clichés and home-comings

I’m currently taking a poetry class where many of the students are from overseas. They know England from their reading – many have studied English Literature – but this is their first personal experience.

Knowing the country and its culture as well as they do, it must feel like a sort of home-coming. It certainly provokes such delightful situations as when one asked about the flowers on the secretary’s desk: “Are those daffodils? Like Wordsworth’s daffodils?”
Continue reading “clichés and home-comings”


car driving on flooded road

I guess the locals didn’t build enough snowmen.

(See the BBC story Can building snowmen really help to prevent flooding?)

snow song

snowy landscape

One last snow post for the moment, as rain is forecast now and they say it may all clear soon. An earlier version of this poem was posted a couple of years ago; I haven’t made huge changes, though I’ve added line breaks and tweaked it a little.
Continue reading “snow song”

snow warnings

weather warning colours

It’s a long time since I was resident in the UK and there are things that catch my attention although I’m sure most people take them for granted. I giggled childishly, for example, at last night’s weather forecast, when they announced a “yellow snow warning”.

I thought Frank Zappa warned us about that decades ago.

discussing whether

 snow on bare tree branches
When I’m in Spain I can go for weeks without watching or reading a weather forecast: que será, será and we’ll deal with it when it happens. In the UK, though, weather is a sort of national pastime, and I’ve known whole days planned around which TV channel is showing the weather forecast and at what time.
Continue reading “discussing whether”

sun, snow, sierra

Yesterday at 9am it was still so dark I was hardly able to see whether the garden was still there or whether it had either disappeared under flood-water or been blown away by the wind. Today, though, at around 8:30am:

Early morning mountains sprawl
on the horizon

Gredos snow at sunrise


Snowfall in the suburbs:
commuter cars
wear Father Christmas beards.

Yes, it deserves an accompanying photo, but there has been so much talk recently about using cameras in public places that I was hesitant to take one. In central London yesterday there was little more than:

A silent scampering of snow

but half way through the afternoon, when I headed west on a train from Paddington, it was still apparent that there had been far more snow outside the capital.