tangential memories

Yesterday I looked at different shades of blue and purple and the impossibility of marking a dividing point between them.

Today the flowers I have chosen are more on the redder side of purple, and are all examples of scabious. At least, I think that’s what they are, although I’m always slightly concerned about naming plants here as I am no expert and I’d hate for anyone to be misled because they trusted either my memory or my Google-fu.
Continue reading “tangential memories”

comfort reading

Somewhere in a lock-up unit in Spain, in a box surrounded by other boxes filled with books, is my copy of The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.

It’s a simple, moral story of love and truth, where faith and magic work together to set the world to rights; It’s also one of the books I turn to when I’m in need of comfort. (At least it was before I had to leave it in storage and it will be again, I am sure.)
Continue reading “comfort reading”


When I was a child, one of the household chores that fell to me was cleaning the silver and brass.

Back then, we had horse brasses hung round the fireplace, candlesticks, a brass bugle, assorted epns cutlery, a silver rose-bowl, a self-pouring (pump action) teapot and a couple of bon bon dishes.
Continue reading “multicultural”

the origin of clouds

Among the plants that evoke the summers of my childhood are buttercups, buddleia and the rosebay willow herb. I’ve posted quite a lot about the willow herb in the last couple of years, probably because I don’t remember it in Spain and now I’m back in the UK, after over two decades without it, it seems to be everywhere.
Continue reading “the origin of clouds”

back to school

I’m far too old for school myself and have no children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces, etc. – in fact, I don’t think I even have any neighbours with any of the aforementioned minors – and I haven’t been a teacher for a couple of decades. Despite this, my email inbox is full up with Back to School promotions and special offers.

I’ve been visiting my aged mother and this morning, long before I would normally consider it a civilised time to have a conversation on a Sunday, I found myself caught up in a discussion of yesterday’s unseasonal weather, school holidays, and the fact that mothers must be glad if the children are going back to school tomorrow. I think the implication was that it must be hard to keep children entertained when they can’t go outside and play.
Continue reading “back to school”



Yesterday I was busy choosing poems to read at an event at the local bookshop, so didn’t get round to updating the blog. I had a reading slot of between 15 and 20 minutes and spent all afternoon trying to create some kind of coherent ‘set’.
Continue reading “memories”

no way back

I went to an open mike evening the other day. It was supposed to be in a fairly spartan room above a pub, but the bookings had got mixed up and the SWP were there before us, so at the very last minute the venue was changed.

Arched window
Tempting though I thought it to opt for politics in the here-and-now, not poetics in some unknown and distant there, others were keen to stick to the original plan, so the readers and their audience relocated.

The new venue was a basement room, although the décor was altogether too decadent to make me feel like an underground poet. The Trotskyists might have liked the wall colour, but I’m sure the spit-and-sawdust pub setting suited them better.

I say “basement”, but I suppose in fact ground level was lower at the back, or there would have been no windows downstairs.

old teddy bear
Not that we could access them.

It seems that the world of discovery that lies “through the arched window” is out of bounds. I wonder if the square and round windows are similarly barred.

Once more, then, I find “you can’t go home again.”

Even little ted looks rather worse for wear.