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This report is taken from PN Review 174, Volume 33 Number 4, March - April 2007.

From a Journal R.F. Langley

22 March 2003
The cadences of voices, their timbre as spoken in the kitchen, heard from the bedroom, the scents of the house, the games of Upwords in the front room in the evening, the blue sky at the top of the bedroom window, the red bunch of artificial flowers in the white pot on the windowsill at the bottom. Rooks and pigeons are in the huge ash trees down the sloping garden, there are herring gulls overhead, the Women's Institute Quiz Book in the bathroom, the wardrobe with the door that keeps swinging open, the cheese board shaped like a segment of cheese and with a wooden mouse attached to its wire, hung on the wall by the stove. There are photographs of family gatherings at parties, the Keble Martin to identify flowers, and Worth's Dartmoor. When the rooks come to the patio, under the bird table outside the French window, you can see they are purple. Dartington. I come here for all this, but it is already our last full day here. There is a need for another still life.

The eleven tomato plants in green, brown and black plastic plant-pots stand on the tea-trolley inside this French window. Their stems are still thin, like tendrils, with two, three or four leaves each. Light strikes through the leaves. The black compost is puffy. Each plant throws its shadow across the tray, patterned with blue flowers, on which they ...


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