Freedom Amongst the Bluebells

I am addicted to reading the inscriptions on park benches. Those on gravestones used to be my favourites - ‘I told you I was ill’ was one of the best. However, around us in Richmond graveyards are rare while benches are now commonplace. Our council even has a website setting out its rules for public…

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 piano recital; my preference was that it should include work by Tchaikovsky. We soon learned that our concert…

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…

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…

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…

Short Changed

  Readers in bygone days might have described me as a cad and a bounder. My misdemeanour - having fallen out of love, I have decided to reveal all. My infatuation was not with a person but with what I saw as an altruistic ideal. Discovering otherwise came as a horrible surprise and while we…

A Misunderstanding

There can be little more irresistible than the sight of a baby staring into ones eyes and smiling. At around three months most will look at people’s faces and it is clearly a view they find captivatung. Those early stares are not exclusively directed at their parents. Over the past few weeks I have been stared…