this oak is

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been really struck by how colourful the oak trees I see on my morning walks are at this time of year, with their wild orangey-red foliage so different to the surrounding trees heavy green. So here’s a poem I wrote in my head about those oaks this morning. The…

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dressing up . . . 1970s style

I’ve been suffering with a migraine, and am still feeling very ropey, so thought I’d just follow on from yesterday’s post about masks and performance, with a few images (and words) about my childhood – in which costume and dressing up played a significant role – and which Pilar is now drawing on in the…

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over again

When do you read something over again? There are crime novels to which I frequently return (those of Josephine Tey and Marjorie Allingham are particular favourites) and, when I’m ill or low, I often pick up books enjoyed in childhood (Paul Gallico, Giovanni Guareschi). My main reading for pleasure now tends to be non-fiction, and…

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a reading week

Eric Ravilious, Cuckmere Haven (1939) Thinking about what I might write about here yesterday, it occurred to me that, despite the fact that reading takes up a fairly large proportion of my time, I’d never used this space all that much to talk about the different books that I enjoy. I think that part of…

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In search of Miss Lenton

(1. Suffragette, chained to railings.) What a feast of images and words today! As you know, I’m a writer with a background in archival research and women’s history, and today I’ve persuaded fellow writer, and friend of KDD, Michelle Payne, to share some of her own historical research about the British women’s suffrage movement. I’m…

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Fabrication

Good morning! A poem today. Earlier this week saw the 250th anniversary of the birth of William Wordsworth – a poet who has, for the past couple of centuries, often set the ideological terms of the writing of landscape and nature. I’ve been thinking about Wordsworth’s particular “Romantic” landscapes quite a lot in recent months,…

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talking to myself

Good morning! Over the past few days, the air has really come alive with warblers, as more and more migrant birds reach our part of Scotland, and yesterday morning, skylarks began adding their voices to the chorus – always a happy sound. I’m now awaiting the return of our housemartins and, as we’ve seen the…

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walking words

Good morning, everyone. Today I thought I’d share with you one of the poems I recently read at Write by the Sea. I’m someone who loves walking, and since my stroke in 2010, I’m also someone who has a disabled body. If you’ve read Handywoman, you might remember that a really formative moment in my…

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wheesht

Wheesht is published! You can now buy the book in the KDD shop, find out more about it at its dedicated website and we’ve even produced a set of 12 jolly postcards featuring the wonderful illustrations that Tom created for each chapter of the book. If you were part of our club earlier this year,…

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Collective journaling

As we approach the start of Knitting Season, I thought I’d write a few posts about how I use (and have used) journals. I imagine many of us think about journals as deeply personal spaces, and yet my most formative experience of journal keeping was collective and not individual. (Because this story belongs to others…

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heid haiku

A chance exchange on twitter last week (with a poet who shares my name) got me thinking about possible associations between hats and poetry – between heids and haiku. Couldn’t a heid be something like a haiku? Both are small things, of a certain structure. Both are created by human hands and brains, and both…

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