Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Shirley Bronte

"On Nunnwood - the sole remnant of antique British forest in a region whose lowlands were once all silvan chase, as its highlands were breast-deep heather - slept the shadow of a cloud; the distant hills were dappled, the horizon was shaded and tinted like mother-of-pearl; silvery blues, soft purples, evanescent greens and rose-shades, all melting into fleeces of white cloud, pure as azury snow, allured the eye as with a remote glimpse of heaven's foundations. The air blowing on the brow was fresh, and sweet, and bracing."

Shirley by Charlotte Bronte written in 1848 / 49

My friend wondered if there was a Shirley Bronte - a less known sister perhaps.

I've managed to get through a few more chapters of the book while on various train journeys, but i'm still only about half way through. I was a bit disappointed the other day when my bag got stolen off my allotment that my copy of Shirley wasn't in the bag. That would have served the nasty little git right. However my lovely little Leica camera was in the bag - so if anyone tries to sell you a camera with images of rainbows, clouds and meadows on let me know.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Trip to the Bronte Parsonage Museum

The weather project is coming to an end - i've been collecting weather data at the Bronte Parsonage Museum for a year now. I was there yesterday to collect more data and generally hang about at the Museum. I planned to go for a walk onto the moors, but the weather was too bad - it was a wretched day of high winds bringing in lashings of rain. It's been mentioned that every time i go to the Museum the weather is bad. Not sure its really my fault though. The day did end with rainbows and blue sky - can i take some credit for that too?

On the journey I use the time to keep on ploughing my way through Shirley by Charlotte Bronte. It's such a struggle to get into this book - the first mention of 'Shirley' is 200 pages in. I was beginning to wonder if i'd missed a whole character somewhere in the story*. However, I have noted a couple of weather descriptions though that are really nice - and i'll put them on the blog soon.

*'Story' is used in its loosest form. I would only recommend reading this book if your life depended on it - life is too short and there are plenty other books you could be enjoying.

Thursday, 11 October 2012


I was in Haworth again at the weekend as i was talking at a symposium about the landscape and literature.  There was no booing or food missiles thrown so i consider it a success. Talking at the same symposium was poet Simon Armitage - i was especially nervous about speaking at the same event and in honour of the occasion i did consider doing my 10 minute presentation in rhyme, until my friend Elaine pointed out that nothing rhymes with Chesney.
Anyway, i had a lovely day and met lots of interesting people.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

National Poetry Day

Will the day be bright or cloudy?
Sweetly has its dawn begun
But the heaven may shake with thunder
Ere the setting of the sun

Lady watch Apollo's journey
Thus thy first born's course shall be-
If his beams though summer vapours
Warm the earth all placidly
Her days shall pass like a pleasant dream in sweet

If it darken if a shadow
Quench his rays and summon rain
Flowers may open buds may blossom
Bud and flower alike are vain
Her days shall pass like a mournful story in care and tears
   and pain

If the wind be fresh and free
The wide skies clear and cloudless blue
The woods and fields and golden flowers
Sparkling in sunshine and in dew
Her days shall pass in Glory's light the world's drear desert

Emily Bronte - poem dated 12th July 1836
(Published in 1902)