Well, here we are and I've managed to come up with something for every day of November. It's been good to see a number of other bloggers who have drifted off a bit of recent times coming back and warming up to it again.
I thought I'd be raiding the external hard drive for old pictures but in fact I haven't, and have found that I'm thinking about photography again and picking the camera up more often, which can't be bad. I don't feel that I've had a great deal of consequence to say for myself, but then when I'm asking people to look in every day it's probably just as well not to be blathering on too much.
The less said the better, sometimes, more and more I feel. I've found myself much more inclined to read blogs without an obligation to comment than I used to. Yet I sometimes also fear that I take few risks, put myself out very little, that my blogging is safe, bland and anodyne. But I also know my limits, and they are legion.
Very saddening in the last couple of days to see the departure of someone who I hope has genuinely become a friend in the world as well as in the blogging spirit, and who, however quirky, eccentric, occasionally abrasive or truculent, has enriched my life and my comments threads with extraordinary wit, humour, imagination ( a lot of that!) compassion, kindness, compliments and affection. He says he has taken a risk too many, not played safe enough, and rues the consequences. This feels all wrong, but brings home once again the sense that our on-line lives are rather vulnerable and precarious. Yet I still value this way of making a window into our lives, however small, selective and infrequently opened; it has brought new friends in and brought old ones closer, and strengthened ans stimulated more private conversation. But when the window closes, there's a danger we'll disappear to one another. I don't know whether this is something to worry about or not.
Ah well. So then we here at home ended up having a ... discussion, about what I rather antagonistically and pejoratively called the doctrine of detachment, and which I equally antagonistically and pejoratively attacked as being potentially glib and disingenuous. (I can be an argumentative cuss). About how much responsibility we need to take for the effect our words and/or actions have on others, the role of intention in the matter, and ultimately the nature of the self that acts or is acted on. These things happen round here. We didn't exactly reach any conclusions but we didn't end up divorcing either. And it made me think I'd go and look up Marcus Aurelius.
I found him on Tom's shelf because I'd passed him on to him. And it really must be a long time since I read any, since I found this marking a page:
It's a label from the 1992 vintage of Burrow Hill's Somerset Cider Brandy (what it says on the tin, really). I think they sent this, just the label, to me with an offer because I'd bought half a bottle of the first year ever. If I'd kept it it might be worth a bit now, but I finished it one night with one of my nieces after she'd just finished a boyfriend.
Marcus Aurelius was just too dense to plunder for a quick soundbite about detachment, and even the dictionary of quotations didn't yield too much, except that he was to be found between St Augustine who said
To Carthage I came and there sang all around me a cauldron of unholy loves
and Jane Austen who had Emma's dad saying
The sooner every party breaks up the better.
So on that note, and because if I don't stop soon it will no longer be November and my pledge will be broken, I will close here. With some random pictures.
This is the sign for our village. It means 'The Holly', and I'm quite sure that old Marcel, whose house and holly tree this is, the first house in the village, insisted that they put the sign there.
and mistletoe. Very festive.
She's probably hoping she's not going to be festive,
and she's getting out of here in case.
Bunnies and pumpkins,
and don't forget the vegetables.