Boundaries, baldness and the art of listening carefully

Did you know London begins on the A22 just outside Whyteleafe? Unless you're on the train, and then it's probably somewhere like Purley Beeches. This is when you're travelling from Sussex. Of course that's just my opinion. There are actual signs up on roads that say things like 'Welcome to the London Borough of Croydon'. … Continue reading Boundaries, baldness and the art of listening carefully

The Colour of Snow

"What colour is snow?" The child had topaz coloured eyes and dimpled cheeks like punched dough. "Well," I looked down at him, puzzled, wondering if the cold had turned his head. Building snowmen on the field with thirty nine and ten year olds had pretty much turned mine, but I didn't want to be rude. … Continue reading The Colour of Snow

Happy Old Year and the Little Painted House

At what point do you stop saying Happy Christmas and start saying Happy New Year? I'm never quite sure. After all, the Twelve Days of Christmas start on Christmas Day so perhaps we shouldn't say Happy New Year until 5th January, when incidentally, you're  supposed to take down your decorations and NOT BEFORE (but who … Continue reading Happy Old Year and the Little Painted House

Bad Wrapping and the Gift of Hope

Sad fact - people have no inclination to open presents I've wrapped. This is because, instead of tantalising hints at treasure within, they give off an aura of utter tat, fallen from the back of a lorry or bought at a White Elephant stall. I tell myself it's because I'm a "rip it off" person. … Continue reading Bad Wrapping and the Gift of Hope

Empty nests and the unnecessary use of signage

I stare at the sign in amusement. Let's all get home safely? What's that all about? I know I don't get out much and I haven't, thankfully, been on the M1 for a while, but have I missed a sea change in British culture? I mean, it's a bit pally isn't it? Surely, Wishing you a safe journey, or … Continue reading Empty nests and the unnecessary use of signage

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

How Merry is Yours so Far?

I've been struggling with semantic honesty lately. Don't know why, but I've found myself analysing what we say and imagining what would happen if we took each other at our word. For an English person this could be social suicide because so much of what we say is cultural, not literal, as in, I really should … Continue reading How Merry is Yours so Far?