BK Ariculas-025154

I hope you will all cut me a little bit of slack: I’m shockingly behind with, well, everything at the moment. There’s 1000s of emails  which I need to read, reply to & file and I have two outstanding sets of giveaway recipients to announce.

First off was the copy of Jasper Conran & Andrew Montgomery’s ravishing book Country. There were some brilliant comments, and it was very hard to choose a recipient. So many glorious evocations of place, so many extraordinary writers amongst you. (Do go & read the comments – they are inspiring. I am very lucky to have such wonderful readers.)

I am giving the book to Khatija, who reminded me that it can be very easy to take untrammelled access to the English countryside for granted. She wrote:

“Without a doubt, Dartmoor. There’s just something about its harsh barrenness that amplifies its raw beauty. I love being able to see for miles, walk in the footsteps of giants, be soaked to the bone but totally at peace all at once; it was also my first experience of the English countryside.

“You are soaked in cold rain/Like a pelt in tanning liquour.” When I first read these lines in English class as a young teenager, I felt I instantly recognised the feeling – it was very much like waiting for a bus on those awkward stops where there’s no bus shelter and you’ve been caught in a downpour. Then, “The moors swollen waterbelly/Sags and quivers…” and suddenly poetry was a foreign land once again, just as the English countryside was to me.

I think part of that is where I was born – Hackney, East London – to parents whose only experience of the English countryside had left a dark shadow: a racist haven, distinctly unfriendly with poor vegetarian food options. But the poets said differently: Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney and Coleridge were amongst my favourites. It was in their shadow that I first took out my OS map, compass and printed instructions to Hughes’ memorial stone in the middle of Dartmoor. I did it alone, somehow I needed to, and I’ve never looked back since.”

Second up is the LLG Facebook giveaway for a copy of The Genius of Designby Penny Sparke. The entries are here, and the two giveaway recipients are:

Sam Page
Form, function..available to all.. Duallit toaster.. Classic and makes the best toast. Cup of Clipper tea and you’re sorted.
Eleonoora Kirk
Olivetti ‘Valentine’ typewriter.

Girls – can you email me at libertylondongirl [at] gmail.com to claim your copies?

Image: Andrew Montgomery from Country

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