the evolution of fish

Today a strange hedgehog-fish creature has been going round and round in my washing machine, testing to see how various felted wools bond together and what sort of shapes can be achieved. In the grand Darwinian scheme of things my little hogfish is still rather unevolved, but while he was spinning I was making sketches, and so tomorrow he may take a step forwards... we shall see.

These delightful handcoloured engravings are from a rather strange and wonderful nature book that we have at work. I thought you might like to see.

an interesting life

"If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it. The goal should be an interesting life."

So says Dorothy Rowe in a recent Guardian article, and I think she is right. I know that when I start aiming for happiness, I flounder and begin to resent intrusions. When I search out things that I find interesting, or simply wait for them to appear, then I begin to expand and possibilities open up like a fan.

'I will have an interesting day today' allows for endless permutations. I like that.

a windy day is not a day for thatching

Autumn is blowing in. Today we have gusts of forty miles an hour - I love the sound of the wind whooshing through the tall trees which surround our house - a mixture of wild danger and the comfort of being indoors.

I do love this time of year - but then again, I love every time of year - however, this time of golden change, fruitfulness, laugh-out-loud windiness and the whirligig dancing of leaves seems so full of possibility and excitement. Whether it's the association with the fresh start of a new year at school, or memories of coming to Manchester to start my degree course, or the fact that every house I've moved to has been in the autumn, I don't know. But for me, things begin in September.