the world goes round again

sportive wood gone wild

We went walking up the River Trym, then followed the Hazel Brook up the gorge into Blaise Castle. Robins sang in the woods; there was a big group of woodpigeons sorting their way through the leaf litter by the stream; high in the canopy, a mistle thrush was singing. I like the song of the mistle thrush; clear, austere and far-carrying, a bit Bach to the song thrush’s Mozart. I think of it as a song of hope for better days soon, a good looking-out-of-winter song. Housman described it well

…So braver notes the storm-cock sings
To start the rusted wheel of things
And brutes in field and brutes in pen
Leap that the world goes round again.

The twilight was already falling as we dropped back down the valley.

At midnight, I was up on the roof, watching fireworks explode all across the city, as more and more Chinese lanterns took to the air and ascended through the increasingly milky glow of the sky. It’s the first New Year that I’ve seen these in action; they’ve really, er, taken off. It was quite a sight.

It was on New Year’s Eve in 2001 that I joined in the festivities presenting as female among my friends for the first time. It was a good night, generally, though a small child kept following me round the party chanting ‘lady Dru, lady Dru’. There was much social kissing at midnight, and some mildly unpleasant bloke looked a bit fearful and alarmed at the thought that I might kiss him – “Er, I don’t think I’m quite ready for that…” he said. “No worries; you’re entirely safe from this quarter,” I thought…

…and at dawn on New Year’s Day, I was up on the roof again, watching the sun rise on a frosty clear day, and thinking, “This is the year it happens”.

I was right, too.

Not that it’s stopped happening, but there was something about that first year. Life was about as intense as it could get. Mostly in a very good way.

Happy New Year!

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5 Responses to the world goes round again

  1. Delia says:

    Your gift with words takes us all with you: wherever YOU go, WE go – I feel that if I were to reach out, I could almost touch those wood-pigeons.

    Ten years now, then, and may 2011 be just as good for you, in its own way.

  2. Caroline says:

    Chinese lanterns seem to have been launched for the first time here in the far north too.

    New Year always reminds me of my first and only for a long time kiss at a public festivity when out with a friend exactly 40 years ago. As the bells chimed two girls turned to us and went for a kiss, we were more timid than they were, when I finally came up for air the other couple were waiting , bored, for us to finish. No training required for that then, just took years to find another willing to practice with me!

    Really must find a way of getting up on the roof, it seems like everything happens up there.

  3. So does that mean a big anniversary party next New Year? I’ll still investing in lanterns. Did Bristol Council send out any warning notices? There is much grumbling in these parts about the danger to barns and thatch from Chinese lanterns on the way back down. Though in China, probably, they would already have thought about this.

  4. Dru says:

    Thank you, Delia.

    I had a memorable and isolated first kiss too, Caroline, though it was in the summer time. Hmmm *away on a train, now*

    Could be, Richard, though maybe the anniversary of the first pill would be a less cluttered time to party… yes, whenever Chinese lanterns come up in conversation someone mentions that they are slated as being fire hazards. I suspect it is that great British No Can Do attitude. If the damn things are a mile up in the air when the fire goes out, it’s hard to imagine that they’d be much of a threat by the time they land. Apparently there is a single instance of a lantern setting fire to a marquee when someone at Glasto set it off. Figures.

    Oh yes, my Glasto story. Glorious evening, main stage, an aeroplane flies over with a banner behind it saying something offensive about CND, a few rockets are fired at it and one flares down and sets fire to the Release tent. Occupants of tent dash out and put it out. And so on.

  5. Pingback: Blaise Castle « Mike Hardisty Photography

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