I recently finished reading Emil Zola's La Bête Humaine. It is a dark book about betrayal and murder. But there are marvellous descriptions of steam trains thundering past a level-crossing keeper's cottage where some of the action takes place, and in the cabin of the locomotive where the driver and the mechanic struggle to control the engine for which the are responsible. The book seems to vibrate with the jolting train, the express between Paris and Le Havre, and you are left stunned by its swift passage, as you are by the remorseless progress of the story, from murder to murder.
Leaves fly horizontally past our bedroom window this morning like birds.
I wake with my favourite lines in English poetry in the forefront of my mind:
"At last he rose and twitched his mantle blue:
Tomorrow to fresh woods and pastures new."
But I am not going anywhere.