Friday, 1 January 2010
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.