Saint George, Saint Andrew, Saint David – I suppose there is a bit of a revival going on to celebrate their patronage of England, Scotland and Wales. But such a renewal has never been necessary for Saint Patrick, carried high and proud by the Irish the world over. I don’t know why is it so. … Continue reading Drown Your Shamrock
This year I am taking at least one road trip. The first is in the planning stages: agree dates, book ferry, consider route, juggle loose itinerary, and channel my inner Jack Kerouac: “Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” There is something about hitting the road, pointing the … Continue reading Road Trip
When time has elapsed, and you can put enough distance between yourself and whatever it is that has been getting you down, a sense of perspective will descend. Sometimes you might even see the funny side. Between the saddest lines we speak, and write and think, there can often be a gentle take on it … Continue reading The Saddest Lines
I was walking in the woods in North Somerset on Saturday with M. The pussy willow was out – goat willow catkins in little beads of fluffy moleskin. It was plashy underfoot. I was glad I had accepted the loan of some boots. We stopped to pick wild garlic and have a chew. “This time … Continue reading Wonder
Streaked, salted, grimed: it’s time to clean the windows of my flat. I keep delaying, wondering, what is the point? Especially when the weather has been so bad. I congratulated myself on my foresight when the snowstorm came at the start of the month, adding to the thickening film of sooty dust. Looking down onto … Continue reading Bathe In The Light
“He knows he’s good at it, there’s no need to tell him.” Well, maybe he doesn’t know, maybe he doubts himself, maybe there is a need to tell him. “She knows we all appreciate her – that we couldn't do it without her, why state the obvious?” Because maybe it’s not obvious to her, that’s … Continue reading It Goes Without Saying
Is there anything more powerful than music to take you back to a moment, or a place, or a person, or a feeling? Yes, there are certain smells that may transport us through time, and flicking through an old photo album can trigger memories, but, for me, there is nothing quite like the sudden jolt, … Continue reading Music Takes Me Back
I’m down in Bristol for the weekend, ‘the West Country’, as it is known. It’s a big region, taking in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, the city of Bristol and Gloucestershire. That area associated with farming, clotted cream teas, apple orchards, cider and slow moving men in gumboots saying, ‘Ooh arr, me lover,’ in cartoon-like, … Continue reading Pardon Me?
Coincidence, serendipity, synchronicity, fate, chance, accident, happenstance, destiny: what do you call it when things just fall into place? A most unlikely alignment that leads to a most agreeable outcome. We are certainly not short of words to describe those little, ‘what are the chances?’ moments that are so heart-warming when they occur. And occur … Continue reading Coincidence or Destiny?
“Please don't tell me what to think.” There is a stage – or maybe it’s an age – we reach when that’s what we say. We have all been that headstrong teenager who knows best, has been in the world for only a short few years, yet somehow knows it all. Then we reach a … Continue reading Restoration