Friday 20 February 2015


Bert loved antiquarian books, photography, geology,
fossils, microscopes, local history, family history, walking
and cats.
He was a vegetarian.
He never married
and lived a very modest life
in his unmodernised boyhood home,
next door to our first house
until that became too much for him to manage.
His great friend M. took him into her home.
She was a nurse and she cared for him
until the end.
He was 96. She is 94.

He used to put out conkers on the wall for our sons.

Everyone should have a Bert in their life.

Wednesday 18 February 2015



and out.

Monday 16 February 2015


I'm not a great fan of sitting still in dark bird hides -
they tend to be colder than the outside,
and often devoid of bird sightings, apart from coots.
There are always coots.
But sometimes they offer shelter from a stiff breeze
and a knowledgeable birder who was kind enough to explain
 the wonderful extraordinary sight of the flocks of birds 
wheeling, blending and separating
overhead when we emerged together.
He told us that they were lapwings and golden plovers
and that they were taking evasive action because a pair of 
peregrine falcons were trying to get above them so that they could
stoop in pursuit of their prey.

We don't know if they succeeded, but the birdwatchers were happy.
'That's a big tick,' said one satisfied couple.

I scored 25 points in my
I-Spy Book of Birds.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

The joy of old age*

While Kondo-ing I found one of those little books,
so easy to give and briefly, quite amusing to receive at Christmas
but otherwise destined to languish in the loo or guest room.

It was a compilation of quotes under the title
Old is the New Young.

Some of them raised a wry smile
but not enough of a spark of joy to merit keeping.
Do any of these resonate?

Inside every older person is a younger person
wondering what the hell happened.

Cora Harvey Armstrong

(I certainly wonder what the hell 
happened between 50 and 60.)

You can't turn back the clock
but you can wind it up again.

Bonnie Prudden
I looked her up. She was a force to be reckoned with.
Use it or lose it is what I suppose she is saying.
Well I'm aching from today's Pilates class.

When they tell me I'm too old to do something,
I attempt it immediately.

Pablo Picasso

The key to successful ageing is
to pay as little attention to it as possible.

Judith Regan


I don't plan to grow old gracefully. 
I plan to have facelifts until my ears meet.

Rita Rudner

The older I get, the older old is.

Tom Baker

To me, old age is always 15 years
older than I am.

Bernard Baruch

Forty is the old age of youth;
fifty the youth of old age.

Victor Hugo.

I do wish I could tell you my age but
it's impossible.
It keeps changing all the time.

Greer Garson

I refuse to admit that I am more than 52,
even if that makes my children illegitimate.

Nancy Astor

Eventually you will reach a point
when you stop lying about your age
and start bragging about it.

Will Rogers

All would live long,
but none would be old.

Benjamin Franklin

Old age aint no place for sissies.

Bette Davis

To what do you attribute your advanced age?

Sir Malcolm Sargent:
Well, I suppose I must attribute it 
to the fact that I have not died.

Exercise daily. Eat wisely.
Die Anyway.


Seize the moment.
Remember all those women on the Titanic who
waved off the dessert cart.

Erma Bombeck

My only regret in life is
that I didn't drink more champagne.

John Maynard Keynes

* See also Oliver Sacks here

Monday 9 February 2015

A yellow beret moment

No longer do I feel harried and hounded through the day

by the swift approach of winter nightfall.

Yes, it's getting dark;
but more slowly.
This is 5.18 pm and that's
a big improvement.

The crocuses are out.

And the sun shone brightly through the stained glass

I have a sudden hankering for a yellow beret

and a bunch of daffodils to match.

Monday 2 February 2015


The knitting is going very slowly.
Maybe I could use bigger needles in future.

Or take up macramé.

Sunday 1 February 2015

A new month

knocking at the door.