threads of memory

At this time of year, the rural hedgerows and urban edgerows froth with white lacy flowers.

I’m not sure I know the difference between cow parsley and cow parsnip, wild carrot and hogweed, chervil and hemlock, or a host of other white-flowered umbellifers, but they always trigger a singsong voice in my head:

Queen Anne’s lace, Queen Anne’s lace,
You’ll find it growing all over the place

Continue reading “threads of memory”

never too late

Far too many people boast talk about taking up hobbies late in life and blithely claim that it’s “never too late to follow your dreams”.

As a little girl I don’t think I had many dreams. I certainly didn’t have many original ones. I know that I dreamed of having thick, raven black locks, like Tiger Lily in Peter Pan, Cleopatra, or the Queen of Sheba in the illustration in my Bible. But although I don’t think I ever actually read Anne of Green Gables, I know what happened when she dyed her hair and I never wanted to take the risk.
Continue reading “never too late”

small blues

Some fifty plus years ago, when I was a little girl, my mother made my brother a butterfly net out of a bamboo garden cane, a hoop of wire and an old net curtain. I don’t know how often he used it, but I suspect it wasn’t that often.

Whether he tired of it in the first few weeks, or whether it was when it came out of the shed on the second summer and he was off on his bike in the park with his mates, somehow, I managed to inherit it.
Continue reading “small blues”

monsters & fairies

There are stories that parents tell their impressionable children that remain with them for their whole lives. I’m not sure why I’m feeling nostalgic, but I’ve been remembering two such stories, one from my mother and one from my father.

Both are set in the dim and distant past, when we lived in Scotland.
Continue reading “monsters & fairies”

bridging the gap

I’m pretty sure that when people think of Wales, and in particularly of Welsh architecture, the images that spring to mind are of grey stone castles – moats and keeps, flying buttresses, gatehouses and turrets, crenellated parapets and battlements, embrasures and arrowslits.

The castles of Wales are certainly wonderful, and just typing up that list of terms has set my spirit soaring with the sheer joy of fairytale magic, medieval romance and valiant deeds of derring-do. Continue reading “bridging the gap”