A summer evening on a village green. The sun glitters through the trees, its glow illuminating the white big top tent that nestles amongst dozens of liveried circus wagons. From inside the tent, children’s laughter peals out into the evening. A crowd gasps… then applauds wildly. The air is balmy, candy floss scented. It is a scene that feels at once centuries old and freshly thrilling. This is Giffords Circus.
‘A green thought in a green shade’. It’s a phrase from Marvell’s poem, The Garden, that has stayed with me since my English student days: to my mind a perfect distillation of the calming effect of spending time immersed in nature. This weekend, we stayed in a Yorkshire wood, at Jollydays with Canopy & Stars: a weekend of exploring, sleeping and eating under a canopy of soothing green shade.
For August, The Year in Books is taking a brief hiatus. It’s been a busy few months for me, and several of my most recent reads remain unfinished (or, in the case of Villette, yet to be started!). Later in the month we’ll be taking a trip to a wifi-free, TV-less cottage in France. I have a stack of books to take with me, and I’m hoping to catch up on all of my reading.
Incredibly, over 100k images have now been tagged to #littlestoriesofmylife, over on Instagram. It’s a hashtag that I started for celebrating and/or sharing the tiniest elements of the stories of our lives. Small doesn’t equate to insignificant: these are the little moments that add up to the narratives that carry us all.