In praise of literalism

The lad in the chemist was polite. He inclined his head and nodded with understanding, but clearly felt obliged to invoke the rule book. "Madam, you know you can buy them over the counter," he remarked, motioning grandly towards the racks of pills and potions behind me. "Well, yes I know," I replied, "It's just...my … Continue reading In praise of literalism

From there to here…

The Vaucluse is the most beautiful place on earth. Well, perhaps not THE most beautiful. Cappodocia, Turkey probably is....then there's Holy Island. Well, alright, there are quite a few beautiful place on earth and the Vaucluse is one of them. In fact, on our recent holiday,  I found it so beautiful, that it actually hurt in … Continue reading From there to here…

The eye (and ear) of the beholder

"...If you listen carefully, the earth is singing." I swung round sharply. The two girls nearly crashed into me, their hands cradling petri-dishes filled with wood lice, ants and  a fat snail with a shell crisis. I had one of those rare moments of tenderness. "That's beautiful," I said, "Really beautiful!" They looked up at … Continue reading The eye (and ear) of the beholder

Tea and Other Transforming Things

I refuse to believe you get fussier as you get older  more experienced (we've banned the "o" word in our house due to occasional bouts of melancholy). I mean it's true that answering the question, "Can I get you a cup of tea?" is slightly long-winded these days  - "Yes please, quite strong, but not too strong. … Continue reading Tea and Other Transforming Things

Hills and giving thanks on All Hallows Eve

We're climbing the Malvern Hills,  and I'm wheezing like a catfish. I briefly consider whether dropping dead on a narrow path between trees in sight of the summit, is a good way to go. An action exit, so to speak, in pursuit of something beautiful. But decide against it. There are few walkers up here … Continue reading Hills and giving thanks on All Hallows Eve

The Unexpected Cost of Celebration

It was the biggest summer since we'd grown sunflowers from seed. I'd got a new job, my daughter got great exam  results and two days later she was going to be a bridesmaid for the first time. These things in themselves would have had me doing an Eric and Ernie style dance up the garden. … Continue reading The Unexpected Cost of Celebration

A lifetime of holidays and I’m still learning…

So it wasn't the best weather, and it wasn't the best place.  The windscreen wipers squeaked double-time all the way there and there was rain on and off all week. It was cold. The upstairs shower didn't work and the toilets were dodgy. The roof in the conservatory leaked in three places and the smoke … Continue reading A lifetime of holidays and I’m still learning…

Things I’ve lost and the art of growing down

I am one of those people who sometimes puts things down and can't find them again - lesson plans, cheques, small children. I once left my  son in the meat aisle in a supermarket while I popped round the corner for salad, then couldn't remember which meat aisle (Chicken? Beef? Delicatessen?)  He turned up eventually, … Continue reading Things I’ve lost and the art of growing down