July 19, 2018

Another Sunday –

May 13, 2018

This says it all…

January 12, 2018

Up with the lark

January 12, 2018

It’s Sunday…

May 29, 2016

good morning


Diary 16th March

Earlier, a sky the colour of spilled ink, carelessly puddled over sleeping fields. No memory of daylight in its oppressive blindness. No suggestion of a dawn to come…And cold, too…Shivery cold.

The daffodils are out in patches along the hedgerow. I can sense them, not see them, but I know they’re there. It’s like standing in a crypt surrounded by fat cats on the patio. Soon the bluebells will dazzle visitors.

Now, I sit and watch the steam rise from my coffee cup…
So far this week we’ve been told that foreign travel will become more expensive if we leave the EU. Our ports and airports won’t be able to cope with the influx of “visitors”. My Aunt Mabel’s tit will catch in her mangle…And now today we learn, horror of horrors, the high-flying Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, said yesterday that if the UK exited the EU it would “not be trusted” again.

In any negotiate, he said: “EU leaders would be keen to show to their national audiences which might warm to the idea of leaving the union that such a process would be very ugly, painful and costly.”

And therein lies one of the major problems of the EU. All the politicians recognise how unpopular it’s become – not just in the UK, but right across the board. Yet they do nothing to address this situation…Let sleeping dogs lie; the gravy train must roll on!

Never mind. President Obama is coming to the UK to save the day…
Recently read: “The Love-Charm of Bombs: Restless lives in the second world war”, by Lara Feigel, who has created an “ensemble piece” about five novelists who endured the bombs and blackouts in London when it was getting the shite kicked out of it by the German Luftwaffe. The novelists are Elizabeth Bowen, Henry Green, Graham Greene, Rose Macaulay and…Hilde Spiel (?).

“London is extraordinarily pleasant these days with all the new spaces, and the rather Mexican effect of ruined churches,” Graham Greene told Anthony Powell in December 1940. One hopes he had his tongue firmly planted in his cheek at the time (although I doubt he did!)…?

Henry Green was a volunteer fireman, Bowen and Greene were ARP wardens, and Macaulay was an ambulance driver.

Sex was a panacea to all that death and destruction surrounding them. The blackout became a time for heavy breathing and furtive couplings. Macaulay had an intense affair with a married man who had once been a Catholic priest. Green and Greene were both inveterate womanisers. Bowen lived with a husband who tolerated her affairs with other men’…only Hilde Spiel remained monogamous in this sea of bombs and adultery…

Enjoyed this gossipy book very much.


September 21, 2015


You come to me in a dream
dressing for your pre-dawn ride,
just as you did on the day
that you died, awakening me
when you turn on the light
to find some missing socks.
I scolded you then,
but now I plead, appeal to reason:
Since you know
what’s going to happen
please don’t go.
You touch my hair, pull on your jersey,
ride again into that dark morning.

Donna Hilbert

Hi, welcome to…

August 22, 2015


Hot, sticky night. Followed by a misty morning, humid as hell. I really need to take a shower…


Four in the Morning. Still dark outside, of course. The owls calling as they hunt. A beautiful, haunting sound…

Here, in my study, only my fingers on the keyboard to disturb the silence – a silence that fills the house, packs it like cotton wool.

Later there will be the sound of bells from the small church:

“ The bells of memory sound this summer day
Down the long alleys of the blue-skied years;
Shy cowslip, thyme, the haunting scent of hay…”

Foul taste in my mouth. I abandon the study with its promise of stillborn, shrouded words. In the kitchen make more coffee, rich and black. In the window I see the sky lightning; could madness ride this particular morning sky? On the wings of an owl…

Can I smash the cage and let weary words fly free?

Gabriella and Dee are curled in bed together, snug, secure – like a pair of foxes in their hillside den, safe for now from the hounds –

“The wood is full of shining eyes,
The wood is full of creeping feet,
The wood is full of tiny cries:
You must not go to the wood at night!”

No, for fear we become feckin’ owl food. Or the fox bites you on the bum.

I return to my study, my prison cell. I can almost hear the rustle of the duvet as the girls snuggle still deeper beneath it as I pass. They are both quietly pushing up the zeds in the snug tranquility of the big bedroom. Neither of them is up to much in the morning. They aren’t morning people. It’s all they can do to mumble one or two coherent words to each other…

Later, much later (it’s always after ten on a Sunday) when I bring them tea and coffee, they’ll mumble “Thanks” or “Too early!” or “Go away!” depending on how they feel.

Eventually they’ll sleepwalk to the shower…probably. If you’re lucky they will. If you’re not lucky, they’ll go back to sleep.

Welcome to my world.

The author William Feather once said: “Early morning cheerfulness can be extremely obnoxious”. I think the girls must have read that and taken it to heart. It now forms their entire philosophy for morning-time behaviour.

I tell Dee, ‘Lose an hour in the morning, you’ll spend the whole day looking for it.”

She replies, ‘Bollocks will I!’

Back at my desk I frown at the bright empty screen before me. Feck it. Perhaps I should try meditation or some light yoga? On the other hand I could WAP a shot of brandy into this coffee. That’d make a difference…

“She dreams a little, and she feels the dark
Encroachment of that old catastrophe,
As a calm darkens among water-lights.”

I’d love to love with Dee right now. Feel the curve of her back, her hips rising to meet my thrust – “Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard…” Naked our needs lock. I can’t remember ever having felt anything or anyone so soft before, not before, not ever…

For a second I’m light headed with so much desire. I have turned transparent, as if from a whiff of helium, slight as an exhalation of her sleeping breath. And I could easily suck the world’s ashes from her fingertips…

But this won’t do; won’t do at all. I must get on. Must.