Lasting impressionist

I was in a world of my own, puzzling over my recent run of form at chess - when playing against Fahar [see Reopening Gambit, Greyhares blog, 28 January 2016] it was most unusual for me to win four games in a row. Suddenly, all became clear; my success was thanks to my bishops and the…

The preserve of the tongue-tied

Mrs Miller moved like a tortoise. All her movements were slow, nothing sudden, nothing jerky; she was certainly not someone to be hurried. It was a concern about her shortness of breath that brought her to the clinic, and the diagnosis was soon clear; she had developed asthma. But, for her sake, her eerie slowness also needed…

Sam for all seasons

Just after Christmas, my wife and I went for a week to our cottage in Brittany. Our key aim was to begin to prepare the garden for 2017. As usual, we stopped over for a day in Paris. There, the streets had the same tell-tale trappings as at this time every year. Dumped on the…

The talented Mr Ripley

Eating arrangements, like much else in my childhood, were very controlled not to say regimented, therefore delicious Sunday roasts and, for a short period, grilled sausages, were a welcome relief. Sunday lunch and the atmosphere were dominated by the main course, which might be roast chicken with bread sauce, a shoulder of pork with crackling and apple…

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…