Author: Kit Ward

Maldon mess

A sweet disorder in the dress Kindles in clothes a wantonness; A lawn about the shoulders thrown Into a fine distraction; An erring lace, which here and there Enthrals the crimson stomacher; A cuff neglectful, and thereby Ribands to flow confusedly; A winning wave, deserving note, In the tempestuous petticoat; A careless shoe-string, in whose tie I see a wild civility: Do more bewitch me, than when art Is too precise in every part. (‘Delight in Disorder’ – Robert Herrick)

Dem bones

I shouldn’t have let myself get dragged into it, but I blame Plutarch. Pete read in the Moralia that the Egyptians brought a skeleton to their feasts, to remind themselves that despite the festivities, life is short and death awaits.

Gethsemane and Eden

Derek said: ‘There’s a beautiful fisherman’s cottage here, and if it was ever for sale, I think I’d buy it.’ As we neared the cottage, black varnished with bright yellow window frames , we saw the green-and-white ‘For Sale’ sign – the improbability of it made the purchase of it inescapable. (Derek Jarman’s Garden – Derek Jarman & Howard Sooley, from the foreword by Keith Collins)

Dodgson and his sisters

In August 1868, the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, took a lease on a house called ‘The Chestnuts’ in Guildford, close by the town’s castle. His seven sisters were about to be made homeless.

Tokens of love and loss

Hard is my Lot in Deep Distress To have no help where Most should find Sure Nature meant her sacred Laws Should men as strong as Women bind. (Verse by the mother of a child left at the Foundling Hospital in 1759)