North-West? North by North-West? North-North-West?

My brain goes into a bit of a spiral when I try to remember the finer points of the compass. The first principles are easy; North, South, East and West (incidentally, should they be capitalised? I’m never quite sure) and if you bisect those you get North-West, North-East, South-West, South-East and so on. It’s when you bisect each of those that I get confused; I know that half of North-West and North is North-north-west (I’m getting tired of doing capitals so I shall stop) but after that I’m a bit hazy on it. There’s a thing called north by north west (not to mention a film) but I’m not sure where exactly it lies. Sure, I could always google it but where’s the fun in that? Besides, I’m sure OH will enlighten us all later.

Anyway, having reorganised the study over the weekend I am now, my phone compass informs me, facing almost exactly north-east. This house faces North-north-east (I think) so we get the sunrise through our bedroom window, and in the evening I can sit at the study window and watch the sunset (weather permitting.) It’s important to take time in the day to notice the coming and going of the sun, to reflect, to watch the moon rise and notice its fullness, to observe the clouds and the winds. So whether it’s the direction I’m facing or whether it’s the desk at which I am sitting I don’t know, but it feels sooooooooo much better to be here. The desk is old, made of solid wood and until the weekend covered with dust and layers of abandoned papers not to mention desk paraphernalia; but these have now been swept into a box and the desk dusted. After this I went to Sainsbury’s intending to buy Pledge * but found instead some proper beeswax and turps-based polish, which I proceeded to lovingly apply with a soft cloth until I could see my reflection in the surface. It’s very satisfying. Like sunsets, wood should be cherished and appreciated (*other brands are available.)

I don’t know about you but I actually had a brilliant weekend. Nothing much happened: I ‘attended’ a Quaker meeting and a Quaker Meeting, both on zoom; I carried on knitting my latest project, a purple jumper, and I watched the launch of Jeremy Corbyn’s Peace and Justice project which featured Noam Chomsky, Yannis Varoufakis and of course the man himself. It seems a worthwhile project so I’ve signed up to it. It’s idealistic of course, but so am I – I subscribe to Henry David Thoreau’s philosophy: ‘build your castles in the air where they belong, then build the foundations under them.’

Have a good Monday and stay safe out there.

Kirk out