An Aside on Fate

As long as I can remember, my mother has dismissed matters of concern with the words “It’s fate!” Meaning: don’t worry about things you can do nothing about (although saying those words has never saved her from sleepless nights). Recently, my eldest son was sitting a test at a random location (not for COVID-19, but … More An Aside on Fate

Tello y Tazgona

A love story from Andalucía (adapted from Lorenzo Valla’s 15th century version of the Legend of La Peña de los Enamorados). A young man once served as a slave in the house of a Moorish leader in the Kingdom of Granada. The man’s name was Tello, and he was a Christian soldier who had been … More Tello y Tazgona

A Love Story

I didn’t think I was writing a love story. I didn’t think I was writing a sad story. Nor one with uncomfortable truths. I thought I was writing a sunny story set in a Spanish Sierra, and I started with someone very similar to Elena, the Tortilla Maker. A story intended to be life-affirming and … More A Love Story

A White Hart

A white hart. A light leaf. Aflight fern. A Thursday morning at Knole Park in mid-September.

Trust in time

It’s our last breakfast in Algodonales, Spain, Summer 2018. We sit on red plastic chairs at a small pavement café and find that our table has a mind of its own. We wedge napkins under its thin metal legs to correct the wobble, and enjoy brief seconds of success before someone rests an elbow and … More Trust in time

The Lady

Last time I was in Cambridge I ran past a lady. A ‘lady’ because she held herself so. It was a bright Sunday morning, early and quiet, and I had emerged from the secret gardens alongside Vicar’s Brook – a magical land of giant daisies and squashes, sweet peas and potatoes – to a prosaic … More The Lady

Silver not Grey

Yesterday, my daughter pointed out the grey in my hair. She thought she was being helpful. It’s not the only thing I’ve been reminded about this week. For example, the ‘lockdown-logue’ that I’ve forgotten to write. It started last Monday with a tight scrawl. Tuesday saw a looser enthusiasm which tailed off around mid-week, and … More Silver not Grey