Two days ago, near Cartmel, we saw a rainbow and someone tried to remember a mnemonic- an aid to remember that spectrum of colour. He searched his memory: red, orange, yellow- Richard of York, blue Bosworth, v Violet ( cant be V for victory since Richard was killed at Bosworth.)
I tried to separate the colours of the rainbow and name them, but they blurred together and were lost – like that mnemonic about Richard of York. I love Rainbows, don’t we all. And I like the evocation of Englishness, of history and literature that surrounds them. I wonder what the cultural take is on rainbows across Europe.
This is the season for ghostliness. On Wednesday night I heard a splendid talk on butterflies and moths by John Mounsey, chez Cumbria Wildlife at Plumgarth. I think the building is an old farmhouse and as the wind got up there came a wailing and a moaning down the chimneys.
I always know, when I meet her, that she'll go along with me in talking about weather and the seasons. She listened to the storm and saw ghostly shapes flitting past the window on the wind. Like drifts of smoke, pale against the darkness. When she got up to take the dog for a walk she watched them, puzzled.
As she walked the lane in darkness she listened to the voices of the wood, trees creaking and groaning in the winds, mystery noises. A beam of light from her torch caught red eyes watching her, the creatures of the night. And little eyes, closer to the ground. It was eerie and unsettling.
During the day, she uses a powerful light to focus as she works. No room for imagination or error here.
Like the mysterious creatures of the wood, she chooses to be elusive, anonymous. Write what you like but don't put my name. They’ll think I’m odd, she says. I think she is wonderfully alive.