Busy week, let’s see – highlight: finishing Slow Man by J M Coetzee. Now, I know I rave about this guy and it’s easy – he is a Nobel prize winner after all – but I just love his style. Someone once said about Beethoven that every note seems to be the right one, the only one that can fit in its place. Well, Coetzee is the same. I am looking for cock-ups, the disingenuous, repetition, a false turn; but nothing. All I see is tight prose, no fancy twists of time and place, no verbal gymnastics. Just that simple style, nailed to a strong examination of character and interlinked with a dry humour and humanity! It’s what I must aspire to.

Went for a run on Sunday, 30 minutes, exacerbated a nagging pain I have had in my hip since cycling 3 miles on a flat tyre last week. Seems to have eased now (Friday). Bev had a few aches and pains recently, bemoaned their increasing frequency. “Welcome to the forties,” I told her. God knows what the fifties will be like (not there just yet).

Cold here in Bury this week, spilling over from a freezing Europe. No snow yet though. Are we expecting any? I always am when it gets cold, sort of makes up for all the suffering. Yet when it’s fresh, dry, the sun is out, what better weather. You have the feeling that the world is being scoured, stripped dry; all those damp, clinging leaves and the detritus of old autumn shrivelled and parcelled into topsoil. New growth lies ready and waiting, just under the surface of the ground, of the mind. And the English weather, the seasons of growth, decay and dormancy are perfect for poetry: Inspirational, invigorating, enthusing!

Except, I think I have a cold coming on…