A Student, a Fool and a Kitten Called Zoro

As many will already know, I love my summers in Tréguennec. The more obvious pleasures come from the garden, the weather, the culture, the friendships and, of course, the fresh produce - the fish and meat couldn’t be bettered. But there is more; being here gives learning French added poignancy, offers a vantage point from…

Freedom and a Kitten Called Minou

The Coronavirus pandemic has wrought havoc everywhere. Like everyone else, I faced the challenges in my own particular way and being locked up in London for months changed how I saw both myself and others. Here is a very personal account.  Although I shared confinement with my wife, Rohan, I still felt vulnerable. Whatever I…

Cows With Influence

As the River Thames leaves London it passes near our house and, with a magnificent sweep, it then heads west for Oxford and and its source beyond. The bend is best seen from the top of Richmond Hill, a vista that has beguiled locals for hundreds of years and when, at the turn of the…

Bodies in Question

On one of our early morning ‘lock-down’ walks, Rohan and I met a neighbour walking his dog. After the usual greetings and the now standard enquiries about health, Andy asked if I could clarify a medical issue for him. He, as a worried husband, was keen to understand how blood tests are used to detect…

A New and Special Friend

Sometimes I do things I can’t explain, perhaps more precisely I can’t justify. This blog tells of just such an instance. It might be the result of being cooped up for three months but that would probably be too simple. The fact is that I have just adopted a tree which, when I can, I…

A Boy Who Took a Moral Stand

Like everyone else, it is often difficult for me to know whether or not a childhood memory is genuine. The problem is that some of my ‘memories’ are based on events lifted from family photos or stories rather than on first-hand experience. This blog, however, is about a memory I know to be real; after…

Being Close While Staying Apart

 As creatures of habit, at four o’clock each day we drink tea with our neighbours. In the same spirit, two or three times each week we now share a sit-down meal with family or friends. Dealing with the government’s demand for social-distancing in public is difficult, even harder is being separated from those whom we…

A Mysterious Man in the Waiting-Room

With the news about the Coronavirus pandemic so bleak and threatening, my mind returns repeatedly to thoughts about staying safe, about the welfare of family and friends and about the future of society at large. My wife, Rohan, and I talk together about all of these issues but, we also feel the need to reminisce.…

Talking with Owls

Being influenced, indeed being changed, by my wife Rohan has been one of the most fulfilling parts of my life. This blog tells of an example of such influence. It was minor in the grand scheme of things, but still important. It relates to Rohan’s love of owls and how, gradually, this has become part…