Home sweet washing machine. I had a gorgeous time in Turkey, of which more anon, but there was rather too much getting up at the crack of dawn to hike or catch buses for it to have been 100 per cent relaxing, and the lovely green landscape of the Black Sea region is brought about by an incredibly humid climate that leaves your clothes slightly damp at all times. Fortunately this weekend I have nothing to do except sleep, cook, and catch up with the Great British Bake Off (sure the highlight of the televisual calendar). I'm thrilled that it's squash season again; living on seasonal produce is a pain in February, but a joy in September, and everything is so abundant, that my giant weekly veg shop cost all of 2 Euro. Pumpkin and ginger soup for lunch, ratatouille for dinner.
I was saddened to come back to the news that Seamus Heaney had died
. Like everyone else in the country. I studied this greatest hits at school; Digging
were lovely, but Act of Union
was the one that really stuck with me; it was the the first time I'd really encountered political poetry and I remember it really startling me when I read it. I've really enjoyed reading through the tributes online and finding out people's favourites of his work, lots of which is unfamiliar to me. Scaffolding
Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;
Make sure the planks won't slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tightly bolted joints.
And yet all this comes down when the job's done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.
So if, my dear, there sometimes seems to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me
Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.