How Rosie Won Me Over

This story is about Rosie, who, for seven weeks, came to stay. Several months ago Ollie, our youngest son, decided he wanted a dog. Through emails and photos he was offered, and fell for, Rosie, a tiny Lurcher puppy, but there were conditions - he would have to collect her almost immediately. Here was a…

All’s Well that Ends Well (2)

For my wife, Rohan and I, Scotland is very special. It is where Rohan’s father was born, where for years we spent family holidays and where, as a couple, we would hill-walk. It is also where we went for celebrations, which is why we were there last week. The plan was to spend a few…

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 in…

Mother and Baby are doing well

  Three of us sat in an annex near the delivery suite anxiously awaiting news. After an hour, a smiling midwife slipped quietly into the room holding a notepad. She checked who we were and read out her message - “Your grandson was born at 19h16. He and his mother are doing well. You are…

Blackbirds with Influence

This is the story of four blackbirds who share our lives in Richmond. One was the source of conflict; two helped resolve the difference; the fourth was a present given to mark the resolution. The conflict, which although important to me may well appear to others as trivial, centred around a full-sized painting of a…

Every Rug Tells a Tale

Turn right as you leave our Paris studio and in two minutes you will be peering mesmerised into the Galerie du Luxembourg. With its brightly displayed rugs covering walls, floors and diverse pieces of furniture, walking straight past would be unthinkable. And if interest in the rugs palls, there is always some human diversion on…

When Time Stands Still

  Klim and I first met when we were eight years old. We lived in different parts of town, went to different schools and were in different gangs, but our lives were always criss-crossing. In our twenties we grew closer as first we shared ‘digs’ at university and then a flat in London. A lifetime’s…

Sharks beware

On 2nd December 2014, almost two years ago, my wife Rohan had a horrible cycling accident. That day, as she was cycling home, she was hit, and then run over, by a van [On Church Road, Greyhares, February 12, 2015]. After two months and ten operations the fractures of her pelvis had knitted, the skin grafts…

No sex please, we’re gerbils

After a poor night's sleep in an hotel in St Malo it was time to catch the ferry home. I had just settled the bill when the young man behind the counter stood up, pointed to a wine glass full of straws and suggested that I serve myself one. I asked him to repeat this remark, which to…

On Church Road

Our lunch on the first Sunday of February was very special. Just five of us were around the table - my wife Rohan, myself, our two sons and my sister - and for the occasion the number was exactly right. Only a few days before, Rohan had been discharged from hospital and this feast was…