There’s no sun up in the sky
Recently back in the swim after a week in the Doldrums, I’m reminded of an artist friend’s tale of a telephone conversation with his elderly aunt, when builders replacing the roof slipped and broke through the ceiling into his studio, filling the house with soot and plaster dust. ‘I’m phoning you from chaos!’ he complained. Her reply: ‘Oh I didn’t know you were in Greece, dear.’ Curious, the way we make a geography of states of mind; as if despair or delight were foreign countries we could visit and as easily leave behind. ‘In heaven, I’m in heaven’ the song goes – but only when ‘we’re dancing, cheek to cheek’.
Thanks to Raymond for his Auntie Margaret story
Bruce Springsteen's Desert Island Discs and Eddie Mair's Monday inteviews can be heard on BBC iPlayer
John Burnside's My writing day was published in The Guardian last Saturday 4th February
You can listen to Etta James sing Stormy Weather here
All photos (except the whales) were taken in Cambridge University Botanic Garden on 10 February