Times Past

  It was mid-morning and I was drinking a hot chocolate at one of my favourite cafes. The sun was stronger than usual, there was hardly a cloud in the sky and the waitress had just begun to set the tables for lunch. Locally known as Chez Marie-Cath - it has no name sign outside -…

The Curious Contents of the Garden Shed

We spent the last two nights of our holiday on a Brittany island in a ‘converted farmhouse’ with its ‘landscaped garden’.  We arrived at the Bed and Brefast to find the front drive freshly raked, the beds on either side weed-free, and the plants within perfectly aligned. Janine welcomed us; she was relaxed, tanned, slim and smartly dressed. In…

Tales from Two Exhibitions

    I rarely come away from an exhibition without some new insight. The exhibits themselves will be important but it is new ideas that will dominate and, if I am lucky, change how I think. And so it was with an exhibition at the British Museum on ‘Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece’.…

If you want to continue receiving my blog

Hello! On MAY 25th the law changed. You are now required to opt-in to continue to receive my joecollier.blog reminders Please confirm whether you wish to remain on my mailing list . If you do, please google ‘joecollier.blog/follow’ and then add your email address and click on the ‘follow’ box. If you want to stop following, simply go to ‘subscribe.wordpress.com’, and when you…

The Piano Teacher

                                    Well before our trip to St Petersburg (see ‘Family Ties’, ‘joecollier.blog’; 29 April 2018) we had decided that on one of our evenings we would go to a concert. After some negotiation, tickets were booked for a…

Family Ties

  My wife, Rohan, has been dreaming of visiting Saint Petersburg since her teens. She has a warmth for Russia, for Russian literature and for the Russian language and, fittingly, she studied Russian at school and took it up again after retirement. For years, Rohan has cherished a photograph of her grandmother, Annie Forsyth, taken…

One Man and his Dog

  This story tells of an episode that occurred in a tiny village in Brittany. It is here, in Tréguennec, that we now spend much of the year and where we witnessed a series of events that brought feelings of pride and shame in equal measure. Although the episode is now over, thoughts about it…