Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Kelmscott Calendar

Browsing through Morris’s Collected Letters again, I picked out a few genial month-by-month highlights across the range of his pleasures and activities at Kelmscott manor. If they don’t coincide with your own favourites, do feel free to add yours as Comments below. There are plenty more where these came from, certainly.

January: ‘violets out, and acconites, and the snowdrops are showering all about’ (1876).

February: ‘Edgar got 3 smallish pikes ... Ellis captured a monster under the Berkshire side of the Old-Weir pool; he weighed 17 lbs’ (1878).

March: ‘the rooks and lambs both singing around me’ (1889).

April: ‘The Fritillaries are coming up fairly well’ (1890); ‘The beautiful hepatica, which I used to love so when I was quite a little boy, in full bloom’ (1895).

May: ‘lots of tulips out looking beautiful: the white blue-bells & some blue ones ... that cherry-tree near the arbour opposite my window is a mass of blooms’ (1892).

June: ‘Raspberries any amount’ (1889).

July: ‘fruit-picking-jam-making, great fun’ (1892).

August: ‘the kingfishers very busy. One ducked down into the water before me and came out again with a little fish’ (1888).

September: ‘that delightful quickening of perception by which everything gets emphasized and brightened, and the commonest landscape looks lovely; anxieties and worrits, though remembered, yet no weight on one’s spirits’ (1887).

October: ‘robins hopping and singing all about the garden. The fieldfares, which are a winter bird and come from Norway are chattering all about the berry trees now, and the starlings ... collect in great flocks about sunset’ (1872).

November: ‘out on the flooded river ... the wind right in one’s teeth and the eddies going like a Japanese tea-tray: I must say it was delightful, almost as good as Iceland on a small scale’ (1875).

December: ‘2 fine but very cold days: this morning brilliant but white-frosty ... & I caught two good pike’ (1877).

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