Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween


The most recent attempt to finish a Harry Potter novel. Failure once again in spite of the cat’s unexpected attempt to up the fear factor (moral: always have a camera to hand). I realise I am in a minority.

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One stormy night this week a friend and I cycled home in the dark along the river path. A section unlit, overgrown and so narrow that we pedalled silently in single file, headlights bobbing in the dark like a pair of foolhardy fireflies. Rain beat in our faces and the cold cut to the bone but exertion and waterproofs minimised the discomfort.

Elemental. The river to our left, a dim, eerie grey-green, its surface ruffled and harried by the force of the wind. Bare willow branches tossed this way and yon, in terror or ecstasy. Wet face and hair and a pulse of wild exhilaration.

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Halloween

Imminence. Deep darkness
wraps itself around us:
hidden lanterns glow.

16 comments:

Sky said...

you are a healthy one, indeed! if i were out in the elements like that on a chilly night i would end up with bronchitis for sure! it does sound like a big adventure! (you must have strong leg muscles getting such good exercise each day!)

this photograph is priceless! lucky you for being camera ready - we usually aren't!

Dale said...

What beautiful writing. Thank you, mm!

leslee said...

Adorable photo! Lucky you had your camera handy.

Sounds like a wild bike ride. The weather these days sometimes seems alive, like a feral animal.

Cat B said...

Beautiful! Ah, the seasons...

Zhoen said...

"You know, you could be reading Pratchett..."

Relatively Retiring said...

Lovely writing, lovely photograph.
I'm interested that you can't read Harry Potter. We recently started a neighbourhood reading group, and I discovered a-new that I cannot be bothered with fantasy. I read the first 100 pages of a Philip Pullman before giving up. I have no patience at all with talking rabbits and gnomes!

pohanginapete said...

Great, evocative writing, mm. And the photo's wonderful :^D

herhimnbryn said...

Oh this is the best Halloween post I've read, in what seems to be such a commercial affair these days. YOur cat (like our hound) knows how to get attention

I agree aboout the Potter saga!

I remember such bike rides in the UK. Despite the rain and the cold, it was always an enjoyable experience.

mm said...

Sky: It is very flat where I cycle so strong muscles are not that necessary! :-)

Dale/CatB/Pete: Thank you.

Leslee: A feral animal. Wonderful. Yes indeed.

Zhoen: Never tried him. I must.

RR: I balk at Pullman as well. Yet the Lord of the Rings books are among the most well thumbed in my collection. But I go to Tolkien as much for his descriptions of the landscape and natural world of Middle Earth as for orcs and hobbits.

And (showing my age) I am a fan of John Wyndham - Day of the Triffids etc. The Chrysalids is stunning.

You could say I am a fantasy selective ....

HHB: Thank you. Wish you were closer so we could take a spin on the bike together.

Relatively Retiring said...

Ah, yes, John Wyndham is quite different - and I can show my age even more. I used to terrify myself in childhood by reading H.G.Wells and Conan Doyle, illicitly, at night.

mm said...

RR: The Hound of the Baskervilles always did it for me. One particular radio adaptation sticks in the mind ....

MB said...

That photo is marvelous and makes me laugh. A wonderful post.

mm said...

Thank you, MB.

Dale said...

Well, (in your private ear), Rowling and Pullman are simply clever pastiche. Tolkien found his worlds; Rowling and Pullman made theirs up. I enjoy them, but just as candy: they're not real fantasy.

(Never read Wyndham!)

mm said...

Tolkien found his worlds; Rowling and Pullman made theirs up.

Best comparison and explanation I have come across, Dale. Thank you.

hitchhiker72 said...

About Harry Potter... Ah, don't worry about not finishing... She's not that good a writer really, especially when it goes beyond 200 pages........... You haven't missed much!