Tuesday 31 December 2013

2013: Looking Back...

After last year's dismal Washout Summer came the year of the Great Butterfly Summer - those glorious sunny months, preceded by a long hard winter and a cold wet spring, culminating in a Mast Year and followed by a wet and stormy early winter. I didn't get out among all that beautiful butterfly abundance as often as I'd hoped, but revelled in it whenever I could. My two most memorable butterfly encounters were with Small Blues in Dieppe and something utterly bizarre - a Monarch - in Carshalton.
 On the literary front, I discovered the short stories of Peter Taylor, read David Lack's The Life of the Robin, Stefan Zweig's The World of Yesterday, and continued to delight in the works of Willa Cather and Ivy Compton-Burnett. Memorable re-reads included Keats and Embarrassment, Machine Dreams and The Real Life of Sebastian Knight - all at least as good as I remembered them.
  I didn't do nearly as much gallery-going as I'd have liked, but caught an illuminating little Frederic Church exhibition and the breath-taking Barocci. Much more art and beauty came my way on an all too brief autumn visit to Venice,while a Norman jaunt also gifted me a memorable butterfly experience.
  The real high points of my year were of course the birth of our granddaughter Summer and the February visit of our daughter and grandson Frankly Adorable Sam - but this is not a Family blog. What is seems to be becoming lately is something more like a Poetry blog. I've posted many more poems this year than ever before. This wasn't really planned, but I hope they have contributed to the great work of sharing some of life's pleasures, which is what this blog will always be about, if it's about anything.


  1. A newcomer to the blog, Nige - recommended by Bryan Appleyard. Many thanks for what I've seen so far. Great poems but I've particularly enjoyed the art, too. Best wishes for the New Year

  2. Thanks for another year of Nigeness, which certainly met your goal of 'sharing some of life's pleasures'. A couple of years into my seventh decade, I am increasingly ruthless about limiting my attention to the important things in life, and Nigeness remains one of them. In fact, your retrospective look at 2013 coincides with the arrival by mail from the UK of 'The Man Who Went Into the West', ordered shortly after your appreciation appeared on the Dabbler. Many thanks again and best wishes for 2014.