Extreme listening

The first thing anyone said to me one morning recently was: “He never listens to a word I say.”

‘He’ was the speaker’s dog. The speaker was a young woman, instructing her dog to cross the road, but he was too busy sitting on the pavement watching the world go by. The young woman had headphones on, and I wondered if the dog was trying to make a point. … More Extreme listening

Luck Under the Bridge

I was brought up to be superstitious. I was also taught not to believe everything I was taught, which leaves me in the fortunate position of being able to pick and choose my charms. Such as blowing an eyelash and making a wish, or seeing the joy in two magpies. However, leaving a dropped knife … More Luck Under the Bridge

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

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

MilkMate

Down the road from where we are staying sits an unassuming (but pretty) ‘shed’ at the side of a driveway belonging to Ottinge Court Farm. Inside the shed are some eggs and an honesty box, a freezer and two huge vending machines. One is named the MilkMate, and dispenses the day’s milk. A brilliant innovation … More MilkMate