The Voyage Home

I didn’t take the extra hour in bed that heralded the end of British Summer Time this morning. Instead, I reset the clocks, watched a recording of last night’s grinding rugby World Cup Final between South Africa and New Zealand, and set about my customary work on blog comments.

On this, the first day of a period of lessening light and earlier darkness, we experienced further changing, mostly wet, weather. With an enticing spell of of blue-sky cloud we were about to drive out for a sunset when thunderous rain poured from above.

I pushed open the kitchen door, met gusts of wind sending streams through the door, upon the patio paving, and from next door’s guttering. In just two clicks I caught a warm, wet, blast.

I had spent the rest of the day completing my reading of the third volume of Charles Church’s autobiographical trilogy.

This is the blurb from the first edition of 1964 printed on the inside of the jacket:

I would accept this as a good outline of the man and his work, while adding some additional observations on this episode.

The quality of his flowing prose with its fine poetic descriptions continues largely as reported in my reviews of the earlier volumes, https://derrickjknight.com/2023/10/20/over-the-bridge/ and https://derrickjknight.com/2023/10/26/the-golden-sovereign/

He certainly demonstrates honesty and insight.

There is, however, one central section in which my interest wanes. This concerns the portraits recounting of his Civil Service and literacy acquaintances which lack his usual roundedness and would need more knowledge of the subjects to fully appreciate. I wonder what some of these characters would have thought of his sometimes less than flattering descriptions.

Soon after this we learn of his despairing breakdown, which may have a bearing on his writing here. He acknowledges the help of loved ones to aid recovery.

He names neither wife nor children, mentioning the latter rather peripherally; perhaps wishing to protect their privacy.

This evening we all dined on tender roast lamb; crisp Yorkshire pudding; creamy mashed potato; perfectly cooked carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mint sauce, and tasty gravy, with which Jackie drank more Zesty and I finished the Garnacha.

58 comments

  1. Rain should be on the menu these days, in your neck of the woods.
    It also normally rains in France on All saints day… When all used to go to the cemetery… On Nov. 1st, not on the 2nd. As we know my dear compatriots never do anything as the rest of the world does… ???? Here, it is bright sun until next year. Always a strange feeling. I have to look at the calendar to remember the month.
    I had never hear of Church… So much to read…
    Hope you and yours are well, Derrick.
    Stay safe in this crazy world…

  2. Ah, you finally got your our back. We have to wait until next week, then my inner clock will be aligned and back to normal until March, when the whole nonsense starts again.

  3. Maybe the portraits recounting of his Civil Service and literacy acquaintances should have been left out of the book if he felt uncomfortable with full disclosure?

  4. Before you introduced us to Mr. Church’s trilogy I had only been aware of his poetry and read some of his poetry. Thank you for sharing the books with us. Because of your reviews, I’ve done some research on him and his life. Thank you for inspiring me to do that. I am glad I’ve been getting to know Mr. Church. I always learn a lot from authors and poets writings…but when getting to know them through other means I learn as much or more. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Your photos show Mother Natures work today. ๐Ÿ™‚
    (((HUGS))) ???????????????????? (Five orange hearts of love for autumn ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  5. Perhaps that one section of the book could have done with more editing.
    We’ll be changing our clocks back next week, but it suddenly seems like November.

  6. The section in Church’s writing that lags may have been suitable at the time his book was published. We expect tight writing these days and our minds are quick to wander off to other distractions. You have introduced me to a writer I did not know before – whether I will have time to read him for myself is another matter.

    I wonder if the rainy weather inspired Jackie to culinary creativity? She certainly was busy.

    We turned our clocks forwards a few weeks back. I look forward to retrieving that hour in due course ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. It has seemed a long day today Derrick with our extra hour I got up at the same time meaning an hour earlier by the clock.. ๐Ÿ™‚ Its been a wonderful bright breezy day here today… Your book sounds and interesting read… Enjoy your week dear Derrick

  8. We change our clocks next Sunday. I loathe the early evening darkness. Canโ€™t do anything about it except count the days until we change the clocks back, or ahead, as the case will be. Rugby, a tough manโ€™s sport. I watched a summary on YouTube. Good match.

  9. I believe I could understand the author’s frustrations with the incompatibility of office work, home demands, and creative work. But I confess that my first thought on the title was the Star Trek movie with the same title. Someone on the Star Trek team must have read Richard Church’s book.

  10. Someday I hope to get around to reading these interesting books you review, Derrick. I am slowly working my way down through my current pile. One I can recommend to you and Jackie is “In Search of the Mother Tree” by Suzanne Simard. I an two thirds through it.

  11. Naturally I am pleased with the final outcome of the rugby – both sides actually deserved to win. One son is now an hour in time behind us and the other two hours … fortunately we don’t change clocks here.

  12. I woke up at ten minutes to five and unsuccessfully strived to go back to sleep. And after cursing the clocks going back, I stayed in bed with my coffee, iPad and the WP Reader.

    When I finally went downstairs I was surprised to find that Joshua, who had also woken up too early, had already cooked Sunday lunch for heating up later!

    I woke up at the same time this morning too and Iโ€™m doing exactly the same as yesterday! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. It always seems a pity that rugby is so limited in its number of teams that might justifiably claim themselves capable of winning the world cup. It seems far fewer than the number who might win the football world cup.

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