Friday, 1 January 2010

Twenty-ten




Happy New Year to all those who read or follow this blog!

On New Year's Eve, the abbey bells start ringing at about 11;45, grant a brief silence, sound the twelve bells for midnight, then go a little wild for a few minutes before subsiding. Fireworks sputter and thud between the clangour, like drums that can't quite keep time. This morning we find a sprinkling of snow on frozen pavements. A harder frost is forecast for tonight, minus a few degrees.

My resolution is to finish the two novels I am translating from the Hungarian then leave translating novels altogether. One I may be able to finish before term starts, the other will last well into summer. I will sit down and write the prose book of memory, fiction and ideas I have long meant to write, but I will continue to translate poetry because there are poets I particularly want to translate and so few of us are available to do it.

C's resolution is to see the flocking of countless rooks as described in Crow Country. It's not far away, just a few miles. We could do it any day.

We usually walk the beach at Winterton to visit the seals in the first few days of January, always with good friends A and N, and anyone else who happens along: family, friends, visitors, publishers... Tomorrow is likely. Also tomorrow The Guardian will print (has printed) my suggestion of four lesser known places to visit in Norfolk, along with a picture of the abbey above, or so I am told, and, since Winterton is one of the four places, it might become less known, but that is the way of such articles and requests.

C and I went for a walk in the sunlit but icy early afternoon and met no-one until we suddenly came across a whole party of people walking together - presumably family plus friends - then no-one again, until the next group.

The rest of the day I have been working at Márai. The end is in sight.

There is something lovely about this dead time of year just after New Year's Eve. It's the silence. The well-wrapped soul curls up within itself and hovers. It is like being in a room with every window open, the snow drifting in. The snow and rooks.



11 comments:

Lucy said...

Happy New Year, George.

(I've read here for a bit, but not commented. I think I've just made a spur-of-the-moment resolve to do so.)

The seals sound enviable. And your last paragraph makes me feel better about the hovering, and less fearful of the rooks.

Anindita said...

Happy new year to you!

Seals, rooks, snow--your post talks of such beauty. I'm going to be in England mid-Jan to April...I hope the seals are still there.

George S said...

You are most welcome, Lucy.

Just back from the seals, which are there until about mid-February, Anindita. This is on the Norfolk coast. Is that where you will be?

Dubois said...

I'll know who to blame if Winterton is overcrowded next summer then.

George S said...

It's a very big beach and very long and the car park is only small and there are no tourist amenities, apart from the small Dunes Cafe, so there is hope, Dubois.

Anindita said...

I'm going to be at the Univ of Kent in Canterbury but hope to travel within England. Will try to plan a trip to Norfolk by mid-Feb...thanks for the tip. :) I have a friend coming to East Anglia on a fellowship as well and we were talking about how he's lucky because he'll hopefully get to meet you.

Billy C said...

And a Happy New Year to you and all yours, George.

I'm struggling to remember where the last decade went to. Ahhh, it's coming back to me. I'm less one and plus four. It has been both a sad and joyous decade.

Love the picture of the crows.

Anindita. Winterton is indeed a beautiful place. A place for long walks. Whatever the weather, there's a magical air about the place. But wrap up well if the weather is inclement.

George S said...

All good wishes to you for the New Year, Billy. I've put some Winterton photos up...

Dafydd John said...

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda George!

And keep up the good work - it's nice to have somewhere intelligent to visit...

George S said...

Thank you, Dafydd - and to you! All best...

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year George, I wish I knew this beach when I was in Norwich as I love the Romantic and empty coasts and it had happen to me to find myself in overcrowded seaside places, something that made me crazy. I am waiting for your translation of the Hyngarian Novels, since I hope that it might be either Marai or Krasznahorkai novels. Thank you for whatever translation of novels you offer us, bringing thus so close to us the precious Literature of Hungary. Have a creative New Year. With all my wishes, Eleni