I continue to read Robert Macfarlane's "The Old Ways" and find that he is a great fan of the poet Edward Thomas. He says 'Of the dozens of people who feature in this book, Edward Thomas is the most important.' Thomas's life was cut short as he was killed in 1917 in the Battle of Arras during the First World War at age 39. Thomas was a poet and a walker and according to Macfarlane Thomas used the old ways to keep himself in motion.
It was in September 1995 that I first learnt of Edward Thomas and his wonderful poetry. My writing class friends and I were at the Haslemere Literary Festival. Sadly this was the first and last Haslemere Literary Festival, which didn't continue due to lack of funding. The weekend was packed with gems and here I learnt about the literature and life of Bruce Chatwin, (and since then have been fascinated with Patagonia and it's Welsh inhabitants) heard Simon Brett give an entertaining talk about writing plays and was introduced to U.A. Fanthorpe and her poetry. Much of U.A. Fanthorpe's poetry is written for two voices. She and her partner, Rosie Bailey, performed the poetry in true style - which I'll never forget. Todays painting is of U.A. (Ursula) and Rosie standing together.
Being in lockdown is giving me the opportunity to read or reread some of the books that line the shelves. I'm reminded of the part of myself that is hungry to learn and explore new things. The part that tires of the minutiae of life and is bored rigid by gossip and hearsay. Thank you so much Robert MacFarlane.