More significantly, I'm very immersed in writing the new book which is mostly about here, the stories of the land, and being here ('here' still being Huelgoat in Brittany). And I'm also planning my next year's programme of courses and retreats (the two websites are nearly though not quite updated: here and here).
Also we ('we' being my daughter and myself) have been gallivanting: Breton music and dance events, excursions with friends, lectures and exhibitions in a wonderful venue I'll write more of anon.
TM has earned himself a big brownie point for wanting to come to fetch me back to Devon for Christmas (I still can't drive and the campervan is heavy on the steering), so my time here is coming to an end.
Look what clambered over the threshold into the (dirty – using the excuse of a useless arm) porch the other night, late:
I love salamanders. I remember how they used to appear en masse in the Pyrenees on woodland paths after the lightning flash-storms that occur in summer. They're supposed to be both born from fire and able to survive fire – a motif I use in my first novel, Imago, partially set in the Languedoc.
It's a joy as always to walk in the woods: almost trance-inducing, and as always some of my best creative ideas emerge here.
Each season has its own quality, of course, and in this subtle season (so far) with its mild weather, and after the leaf-fall, the architecture allows the differing limb-shapes of beech, birch, oak and chestnut to show themselves, and the rocks to rise up into our consciousness, as it were; reclining at the sides of paths like great hibernating animals from another age:
Looking for the stories behind the stories in this forest, I'm excited to be uncovering deeper layers of 'truth' in the many myths and legends (more on this in the book I'm writing).