch. And yet, reading her, I feel that I am in a safe pair of hands. I have yet to get to the bottom of why I will allow her to preach so.

Is it because of her characters? Is it the satisfying patterning of her prose? In short order their lives begin to fall around their ears, with their personal catastrophes playing out within the family, the wider community and ultimately on a worldwide scale… and back to the personal again. To be sheltered is to be safe, or to be protected from harsh realities which itself may be a culpable privilege.

The Damson Tree (Tales of a Dartmoor Village Book 1)

To be un sheltered may be a terrifying and potentially fatal exposure to the elements. Or it could be the source of freedom. Published by Picador, I read the paperback, borrowed from the library. Fifty contemporary poets respond to a poem of their choice: what a great idea! As with all anthologies there are hits and misses.

I regret to conclude that in many cases the original poem was the stronger of the two and the smirking smart-arse school of poetry was over-represented. I found myself thinking of the Salvator Rosa self-portrait whose Latin motto loosely! It is worth reading, though, for the clutch of excellent poems and it is always good to be introduced to poets I would not otherwise have read.

What are its concerns and its communal purpose he is feeding family and visitors, not just himself? The first thing to become apparent is how violent a process it is. In Making Apple Juice with Makeshift Apparatus and what a grand metaphor that is for the making of a poem, pressing out perception from the pulp of experience with the best words one has to hand — never mind for the actual business of living!

There is a simmering restlessness throughout. Nothing holds steady.

Thomas Hardy: His Life and Friends | SpringerLink

Everything is in constant transformation. Life is feeding on life and it is not a delicate business.

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Each stone opened like a wooden womb or a small sarcophagus; the vision — very mute nevertheless — of the small pip, quite naked, pale: two white foetal feet pressed sole to sole over each sought tree. The further into the book one travels, the more the tenuousness of our being becomes apparent. On reflection, that would seem a fair assessment. I would also have welcomed a greater variation of tone and pace at the level of the collection as a whole.

It may be concerned with the keeping of body and soul together, but it is to the mind that this book most appeals. This maintaining of our human selves — our tenuous and ultimately futile project — what a violent, bright-dark and fragile mystery it turns out to be, encountered and enacted through the ingredients we have to hand in our daily routine. The Overstory by Richard Powers. Oil central heating, electricity, bed linen, towels and Wi-Fi included. Initial fuel for wood burner included.

Welcome pack. Small enclosed courtyard garden with garden furniture. Shared landscaped grounds. Bike store. Private parking for 2 cars. No smoking. Free WiFi. Show all. Popular homes. A recently renovated stone workshop and stable situated privately in the grounds of our home and decorated to a high standard with views over paddocks.

Situated in a great area for exploring Dorset, Somerset and Devon. Cereals, juice, milk, bread, butter, jams, tea, coffee all provided. There is a tv and dvd player and a large dvd library as well as boxed games and local maps and information. The bedroom has a double bed, chest of drawers and hairdryer as well as a small wardrobe hanging area. The shower room has a toilet, basin, towel rail and large shower.

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The outside area is separate from our house and has a table and seating. It is possible to park your car beside the annexe. Cosy Rural Retreat. Welcome to Stepps House, a large 17th century Grade 2 listed thatched farmhouse in the centre of the village of Broadway, South Somerset. Ideally placed to enjoy walks or cycling over the lovely Somerset countryside and within an hour to the Dorset and Devon beaches. Guest accommodation is in the east wing of the house which is self contained and has it's own entrance door at the side. Besides the self contained wing of the house we do have the facility to add a further 2 double ensuite bedrooms in the main part of the house for the larger party.

An interconnecting door between main house landing and back wing allows guests to join the others in their party and not feel separated. We are in a village with good road connections to A, A and 20 minutes from M5.

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Good cycling countryside. Main town of Taunton 10 miles away, Yeovil 12 miles, Crewkerne 6 miles, Chard 5 miles, Ilminster 3 miles. A few minutes' walk from us we have a newly opened refurbished pub and another pub and shop with post office within walking distance. There is no shortage of other eating and drinking places in the area.

Golf courses near Taunton and Crewkerne. South Somerset covers a large area with plenty of activities for families during the summer months. National Trust and English Heritage properties in the area and well worth a visit. Stepps House. Each solid wood log cabin is encircled by trees for your privacy yet open enough to let sunlight through. We aim to give you that cosy, romantic log cabin retreat experience with a solid wood burner.

Apple Cottage is an 18th century converted Barn. It is semi detached, and sleeps 2. It has a fully equipped kitchen and is totally self contained. Good to hide away or return to after a day of exploration. We have a small holding and Apple Cottage is part of this. We gave goats , pigs , and chickens. Feel free to feed the animals. Apple Cottage. Gloriously positioned in its own private field with a hot tub. The site is surrounded by magnificent oak trees dotted along the hedgerows with fairy-tale views into the barley fields adjacent.

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A charming stream trickles past the pod, while a pond filled with beautiful Call Ducks is enclosed opposite. Popular Posts post-beltane beltane post.