It is amazing what can be found lurking out in the alley. Last summer, having given up all hope, I was pruning (hacking back would probably be more accurate) and found a golden apricot glowing like treasure on an otherwise barren tree. There will be no such surprises this year. I have gone from famine […]Read more "Family Planning with the Blackbirds"
A friend, a true wandering minstrel, travels around Europe on his bike with a guitar strapped to his back. He plays the bars and cafes, or busks, and earns his crust. It sounds wonderful – a life free of ties and responsibility, a life on the open road! And who hasn’t thought of jacking it […]Read more "Vanishing Points"
The tourist at the front of the queue peers anxiously into the bus. “Are you the bus to Fionnphort?” The answer is given wearily. “No. I’m the driver.” The driver, now identified, goes on to explain, in a slightly more conciliatory tone, “this” slapping the dashboard, “this is the bus!”. Having established which was which, […]Read more "The Bus to Fionnphort"
It’s early, still before nine, and I’m driving. The sun is bright and low, forcing me to squint, and the tangle of broken branches and twigs littering the side of the road are the only evidence of last night’s storm. I am heading into the old country – the vernacular half-tiled houses, half hidden in […]Read more "Collecting the Eggs"
Constable, being a south Suffolk boy (practically Essex!), may not have made it up to this quiet river valley tucked away in the northern reaches of the County but, if he had, I suspect he would find much today that was familiar. The river, slow and meandering through reedbeds and marsh, low hills of farmland […]Read more "Suffolk Pastoral"
A mid afternoon meeting is scheduled in the city centre, meaning a mad bike ride to be there on time, followed by a mad ride back to work for the last hour of the day, before a final mad bike ride back to the station. It seems crazy, but I have plenty to do and […]Read more "Twittens and Nooks"
Walking home from the station in the gloaming, something catches my eye – a partridge! It is sitting stock still on a low wall that divides the yard between the garage and the agricultural machinery workshop where they make fantastic Heath Robinson contraptions that either plant or harvest potatoes. Maybe both. The partridge (a red-legged […]Read more "The Partridge"