A blank space filled

They're building houses on the field. Not in the field: the field has gone. On it, on the site that it once occupied. For a hundred years, it was a field. Before that, common land perhaps, before the village spread up the hill to encompass it. I don't know. The developers haven't grubbed up hedges … Continue reading A blank space filled

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Lodestone – the work of Benjamin Myers

Benjamin Myers is a writer whose time has come. Recent winner of the Walter Scott Prize for his stunning The Gallows Pole, Myers has been a prolific voice of the English North for several years, and his wider renown is thoroughly deserved. It also comes at a fertile time for writing from the North of … Continue reading Lodestone – the work of Benjamin Myers

Cornwall: ancient stones

"The stones, like the natural granite cast up from the earth by nature, defy the centuries. To stand beside them...on the heights of West Penwith...is to become...an astronaut in time. The present vanishes, centuries dissolve...here in the lichened stone is the essence of memory itself. Belief in immortality...Man's answer, from the beginning, to the challenge … Continue reading Cornwall: ancient stones

Habitat and Habit: “Reservoir 13” by Jon McGregor

Warning: contains spoilers, sort of. I read Jon McGregor's debut novel, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, when it came out in 2003. I was, I confess, immediately envious of his talent, given that he's two years younger than me. Ah well, some people have it. This is the first novel of his I've read … Continue reading Habitat and Habit: “Reservoir 13” by Jon McGregor

Cornwall: two landscapes

Driving west on the A30, it's impossible to miss the post-industrial landscapes of clay- and tin-mining country. Whatever your feelings toward them, they are impressive, and very different from each other. Clay mining - the Cornish Alps - sprawl over the area north and west of St. Austell (and give the Eden Project it's home). … Continue reading Cornwall: two landscapes