Showing posts from 2023

Dear World

31/12/23 Sunday Last day of the week, last day of the year. A time to assess, to question. Are we where we want to be? How far off? How does this happen, and why? Is this end of year or end of all days? And what on earth do we do about it? Much as I adore the glitz of festive days, a glimpse at current events brings heavy awareness. So, now what? Four quotes (all by old white guys, but useful nevertheless) sift into view as I flinch from the destruction of people and planet. ‘Know all the theories, master all the techniques, but as you touch a human soul, just be another human soul.’  CG Jung People can be hard to bear at times, but if you find a connecting point this is a powerful force, something beyond knowledge. Understanding and change can flow from it. A unity of souls. ‘Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.’ Nietzsche One of the common things done to justify terrible actions is to create ‘them and us’ narratives. A disunity

The Everyday Portrait Habit

Outside the clouds tremble with fine rain. It drops from them sparsely, clearly mocking my decision to hang the washing indoors. I have the windows open. I don’t mind. It occurs to me that I take each day as raw materials from which to construct a portrait of myself, and I like this idea. It shows me the magic of everyday things. It isn’t too grand, it allows for unassuming - it allows for all the variables. Some days are daubed in turbulence and now they are not bad days but in fact part of a series of studies; my moody phase, my this-is-overtired phase, my shadow sketches; some are gleefully oversaturated, glitter-spattered, sequinned-and-celestial. Each day is subconsciously coloured in uncountable shades, textured with everything I see, touch, hear, taste, or smell; has one or many points of interest, it is as sparse or as crowded as I choose. Today I am a kitchen maniac, cooking up coq au vin, pate, stock, lentil curry, chocolate sauce, cheese sauce, roasted and steamed vegeta

Bloom And Laugh

Frosty mornings hung on through the month of May. Spring was wintry, we couldn’t shake the grip of cold; the switch into heat has been sudden, and equally stubborn. At Paddock Garden the grass has been cut and all the stubble is biscuity-beige. If you look closely there is green underneath- the earth here is rich, though clay-thick in places, and not everything is nourished. We study the leafless plum and cherry saplings wondering what we did wrong, whether the allelopathic ash trees have told them ‘you can't grow here’ or a pest or a disease or drought overcame them? Will they resurge? We won’t know for sure till winter returns. It feels at first like a condemnation but of course it is only part of our educational gambling. All the other trees are thriving, even the ones near swallowed by brambles in the bottom hedge. There are cherries, plums, pears, and apples in miniature, swelling out of slender wood. Where the tractor couldn’t reach the grasses are eye height, tipped with


Dear Readers, Here we are! Not lost, just busy, just tired, just taking a moment to sit with our shared flask of ginger tea, wiping our snotty noses, watching winter and spring swing around in their season-switching dance. Hard frost crackles, soft petals bloom. We had been busy with the old art of hedge laying, busy sorting and tidying the felled trunks, branches, and twigs. There are heaps and stacks and bundles - these boundaries have been untouched for decades - but birds are beginning to gather materials for nests, heralding the end of our hedgework for a while. Our thoughts have turned to The Planting Plan, so we pace around measuring canopy distances before going home to pour over the map, again, again.   Two plum trees wait in pots, they have their spots marked. Everything else is a maybe. Down along the iron fence are lines and lines of daffodils, all in bud. Only one has opened, a miniature narcissus staring bravely up at the big world. We are inspired of course, thoug