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

Lovely Luffa

Last year my naive experiment of growing a luffa plant (in the relative cool of Kent) from a seed shaped in the sunshine of sub-Saharan Africa, came to a leaf-withered, sorry-looking nothing (despite having survived a nasty accident with a bike). I was sad. After receiving a lesson in luffas from Bettie in Malawi, I had planted … More Lovely Luffa

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

Solstice Sky

A crouching figure stops me from going further. I don’t want to intrude on his sunrise; I retreat a little, and enjoy my own. Birdsong beckons another beautiful day, but Knole’s deer are elsewhere. It’s just me, the crouching stranger, and the sky. A perfectly still summer solstice. The man stands and starts to walk … More Solstice Sky

24 hours in London – chat, clues and comedy

By the time we reach the River Thames, No. 2 has taught me everything I need (or want) to know about sharks (we’ve been travelling for just 35 minutes). A chill wind whips up, so I tug my scarf tighter. My son stands at the river’s edge, moving breezily on to the subject of the seals which (apparently) splash in the murky dark depths below us. So start … More 24 hours in London – chat, clues and comedy

Happiness is Orange

I ask No. 4 what he thinks ‘happiness’ is, as he’s suggested the word as a title for this new post. “Well, Happiness is Orange.” A pause from us both, but I don’t stop slicing cucumber for his lunchtime sandwich. I need soft questions, nothing too direct. Maybe just a little eye contact. Best to unwrap the surprise of his answer gently. Slowly, No. … More Happiness is Orange