1a. Today I am 30.
2a. There is a new post up at 12 Old Masters.
3a. My book proposal is one of six shortlisted in the Long Barn Books loo book competition. The results are posted on Susan Hill's blog. I'll hear on 30 June if it has won a publishing contract. I can't stop smiling.
4a. My new favourite riddle: 'A man in Egypt jumps into a river and shouts "I am not wet." Why?' Guesses in the comments, please, and I'll give the official answer tomorrow.
1. My brother has bought me half an acre of rainforest from Cool Earth. I love the idea that there's a little slip of land in Brazil that belongs to me, containing 22 mature hardwoods and thousands of species of insects. The purchase price will be used to pay for rangers from the area and to support income generating schemes that work with the forest rather than against it.
2. Hearing owls -- this reminds me of a line from a Siegfried Sassoon Poem called 'Middle-Ages':
'Owls in the wood were shrill
And the moon sank red.'
And a bat flies over my head, which makes me think of William Blakes' 'Augeries of Innocence':
'The bat that flits at close of eve
Has left the soul that won't believe.'
3. Louise is taking me home after a cheery supper at her parents'. A thunder storm has rolled away and we find ourselves under a sky lit up by silent flashes of lightening. Louise says that she likes it when it is still warm after the rain. 'It's softened the air,' she says.