Several years ago I found this leaf skeleton on the compost heap. I subsequently scanned it and used the image in the design of a Christmas card. By reversing it, I was able to put it and its mirror image side by side so that together they looked like a pair of wings. The recent photographs, which I have been taking of leaves reminded me of it. Here is the original image that I made. I know that, should I ever want to, I could make another, because I preserved the original leaf between the pages of a notebook and find that it has remained intact - something which I treasure, a piece of the most delicate filigree, worked by the same processes (fortunately arrested in this instance) of decomposition, that turn leaves into leaf mould.
Last night the wind blew and the rain beat against the windows. Which Victorian novel begins with the words "It was a cold and storm night"?
If there were a gift that I would ask of a passing genie it would be to be able to sing in tune. Sing, I can and with pleasure, but because I cannot achieve the notes I look for, it has, out of kindness to others, to be a solitary pleasure. So for the time being I must console myself with this poem by the American poet Stephen Crane, which I have just come across:
" There was a man with a tongue of wood
Who essayed to sing,
And in truth it was lamentable.
But there was one who heard
The clip-clapper of this tongue of wood
And knew what the man
Wished to sing,
And with that the singer was content.