Book of the week: Morning

Book of the week: Morning

Photographs Allan Jenkins

A timely release for the Nest Issue, Morning: How to Make Time: A Manifesto by Allan Jenkins seeks out ‘hole-and-corner’ moments before sunrise…

A self-professed ‘lark’ (which he defines as ‘one of the 10-15 percent whose sleep rhythm starts extra early’), Allan Jenkins is the editor of Observer Food Monthly as well as an author of several books. His latest is a beautiful meditation on the subject of the dawn.

Starting with a manifesto for the early riser, the book examines its subject from all angles in order to reveal the ‘science, philosophy and spirituality’ of morning. A selection of Jenkins’ ‘dawn diaries’ are interspersed with personal essays from a disparate collection of contributors (from chef Jamie Oliver to author Philip Hoare) as well as a series of essays ‘The philosophy of daybreak’; ‘Ornithology and the dawn chorus’.

Writing in the Nest Issue of Hole & Corner, Jenkins explains how he conceived of the book as ‘A call to occasionally free yourself from the demands of work or other obligations’. Jenkins himself details his travels from the Yorkshire Dales to Denmark, Corsica to Cork, enjoying those magical moments before the world awakes.

In many ways, what he is exploring here is the very definition of a ‘hole-and-corner’ – you don’t have to find a physical ‘secret place’ – living life outside the mainstream can sometimes simply mean getting up before the mainstream wakes, and enjoying those rare times when you have the world to yourself… ‘I have connected with the natural world outside and inside,’ Jenkins explains. ‘I have freed myself from my phone.’

The book culminates with Jenkins’ 20 rules for early rising  – number two being our favourite: ‘Try to steer clear of email, Twitter or Instagram if you can. Facebook can wait, so can news. You don’t need to know. Not yet.’ Morning is a beautifully quiet little book. It doesn’t preach, it doesn’t judge – it just makes you feel like getting out of bed.


Morning: How to Make Time: A Manifesto by Allan Jenkins (Fourth Estate)

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