A series of 45 notebooks from 1999-2005. These notebooks informed Deakin in his writing of Wildwood (published posthumously) and in the editing of Notes from Walnut Tree Farm by Alison Hastie and Terence Blacker.
Deakin describes a moment in his Shepherd’s Hut, just a short walk from the main house at Walnut Tree Farm. Here he would come to write and sleep and be closer to nature.
Sat 10th August . “I’m lying in the shepherd’s hut on a wooden bed under a wooden boarded roof like a pine tent, and horizontal pine panelled walls. Each time a nail has pierced the wood it has bled a nasty stain, creeping along the grain, blurred, as though the wood on the wagon itself were travelling at speed. A woodpecker shrieks across the field. A wasp worries the window-pane, then zig-zags above the bed.
The open door frames a wall of green: the hawthorne hedge, ash, nettles, graceful flowers of grass. All sway on the hot breeze. Dust-mites flicker and drift in the window-light. In the far corner of the hut, a stainless-steel stove-pipe and a tiny tortoise stove. In the other corner, a pine corner-cupboard, built by me as part of the hut, filled with whiskey for the cold winter nights. Cows lowing in the distance across the common”.