train of thought

Trains were a major feature of my childhood. I don’t know how many times I’d actually been on a train before my first birthday, but I do know that I had already travelled from the south east of England all the way to the Highlands, a journey that, even today, would be likely to take the best part of a day.

Even when we returned to live in the south a few years later we didn’t own a car so my father commuted to London by train and underground each day, and any holiday we took tended to feature traditional black cabs and card games played in waiting rooms at railway junctions.
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distracted by details

Sometimes it seems that my work involves so much talking and so many emails that I run out of words and need to top up the supply by reading. At such times I revert to my childhood habit of reading indiscriminately and almost compulsively.

My tastes in fiction are fairly catholic and it’s definitely a question of quantity not quality for these binges: I don’t really care what the genre is, I just want words and more words.
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naming memories

On a visit to south Wales this week, when I stepped outside the back door, I found the iridescent creature pictured above sunning itself on the rosemary bush. Without doubt, it was one of the most eye-catching beetles I’ve ever seen.

I don’t claim to recognise all the insect life of the UK, but I was surprised just how unfamiliar this one seemed: I was pretty sure that even if my Observer’s Book of Common Insects and Spiders were not stuffed in a box at the back of a storage locker somewhere in rural Spain, it would not help me to identify it.
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missing days

Although I was alert enough to remember the Chinese New Year a few weeks ago and make a semi-relevant post, my mind has been full of the general rubbish and rubble of life and I seem to have missed a lot of “days” recently: St David’s Day, International Book Day, World Wildlife Day, International Women’s Day, and no doubt at least a handful of others.

So here are some daffodils for St David’s:
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going off piste

The temperature has risen, rain has come and most of the snow has now gone. Even so, I am still thinking about snow.

Near to where I live we have a small wild park, which I like far more than the manicured lawns and formal gardens of the larger park just down the road; so it was to the wild park that I went yesterday to take photos while there was still a lot of snow around, and still the chance of more to come.
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still a blank

The snow may have gone, but I’m afraid my mind is still a blank and every faint idea leads to a dead end.

snowy cemetery
For those who didn’t read yesterday’s post, here’s a quick reminder that five of my books are available to download free from Amazon until Wednesday 20th. There are two poetry collections, a couple of books for writers, and a collection of essays written when I lived in Spain. They can all be found from my Amazon author’s page.

expect delays

I was slightly taken aback by the road sign in the photo.

On the one hand it’s eminently logical: if the road is to be closed for seven weeks, there probably will be delays.

On the other hand, the advice to “consider alternative route” seems to have been added as an afterthought – as if we all have so much time on our hands that we could realistically contemplate sitting in our cars waiting for seven weeks watching while the contractors dig holes and fill them in.
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