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december diaries


december 24th. it’s christmas eve, finally. there are silver star sequins, chestnut peelings, all over the floor, the turkey is swimming in a bath with star anise, the children are adorable, extremely excited, but sleeping now, and i’m trying to decide whether the word synodic is acceptable for use in a song. probably not, but i’ve tuned the top two strings of my guitar down a touch, and it’s as if an entirely new world has opened up, E A D G A D. these december days, so far, have been soft-focused in fog, muted by mist, there’s been frustratingly little frost this month, and no snow, but most mornings are silver soft, raindrops, pared back beauty, slow and sleepy. and, i’ve been feeling as if i’ve love spilling out of me, more even than usual, more than i know what to do with, and that touches everything, life-affirming, but in a delicate way. i think i’m too much of a romantic. i’ll have to work on this. 


i hardly sleep, and when i do, more often than not, i find my way, eventually, to a silver tossing sea. sometimes, it swallows me. once in a while, though, i go sailing, in a blue boat, always alone, paint peeling, and there are barnacles and fluorescent orange crates filled with buoys. do dreams actually have any meaning to them at all? i write them down, it’s an almost indecipherable diary, my not-quite-awake handwriting is horrid. 


gone 2am, and i’m reading about warengham distellerie, and elixir d’armorique, génépi, st. john’s-wort, coriander, orange peel, it’s a century old digestif, an entirely unprofitable traditional drink, but i feel as if the french hold onto these things quite determinedly, even sometimes stubbornly. and, most wisely, if you ask me, they are worth honoring, protecting, celebrating. between the ages of 19 and 26, i didn’t drink alcohol at all, well, hardly, one glass of champagne at an afternoon tea in london, and another sat in the back garden at 28 salisbury, i was wearing a white dress, apprehensive, the bubbles went straight to my head. i didn’t like the lack of control. but, then, i went to california. 

——–, with a norwegian/nashville accent, suggests i should move to tennessee, he’s a music studio sat in the shadows of the great smoky mountains, and he grows tomatoes, even purple ones. i won’t go.


if ever i’m to buy a house, i should like it to be in brittany, or devon, there’s a ferry, we’ll see. a chaumière, or granite penty, south-facing (to offer protection against those strong atlantic winds), and with a slate, or thatched, roof, i don’t mind. by then i’ll have grown up, and will have been taught to properly appreciate red wine, and then there’s the cider, too. i hope the floorboards will creak, i hope there’s a little and ancient church nearby, i hope there’s ivy creeping up the walls, and i’ll buy a bicycle, and eat baguettes every day. also, i’ll own a hammered dulcimer, and it will sit next to my harp. 


  1. Divine, as ever, Sophie. Your words fill me with such wonder and splendour, and wistfulness at experiences lived that are not mine. I’m grateful for you, and for sharing glimmers of your world with us. Ciona xx

    • thank you so much, ciona. i can’t say how much i appreciate this. i really hope that you’re doing well, and that your 2019 has gotten off to a lovely start. best xx

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