Blog Journal #6 November

Blog Journal #6 November

Shorter days

Lockdown days of writing and reading

16th November 2020

It is early in the morning and it is still dark and I am at my desk writing this month’s blog journal and we are deep into autumn and also our second lockdown, outside the wind has been howling and blowing fallen leaves around like confetti, now there is rain hammering against the window.

The days are now much shorter and I find these darker mornings best to write with a steaming mug of tea or coffee on my desk. This is the time of year when life should be slowing beginning to slow down, but this is a year unlike any we have known. With the darker evenings I like nothing better than to curl up with a book. These lockdown days have been a real struggle for everyone and my goes out to everyone who is struggling. Books and reading have played such an important role in my life and I have read so many books this year, but like many there have been times when I struggled to focus on reading when news has been so bleak. Writing and listening to audiobooks and podcasts have then taken over. Luckily I have had a number of writing projects to focus on in recent months that has kept me busy and focussed.

The little walks each morning along the canal and some mornings I am lucky to catch a glimpse of a Kingfisher, these little nuggets have been so important and have really helped through the difficult months this year. Nature as they say is such a great cure I really enjoyed the recent first frosty mornings and seeing fallen leaves covered in frost and walking on frost covered grass glistening in the early morning light as if the land has been covered in glitter during the night.

A Poem for November.

The Shepherd’s Calendar: November

By John Clare

The landscape sleeps in mist from morn till noon;
And, if the sun looks through, ’tis with a face
Beamless and pale and round, as if the moon,
When done the journey of her nightly race,
Had found him sleeping, and supplied his place.
For days the shepherds in the fields may be,
Nor mark a patch of sky – blindfold they trace,
The plains, that seem without a bush or tree,
Whistling aloud by guess, to flocks they cannot see …

Many of you may recall I ran The Lost Words campaign for Primary Schools in Somerset, and I enjoyed working with some of the schools. The pandemic has caused many children in primary schools across the country have fallen behind with reading with as many as 1 in 4 children having reading difficulties and CORVID-19 will have made this worse. I have been accepted onto the Schoolreaders programme and in the next few months I will be assigned to a primary school in Somerset to assist with one-to-one reading support with children who are having problems with reading.

When I was in primary school my reading suffered while I was in hospital having an operation on my eye and while I had both eyes covered for weeks it was my teacher who came to the hospital each day to read and to encourage me. Something I have never forgotten. When I look at everything I have done connected to books especially over the last six years, it was that support at such a vital time that enabled me to enjoy books and reading and so I hope I can help in some small way with children who are having reading difficulties in the months ahead.

Despite everything this year has gone by so quickly and it is hard to imagine my next blog journal will be for December as we begin Christmas and the last journal of this strange and most difficult of years.

Until then keep safe and happy reading.

Keep safe and happy reading.

John Fish

The Last Word Book Review

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