Three Stories from a Week Away in France

We have just come back from a wonderful week in Tréguennec. As usual, the winter winds off the Atlantic were fierce and the rain horizontal but it didn’t matter. With careful planning and nifty footwork we still managed to go for walks and to tidy up parts of the garden, and during most evenings to…

Ode to the Candle

I should start by saying that I like to know how things work. My curiosity, however is selective, I have a special fascination for human inventions, the simpler the better. A few weeks ago I helped open one of the gates of a canal lock and it was thrilling to feel that I was working with a device invented over…

“Words Have Power, Use Them Wisely”

This blog was inspired by two events that occurred this Autumn. Both raised issues about words, not those written in poems or books, or even in science, but those used as people speak with one another. But the events had something else in common, rather than touching on words used in everyday conversation, both raised…

A Much-Loved Errant Watch

I am very used to losing things - I have done it for years. Most of the objects are soon found, with their loss rarely causing more than mild anxiety and perhaps some agitation. Sometimes, however, emotions spill over. This blog is about the intense feelings that occurred when I lost, and then found a much-loved watch.…

Another Special Lunch

A few weeks ago I had lunch in Paris with a close friend and it was a meal that so nearly did not happen. Tentative arrangements had started in the Spring. Out of the blue, Tom (see illustration), who lives in Australia, wrote to me saying he and his family planned to be in London at the…

In the Eye of the Beholder

Responsibility for running our home is shared. For years, I have taken the lead on repairs, building works and heavy gardening, while Rohan’s domain has been outings and matters cultural and social.  This blog is about two art exhibitions Rohan arranged for us to visit, one was a small collection of paintings by Milton Avery, an American artist unknown to us both; the other, the work of the French painter - Paul Cezanne. Within days of our return…

When Daniel Came Back to Help

Like most people of my age, my joints ache. Knees, hips, and ankles are affected and although they are not troublesome at the moment, over the summer things were different. For several months, painful knees often made it difficult for me to get out of a chair, climb stairs or even go on short walks.…

Flights of Fancy

Were I not a human being I would want to be a bird - how lovely it would be to fly! Apart from being able to go from place to place quickly and efficiently, could there be anything more liberating than taking to the air without a thought and then flying freely before returning to terra…

A Night Out

Over the years my sleep pattern has hardly changed. Just as I did in my twenties, I go to bed between 10.30 and 11.00pm and am usually asleep within 15 minutes. Then, at 5.00am - never later than 6.30 - I get up to work - which most often involves writing. My night’s six hours have…