A tale of monarchs reborn

Diana and Yvonne had been friends since university. They meet once a year to catch up, but last week their meeting was different. Diana had just come back from a brief stay in Moscow where her life had been turned upside down. She went there to be immersed in the language and, in passing, to…

An idea with legs

Those who read Greyhares will know that, when out in public, I am an inveterate chatterer. The content of my chat varies, covering anything from idle chit-chat, to serious debate, to the infamous imparting of unsolicited advice. To these more traditional categories, I have just added a fourth - the 'avuncular chat'. Here, the purpose…

Was that a white rabbit?

It's confession time. Earlier this year I wrote that I was a compulsive chatterbox whenever travelling on busses or trains and that I had resolved to give the habit up [Pipped at the post, Greyhares, 5 May, 2016]. I failed. My silence only lasted a few weeks and I was soon chatting again at full…

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…

On the breadline

Autumn came a little early this year and one morning, well before sunrise, I was the solitary figure freezing outside our local bakery. I had been queuing for hours - well, more precisely 35 minutes - but had I arrived any later my mission could have been jeopardised. The story began some months beforehand when…

Thinking inside the box

Forget the shenanigans that go on amongst gardeners at ground level [Divided we stand, Greyhares, 29 August 2016], there is an altogether different world a little higher up amongst the avian community. Life for the birds appears altogether easier, but they too have their problems, and in this instance I am talking about residency. With trees…

Divided we stand

While the invaders in our Brittany garden were welcomed by my wife they had me in a real spin. I am a very tidy gardener, not to say obsessional, and in my view these six, albeit very imposing invaders simply got in the way. They would have seeded themselves in the spring and by the…

You must be serious!

It will be the same advice once again; the ninth time in less than a fortnight. We are on the runway at Amsterdam airport on the last leg of our journey back from the Galápagos Islands . The plane waits prior to take off.

The power of observation

Before setting off for our 'holiday-of-a-lifetime' I had my forebodings. However wonderful it might be, the prospect of spending a week on a small boat in the Pacific Ocean, out of touch and miles from medical care, seemed risky, even ill-advised. Accordingly, for an oldie such as myself, looking forward unreservedly to spending time in…

Home fears, from abroad

Over the years I have become more and more at home in France. What goes on in England or the wider UK often passes me by. Yes, I keep in close touch with family and friends, but events across the Channel have to vie for a position with news from everywhere else and now, high…