I had planned this morning, in order to avoid all the build-up chat and the ITC adverts, to watch a recording of the Rugby World Cup Semi Final between England and New Zealand. Unfortunately the recording failed. I therefore had to watch on the ITV Hub with all the trimmings. But what a cracking match it was.
Afterwards I finished reading
Because of the quality of the engravings I have shown here both front and back of the dust jacket.
The frontispiece reproduces one of the artist’s paintings. Although the author does not say so, the halfpenny, or one old halfpenny, would have been the toll fare for crossing the bridge. One crossing the Regents canal at Harrow road near my London counselling room is still called the Halfpenny Steps.
Having recently finished reading Normandy ’44, depicting the devastation inflicted on the French countryside by the insufferable violence of the battle for Normandy, I felt in the need of some gentle poetic prose and bucolic beauty. It was natural that my next book would be one by Robert Gibbings, in this case “Till I end my song”, published by J.M. Dent in 1957.
The author’s exquisitely supple and sinuous wood engravings profusely supplement his riverain ramblings displaying profound knowledge of nature in all its forms; charming anecdotes gleaned from country folk and from history, myth, and legend; a pleasing sense of humour and a wonderful command of language.
As usual with Mr Gibbings I show sample sheets from the book, bearing both a selection of the illustrations and the text that accompanies them.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s plump piri-piri chicken breasts; savoury vegetable rice topped with an omelette; and tender green beans, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Fleurie.