A Serious Case of Escapism

In an attempt to take my life a little more seriously than I habitually do, I make coffee, then grab a pen and a whimsically-covered notebook. I plonk random pieces of fruit next to me for colour and inspiration, and read snippets of this fabulously escapist and informative book (another Oxfam bookshop gem). Funny and … More A Serious Case of Escapism

Sunset slows the day

I am rushing along a featureless fast road rising high above the London orbital, my mind muddled by a million different mundanities. I am half-running, half-walking, needing to be somewhere else, blindly ignoring the faceless cars swiping too close and too fast. Then I look over my left shoulder, primed by I don’t know what. … More Sunset slows the day

Meeting Monday

I complain about the Monday gloom, from the warmth of my kitchen window. So dank, so dark, so uninviting out there. So I go out to meet it. It’s mild. I don’t need gloves, but a gust of wind tugs back my hood and I let it go. The rain has stopped. Branches reach above … More Meeting Monday

A Walk in the Park

Cold, bright and still. It was all about light, shadows and textures at Knole today. A brisk run for me and a walk in the park for the deer.  

Winter blues whispers and prickly tennis balls

The evening light is leaving us, and the nights are growing cold, but colours like these keep winter blues whispers at bay. I find crabapple red. And sweet chestnut green and brown. Pretty for decoration or delicious for dinner. (Just be careful when scuttling over a sweet chestnut carpet. It’s like negotiating carelessly strewn prickly … More Winter blues whispers and prickly tennis balls

Burning Leaves

A blue sky warms leaves as they burn into the new season. A fern breathes in light on the day of the equinox. And there is tension in the air as the rut approaches. Autumn stakes a delicate claim on Knole Park as summer says goodbye.

European Gardeners

Just as Brexit discussions are finally commencing in Brussels, four Europeans are executing a complete transformation of our garden, in full blast of a fierce heatwave. They toil determinedly for long hours, sweat trickling in streams down their temples. Cheerful and polite, they unearth and present us with museum pieces from the last century which … More European Gardeners

A Sussex Summer’s Day

This was once a Second World War airfield used to defend the South Coast of England. It saw a huge amount of action (and devastation) throughout the war. Now it’s gone back to its agricultural roots, and huge glasshouses are home to aubergine and pepper plants. There’s a museum too. Best of all are the … More A Sussex Summer’s Day

French Toast Works

It’s hard to please a teenager. Required are: patience, a nonchalance to match his/hers, and an easy readiness to serve up a tasty breakfast at the first hint of willingness – and ample time – to eat it before the inevitable slam of the front door bids a wordless farewell. I seldom possess all of … More French Toast Works