Tuesday 30 October 2012


I knew I'd be glad I'd bought the jug.

Sunday 28 October 2012

The niche

The whole house was covered in 
a fine gritty layer of tile dust
when we arrived.

I cleaned one niche
and picked the last remaining flowers
from the garden.

The bottle came in from the garden too.

Work proceeds at a glacial pace.
One day I will tell the story
of our niche in the country.

Flowers in the House with Jane.

Wednesday 24 October 2012



But not fatally.

If someone judged that this engraved claret jug
was worth stapling together when the handle broke off,

then I thought it was worth bringing home for £4.

Here is someone else who admires
the art of the creative repair.

Monday 22 October 2012

Artful simplicity

After the alarums and excursions of the last few weeks
it is a relief to rest my gaze in some peaceful places.

Kettle's Yard, Cambridge,
where you are invited to sit on the chairs 
and read the books on the shelves.
Artful simplicity. Admission free.

Alastair Hendy's Home Store, Hastings
where you are invited to covet discreetly price-tagged
utilitarian homewares
laid out in carefully created room settings

and rather to our surprise,
to eat in the kitchen, if you happen on the place
on a Saturday or Sunday lunchtime.

So we did, and I had an excellent crab bisque,
served up in a little saucepan.

Nostalgia and simplicity.
The watchwords for advertisers in a recession.
I'm as susceptible as the next person,

but I did baulk at the wobbly Victorian wooden loo seat.

And please, never bring back Izal toilet paper.

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Glad to be here

 I went up to town yesterday,
by train and then by tube.
A young woman ahead of me
was carrying a sleeping baby
in a buggy, up a flight of stairs.

The next ascent was by escalator.
She was still some way ahead of me
but I saw that she was struggling to balance it
and tipped slightly into the people walking up
before she righted it.
But as we neared the top 
I saw that people were not moving off.
They couldn't, 
because now the front wheel of the buggy was stuck.
We piled inexorably into each other.
And as it dawned on me, surprisingly slowly,
that something really bad was happening,
I said aloud, 'What shall I do?'
and at the very moment that I thought,
'there is nothing I can do,
how stupid this is,'
the blockage freed
and we toppled onto the concourse.
A wheel had come off the buggy.
We managed to fix the wheel back on.
The other passengers melted away.
Five minutes, at most, had elapsed.
By a miracle, nobody was hurt.
The baby was still asleep.

I had to go back up to town again today.
I took the train 
and then I walked.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Best man

That same weekend,

100 miles away,

the best man

 had a ceremony of his own to attend.

Monday 15 October 2012


Our son's wedding day, October 13th,
passed in the happiest of blurs.

For once I didn't have a proper camera with me,
but every moment is clearly etched on my personal memory card
and I will never forget it.

He has the most beautiful wife
and now we have a delightful daughter-in-law.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Sunday 7 October 2012

Back light

A puzzling illumination
stopped me in my tracks.
The sun was not setting in the East.


These smoke bush leaves were backlit 
by the light bouncing
from a West facing window.

If I hadn't started a blog, 
these and a thousand other miniscule moments
would have been lost to me.

But more importantly 
I wouldn't have had the pleasure of
 seeing, reading, hearing and learning 
so many other fascinating things,
sent out into the world by bloggers 
for their moment in the sun.

My blog, somewhat to my astonishment,
 is still here four years later.
And if you are too,
then thank you very much
for backlighting these pages,
from the North, South, East or West.