nature lessons

When I was a child, my family used to attend church regularly. The minister was a kind man who cycled round the town as he said it put him in closer contact with his parishioners than driving a car would. I don’t know how the adults felt about him, but I was a shy little girl and he must have been one of the few men I trusted.

Perhaps what I remember most is that he had a story for every occasion and could turn any situation into a learning experience without it coming across as heavy-handed or didactic.
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never the same twice

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of travelling on the railway line between Gloucester and South Wales, which runs for quite a long stretch beside the Severn Estuary.

I usually try to sit with my back to the engine, and preferably a window seat so I can look out at the river. Although the view is very familiar, I can seldom resist snapping a picture or two.

Sometimes it’s of the view back towards Gloucester.
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brick walls

Sometimes it seems you’re stuck in a place or a situation and can’t get out. There don’t seem to be any doors to open onto new possibilities and there don’t seem to be any windows, either, to cast any light on the situation.

It’s all brick walls.

But I was brought up in a London suburb, in an area where all the houses were built of red brick, so bricks remind me of home.
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tenacity

I think there are certain flowers and plants that you just have to admire.

True, I would probably immediately love the poppy for the inner contradiction it displays with the brash scarlet colouring and the paper-fine delicacy of its ballerina-skirt petals.

poppy alongside brick wall Continue reading “tenacity”

floral personality

I never used to like tulips. The colours were pretty enough in the park flowerbeds of my childhood, but the neat rows of tight scarlet blooms perched atop rigidly straight stalks reminded me too closely of redcoat soldiers. I was never much of one for the military or for regimented discipline and precision.

Then, some years ago, I read a poem that made me look at tulips afresh and see that they express more personality and attitude than many cut flowers.
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