Wordsworth and those ‘Spots of Time’

 

Picture of books - Wordsworth's The Prelude & Lyrical Ballads


There are in our existence spots of time,
That with distinct pre-eminence retain
A renovating virtue, whence, depressed
By false opinion and contentious thought,
Or aught of heavier or more deadly weight,
In trivial occupations, and the round
Of ordinary intercourse, our minds
Are nourished and invisibly repaired;
A virtue, by which pleasure is enhanced,
That penetrates, enables us to mount,
When high, more high, and lifts us up when fallen

– William Wordsworth, The Prelude. Book 12. 208-218 (1850 edition)

I’ve been re-visiting bits of Wordsworth’s The Prelude recently – plus several of his shorter poems – and am finding, more than ever, what an antidote to jaded feeling those poems are. There’s something about Wordsworth’s poetry that stirs up your inner world – swirls through  the heart of your thoughts and self – and settles everything back down in its rightful place, refreshed and restored.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers

 – William Wordsworth, The World Is Too Much with Us – (1807)

We need an inner restorative against the ‘fretful stir’ and ‘fever of the world’; a place where memory connects us to the moments when we felt most alive (and perhaps most connected to wider Nature); where we felt the narrative of our truest self – or the self we most want to be – shift into place, take shape. Where maybe, even, we felt that ‘serene and blessed mood’ described by Wordsworth in Tintern Abbey:

In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened…

and ‘We see into the life of things.’

Memory facilitates our own stories and, the older I get, the more active and busy my own ‘spots of time’ seem to be. There is a more insistent chiming, too, of these memories, new events, things said and things read. All the time, there are connections. Multiplying, reaching further – increasing in resonance.

In Tintern Abbey, Wordsworth writes of his return, after an absence of five years, to his ‘wild and secluded scene’ where the ‘steep and lofty cliffs…connect/ The landscape with the quiet of the sky’ and delights in that landscape and his personal connection to it:

                                These beauteous forms,
Through long absence have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man’s eye;
But oft, in lonely rooms, and ’mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owned to them
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart

A ‘renovating’ moment my mind has often turned to in times of dead-end ‘weariness,’ is a special, snowy day spent with my husband when we first met. We escaped the city, and wandered Padley and Yarncliff Woods in the Peak District. Those woods were magical places, full of mossy rocks and gnarled, ancient oaks; a place from a fairy tale or from Middle Earth. I loved their atmosphere of deep age and waiting – enhanced that day by the silence of snow. Recently, I met that woodland again (well…one that, though not exactly alike, echoed with reminders of it) within the pages of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight:

 …a deep forest, densely overgrown,
with ancient oaks in huddles of hundreds
and vaulting hills above each half of the valley.
Hazel and hawthorn are interwoven,
decked and draped in damp, shaggy moss…

– (Fitt II, 741-5, translated by Simon Armitage – published by Faber and Faber Ltd)

                                       
                                    … Such moments
Are scattered everywhere, taking their date
From our first childhood

 – The Prelude, Book 12, 223-4 (1850 ed.) 

From my earliest years, there are the deep memories of the North Downs. Mind pictures of the astonishingly huge Roman snails, clinging to the rain washed chalk; of the towering beech trees and shadowed yews, watching like knowing ancients. When I was a child, those hills seemed outside the rest of the world; an old, magic land wrapped close round the modern housing estate where we lived.

Just a step away from the pavements, rows of front doors, kids on bikes – there was this place of glimpses; hidden, hushed and full of happening. It was a land of wild creatures, and of stories – and the overlap of Time. There, I could wonder at the dart and slink of a fox, peer along trails made by badgers, and follow the ghosts of travellers along the old hollow ways; my steps falling on footprints hidden in layers long since worn away. Pilgrims had passed that way for centuries en route to Canterbury; and when, years later, I came to read the vivid tales of the Miller, the Wife of Bath and their ‘..compaignye/ Of sundry folk’ – I accompanied those characters on ‘my’ path along ‘my’ Downs, whilst Chaucer wove his magic.

Frequently now, whilst mind-drifting through ‘trivial occupations,’ scenes from novels (often those read many years ago) will unexpectedly pop into my head. Some secret synaptic connection between recent life events, and those past bookish moments, will fire into life; sometimes with flashes of new understanding and relevance; sometimes as a fond reflection on old favourites, to lighten the task in hand. Certain books are melded to various stages of life – they are the shapers and the keepers, forever related to those ‘spots of time.’ But they also endlessly make new connections; bringing new significance as experience grows, and as life and page continually overlap. Books, in several ways, become spots of time themselves.

Often, when in (a kind of) ‘vacant…mood,’ loading the washing machine, or during some other automatic-pilot task (there never seems to be much opportunity for lying on couches!) a special memory will ‘flash,’ like Wordsworth’s daffodils, upon my ‘inward eye.’ A mind-vision of a well-loved clearing in an ancient wood in Kent – a place to stand in wonder, surrounded by ‘hosts’ of wild orchids:

Picture of a Lady Orchid

Lady Orchid, Orchis purpurea

Picture of a Greater Butterfly Orchid

Greater Butterfly Orchid, Platanthera chlorantha

A few years ago, when I returned to that wood (after a twelve year absence and a lot of life changes) it was for me, in my own small way, a Tintern Abbey moment; an emotional collide of my past and present self, in a place that means so much to me. That day contained, like Wordsworth’s return to the hills above Tintern Abbey, a complex comfort; a celebration and a ‘sad perplexity’ – and something perhaps, ‘Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns.’ A moment where the self settles with a feeling of both homecoming and significant change; a complex, emotional interplay of past and present – and a tug between loss and gain, limits and possibilities, regrets and inspirations.

And so it goes on. Moments constantly chime – across life and literature, interweaving in memory and experience; in what we ‘half create/ And what perceive.’ A constantly developing process of connections that ‘spread like day.’

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12 thoughts on “Wordsworth and those ‘Spots of Time’

  1. Thanks for that, Melanie – it’s always a pleasure to read about one of my favourite poets.

    Wordsworth really did have an extraordinary ability to capture aspects of our mind that appear to defy direct depiction – that “sense sublime of something far more deeply interfused”. That word “interfused” cannot be used anywhere else now: Wordsworth effectively owns that word.

    The poem itself has many mysteries. Forinstance, Wordsworth makes a point of stating the date of composition in the title – July 13th, 1798 – and within the first two lines tells us quite insistently that it has been five years since he had last been to this place:

    Five years have passed; five summers, with the length
    Of five long winters!

    He seems to be referring to some significance in the date, but what the significance is, I’m not sure: what did happen in July, 1793? He says he is “changed” in those five years: then, he had been “more like a man / Flying from something that he dreads than one / Who sought the thing he loved”. I find this very powerful: what was it that he was fleeing from in dread five years previously? And why does he not tell us directly?

    I can’t help wondering whether the clue is in the date. I am afraid I don’t know the history of the French Revolution well enough, but 1793 was the height of the Terror (in the 10th book of “The Prelude” Wordsworth gives us a compelling account of his enthusiasm for, and his later deep disillusion with, the revolution in France). And I can’t help thinking that his disillusion with the revolution forms the background of this poem.

    These lines particularly I find intriguing:

    The sounding cataract
    Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
    The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
    Their colour sand their forms, were then to me
    An appetite; …..
    ….. – That time is past,
    And all its aching joys are now no more,
    And all its dizzy raptures.

    Is it, I wonder, too fanciful to think of this account of disillusion as hinting at another disillusion? I am surprised, for instance, that Wordsworth uses the word “mountain” in this context: I have been to Tintern Abbey many times, and there are no mountains there. Hills, yes, but nothing that a man used to the Lake District could possibly think of as a “mountain”. So why does Wordsworth use this word here? Is it, I wonder, too fanciful to imagine that Wordsworth was thinking also of the political grouping in France – “la Montagne” – members of which were the chief architects of the Terror? I am not insisting on this: there is no reason why we shouldn’t take this passage at face value – i.e. why we shouldn’t think that Wordsworth is describing here a loss of the passion with which he had once viewed Nature. But that doesn’t explain why he referred back so insistently in the opening lines of the poem to that time exactly five years earlier; it doesn’t explain what he was fleeing from in such dread.

    As I say, this may no doubt be very fanciful of me, but having read the tenth book of “The Prelude”, and knowing how enthusiastic Wordsworth had been about the Revolution, and how horrified he had been later when it had turned into the Terror, I cannot help feeling that his sense of horror forms a subtext to this poem that is not directly stated. For me, in this poem, Wordsworth is searching for a sense of calm, of serenity,of “tranquil restoration”, that would ease the “heavy and weary weight of all this unintelligible world”. This is a poem in which he is trying not so much to make sense of his experience of the French Revolution – how can one make sense of what is “unintelligible”? – but in which he is trying to search out a new direction, in which he seeks “tranquil restoration”.

    There is so much to be said about this poem – but it’s getting late now, and I fear I’m being a bit “unintelligible” myself!

    • Himadri – I knew you’d bring my comments section to life! What a brilliant comment! Lots to discuss…. But, yes, it’s that late hour of cloudy brain wandering (Wordsworth’s definitely ‘interfused’ in my consciousness, you can tell!) – so I’ll be back when my sense of the sublime is sharper! Many thanks for your comment, Himadri – looking forward to discussing your points further!

    • Right – I’m back from the dentist…so what a relief it is to turn to Wordsworth’s ‘sublime’ – and to the points you make, Himadri… Yes, my understanding is that Wordsworth had an emotional breakdown around about 1794. The disillusionment and implosion of his ideals, brought about by his experience of the realities of the French Revolution, seem to have been one of the triggers for a major personal crisis for Wordsworth.

      Funnily enough, I’m currently reading The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth by Frances Wilson, and only a couple of days ago, I reached the part in this biography where William and Dorothy go on their walking tour in the Wye Valley, prior to setting sail for Germany with Coleridge. That Wye Valley tour of 1798 was, of course, when Wordsworth wrote Tintern Abbey. Yes – it is very interesting how precise Wordsworth is about the date, isn’t it – and how he reitorates that ‘five years’ – it could well be there is a very particular significance to that in Wordsworth’s mind. I know that he wrote in his notes on Tintern Abbey that he began composing it in his head at Tintern, and that it was complete in his mind by the time they got to Bristol – where he wrote it down without a single alteration. The poem is like a watershed in his understanding of himself as a man and a poet – a momentous discovery of poetic direction – maybe Wordsworth wanted to mark that by date, by moment, by relation to a particular transition period from five years before, to that present time at Tintern?

      But, yes, I think Wordsworth’s experiences in France are definitely wrapped up in that transition. Frances Wilson suggests that also playing a part in his breakdown, was his guilt at leaving behind in France his lover, Annette Vallon and their daughter – plus all the anxieties he had about his poetic vocation, finances and finding his way in the world. Those were all triggers – no doubt shocks to his central core, that forced change in his deepest self – but those changes are where Wordsworth’s universality comes in within the themes of Tintern Abbey and where my focus settled, among all the complexities of the poem, in writing my above post. I think we all, as we get older, receive those shocks to our core – where old certainties evaporate, where mortality comes knocking, where recovery from those knocks seems less easy once the cushioned sense of boundless time and hope belonging to our youth, makes way for the harsh realities.

      Underlying the surface of this poem there is a tension all the time between Wordsworth’s celebration of his refined, deepened and matured poetic sensibilities, his insistent assertions of gain in his achievement of that ‘sense sublime’ those ‘elevated thoughts’ – and the persisitent pushing through of lament for the ‘aching joys’ and ‘dizzy raptures’ of his youth. That’s something I identify quite strongly with – not the amazing gains in poetic achievement (I wish!) – but that sense of constant tug and push between feelings of loss and gain as I get older. Through life’s shocks and sorrows, through the more vivid awareness of the ‘weight’ of this ‘unintelligible’ world, we gain, paradoxically, a deeper understanding – a kinship with all the ‘still, sad music of humanity.’ We can’t undertand it – it remains ‘unitelligible’ – but we feel an instinctive and wiser understanding that ‘chastens’ and ‘ subdues’ – and ‘disturbs’ with ‘joy.’ In those words are that strange but real paradox of growing experience – a truly mixed blessing which is wrapped up in our longing for a simpler, happier, less complicated time – and yet, at the same time, we would not choose to close our eyes to what we now know, because we know that the flip side of pain is a deeper wisdom. Well, that’s what most directly speaks to me in personal and universal terms in this poem. But it is a truly complex piece of writing – so that is by no means all that is going on within its lines!

      Yes – those lines: ‘…more like a man/ Flying from something he dreads than one/ Who sought the thing he loved…’ are fascinating, aren’t they. Knowing Wordsworth, I’m sure they echo with many facets of meaning, including perhaps as you say, the dread of that time during the French Revolution and all the disillusionment that brought. I’m sure that’s a strand intertwined with all the complexities of Wordsworth’s emotional response to his return to the Wye Valley. There is another strand that might explain this sense of ‘dread’ I think – remember the bit in The Prelude (Book First) where the very young William clandestinely borrows a boat and rows out at night onto the lake? As he gets nearer to a ‘craggy ridge’ :

      …the grim shape
      Towered up between me and the stars, and still,
      For so it seemed, with purpose of its own
      And measured motion like a living thing,
      Strode after me….

      The young William returns with ‘trembling oars’ and:

      …..o’er my thoughts
      There hung a darkness, call it solitude
      Or blank desertion. No familiar shapes
      Remained, no pleasant images of trees,
      Of sea or sky, no colours of green fields;
      But huge and mighty forms, that do not live
      Like living men, moved slowly through the mind
      By day, and were a trouble to my dreams.

      William, I think, was experiencing an early intimation – not of immortality – but of mortality. A glimpse of a disturbing hugeness in the natural world that existed outside – and without – himself, that was totally not human and which was utterly independent from all that was human – that filled him with a sense of dread and fear. I think we see him coming to terms with that to some degree in Tintern Abbey in his developing of a sense of man’s place in this hugeness – and an awareness of a connection to ‘A motion and a spirit, that impels/ All thinking things…And rolls through all things’ and the development of an idea that nature and man work together in a process of what we ‘half create/ And what perceive’ (I think on this point he was in debate with Coleridge through discussion and their poetry). I think here he’s healing a spiritual crisis and trying to come to terms with a new development of his passions for what he describes in The Prelude as the ‘enduring things’ and how there is a kind of ‘sanctifying’ through ‘life and nature’ of ‘Both pain and fear, until we recognise/ A grandeur in the beatings of the heart.’

      We see, don’t we, in Wordsworth’s ‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality’ a continuation of these themes of loss and gain, and the ambiguous tensions between them. Wordsworth wrote of that poem that, when he was young, he was ‘often unable to think of external things as having external existence, and I communed with all I saw as something not apart from, but inherent in, my own immaterial nature. Many times while going to school have I grasped at a wall or a tree to recall myself from the abyss of idealism to the reality. At that time I was afraid of such processes.’

      I do wonder if this is all part of what is at the heart of that ‘dread’ he felt amongst the ‘dizzy raptures’ – a running from mortality that he is painfully facing in Tintern Abbey with both greater wisdom, but also a need to seek a reprieve from the ‘weight’ of the big, difficult realities – and to grasp for solace and ‘ tranquil restoration’ in the face of such an overwhelming realisation.

      There’s so much more to discuss as you say, Himadri – but I’d better just post this now – as having written so much – I’m afraid some gremlin might grab it from the screen and chuck it into the ether!

      • I’m so glad you started this blog!

        I must, I confess, have long regarded Tintern Abbey as a poem that is, at least in part, about the Revolution; or, to be more precise, about the poet’s attempt to rediscover a sense of inner equilibrium after his traumatic experiences of the Revolution. But you’re quite right: the “dread” from which the poet had attempted to flee is not specified in the poem, and this can only be because the poet did not want to make it specific; and to see the poem in such specific terms as I have been doing is without doubt to limit the scope of the work. The vague sense of terror that Wordsworth describes in the passage you quote from first book of The Prelude – his “intimations of mortality”, as you put it – is also in here, it also contributes to the dread from which he is attempting to flee.

        There is another passage from The Prelude which particularly haunts me, and which I think may be of relevance here. Here, Wordsworth describes his experience of being in Paris just a month after the horrendous September massacres:

        I thought of those September massacres,
        Divided from me by one little month,
        Saw them and touched: the rest was conjured up
        From tragic fictions or true history,
        Remembrances and dim admonishments.
        The horse is taught his manage, and no star
        Of wildest course but treads back his own steps;
        For the spent hurricane the air provides
        As fierce a successor; the tide retreats
        But to return out of its hiding-place
        In the great deep; all things have second birth;
        The earthquake is not satisfied at once;
        And in this way I wrought upon myself,
        Until I seemed to hear a voice that cried,
        To the whole city, “Sleep no more.” The trance
        Fled with the voice to which it had given birth;
        But vainly comments of a calmer mind
        Promised soft peace and sweet forgetfulness.
        The place, all hushed and silent as it was,
        Appeared unfit for the repose of night,
        Defenceless as a wood where tigers roam.

        It’s hard to think of a passage outside “Macbeth” that conveys so powerful a sense of terror. (Of course, there is a clear reference here to “Macbeth” itself.) This night of terror would have taken place in October 1792, some nine months before Wordsworth first visited Tintern Abbey, fleeing something in dread.

        Of course, I do accept that the nature of the dread referred to in Tintern Abbey is deliberately not specified, and it is, I think, an error of judgement to interpret any work in terms of biographical details, unless the author makes a point of specifying those details: and in this instance, Wordsworth clearly doesn’t.

        As you say, the poem describes a gain that, the poet believes, compensates for a loss, but I can’t help wondering whether there remains, for all that, a regret for that loss. Take, for instance, this passage:

        Once again I see
        These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
        Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral farms,
        Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
        Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
        With some uncertain notice, as might seem
        Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods …

        The smoke sent up from the woods is no mere picturesque detail: Wordsworth knows what misery it betokens. It indicates the presence of homeless vagrants. But Wordsworth doesn’t see them: in many of his other poems, he meets poor, suffering people face to face, but here, although he knows that they exist, they are invisible to the eye: he is removed from them – the sense of immediacy that is present in his other poems isn’t present here. And, curiously, he doesn’t use the word “homeless” to describe them: he prefers the word “houseless”. If Wordsworth owns the word “interfused” – so that the word cannot be used anywhere without referring back to this poem – then surely it is Shakespeare who owns the word “houseless”: “In, you houseless poverty.” These are, significantly, the words spoken by Lear when first he feels compassion for his fellow human beings. This compassion has not left Wordsworth: he can still hear the “still, sad music of humanity”. But the sense of immediacy is no longer there. Once, the “sounding cataracts had haunted [him] like a passion” – but that passion – that passion that had led him once to espouse the revolution in France – is now gone: true, he has now achieved a sense of equilibrium, but passion and equilibrium cannot coexist.

        Incidentally, the use of the word “cataract” is very interesting as well don’t you think? Once again, I am reminded of “King Lear” – “you cataracts and hurricanoes, spout…” – but the very sound of the word, with its plosive consonants packed together so closely, carries such a charge of violence! While Wordsworth clearly deplores the violence, I can’t help thinking that there remains some lingering regret for that lost passion. Perhaps I am reading too much of myself into this poem – I don’t know. But the themes of loss of ideals, of loss of youthful passion and of immediacy of response, do chime very powerfully with me. Whatever the gains are, these losses can only be contemplated with regret.

        But as for the gains, I don’t think anyone depicted them as well as did Wordsworth. You quote a passage from The Prelude where Wordsworth describes a kind of “sanctifying” through “life and nature” of “Both pain and fear, until we recognise/ A grandeur in the beatings of the heart”. Such words are unmistakably Wordsworth’s. but I’m afraid I can’t remember where in The Prelude they occur. “A grandeur in the beatings of the heart” – who else could have written that? That’s magnificent!

        Incidentally, in the introduction to his translation of the Bhagavad Gita, Juan Mascaro says that if the spirit of Ancient Greece can be found in Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn, then the spirit of Ancient India may be found in Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey. I don’t think Wordsworth would have known about Sanskrit literature, but I have come across passages in the Upanishads (and, indeed, in some of the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore) that do seem to me very close in spirit to what Wordsworth describes so unforgettably:

        And I have felt
        A presence that disturbs me with the joy
        Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
        Of something far more deeply interfused,
        Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
        And the round ocean and the living air,
        And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
        A motion and a spirit, that impels
        All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
        And rolls through all things.

        • Himadri, thank you for another wonderful comment!

          Oh yes – all these things definitely co-exist in the poem, I think. All these complex strands are very much bound up in each other. The French Revolution had such a profound effect on Wordsworth, and contributed very greatly to his breakdown, and to the sense of disillusionment that runs through Tintern Abbey. In the poem, Wordsworth constantly fights this disillusionment with assertions of his gains – but a very powerful lament for what he has lost breaks through constantly, and is in tension all the time with those assertions. It comes across to me that Wordsworth is trying desperately to persuade himself of the positive – and just as he does so, the pains and pangs of regret grip his heart…. and we’re back to the push and tug of loss and gain; the lament all the time pushing through the celebratory soarings of mood.

          We are seeing a very turbulent inner journey; seeking tranquillity – grasping at opportunities for repose. We do get a sense of a man beseiged – by all sorts of outside pressures and the ‘fever’ of the world – and by those ‘tigers’ of past horror from which he is struggling to recover. Memory is very important in this poem – working in layers that look to the past, and also store up memories for the future. There are layers of time and memory in this poem that move around the poet as part of his identity and his own narrative – and the development of his engagement with his vocation as poet.

          We also see the constant tension between life’s onward movement and regret in the Intimations of Immortality Ode. Again those regrets come through with such force and power:

          ‘The things which I have seen I now can see no more…’

          ‘The sunshine is a glorious birth;
          But yet I know, where’er I go;
          That there hath past away a glory from the earth.’

          ‘Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
          Where is it now, the glory and the dream?’

          and those ‘Shades of the prison-house’ that ‘begin to close/ Upon the growing Boy’ – the ‘inevitable yoke’ – again there’s a turbulent tension of despondency and resistance. The poem, like Tintern Abbey tries to soar away from despond and is called back again and again to those plummeting regrets. As you say, the sense of immediacy is gone – something which I relate to also.

          That section you quote from The Prelude about the September massacres is amazing. The power of that is truly immense. Awe inspiring stuff. Very humbling and heart wrenching to read.

          The ‘grandeur in the beatings of the heart’ line is from the first Book of The Prelude – (1850 edition) – line 414. Fabulous isn’t it? Lines like that, as you say are just so Wordsworthian – they reverberate so deeply.

          Oh dear, I must dash, for now… I’ve loved reading your comments, Himadri – discussions like this open up all sorts of considerations. I’m now turning my mind to ‘cataracts’ and King Lear, Shakespeare’s ‘houseless’, the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, Ancient India and Rabindranath Tagore! Wonderful!

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  5. Lovely blog and lovely post. I have taken the liberty of linking to this post on my own blog to introduce my readers to Wordsworth’s ‘Spots of Time’. I hope you don’t mind. Thanks!

    • Hello Dara – thanks so much for linking to here from your wonderful post; it’s an honour to be included as a link on such a beautiful blog! I’ve just been reading a selection of your lovely posts, and serendipity seems to be at work once again – as I’ve found in your words so much that is full of timely resonance. Lately, I’ve been doing quite a lot of wandering amongst my ‘spots of time’; finding lots of inspiration and pathways to expression, and generally re-adjusting towards finding (to use a lovely expression from one of your posts which captures it all perfectly) ‘my own True North.’ Wonderful to discover your blog today! Thanks again!

      Melanie

  6. So glad to have found this! It seems your name is Melanie? I am so glad to meet you, and your thoughtful readers comments are sublime. I wish we could all get together in some fantastic place to read, and think and find our love…in the spots of time. Tony

    • Glad to meet you too, Tony! I’m so fortunate to have such thoughtful readers visiting this blog – and it’s very good to welcome you here as part of the circle! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed reading what you’ve found here. I’ve learnt so much from everyone’s insights and knowledge – so great to have the chance to share reading experiences and thoughts in an on-line space like this – the next best thing to a get-together!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Hope you continue to enjoy visiting here, throughout many more spots of time…

      Melanie

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