Nine Pictures of Light

I’d been sitting here in the polytunnel reading a novel where a funeral was about to take place in an art gallery. Prince had been singing on my phone, his song about Dorothy Parker fading into ‘High’ by The Blue Nile, when I noticed something strange happening with the light. The blue sky had turned …

The Magnolia Tree

It’s my pleasure and my immense privilege to be spending my writing days at the moment in the presence of this tree, this Magnolia. I know none of its horticultural details (though see below) or the origins of its naming, you’d have to ask Sarah about those. But I can see what it does, which …

The Edge of the Known Universe

We always called this place the edge of the known universe,Expecting to step off it as we got closer to the islands.Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre hanging in the air, out thereWhere the sea becomes the sand became the sky and left the land,At the edge of the known universe.Today however, the known universe …

On Christmas Morning

The neighbourhood and the almost ritual walk around it that has defined my year. In lockdown times walking into town has been only occasional but this walk, around the local streets, has been my meditation and my breathing space. From home down to Smithdown, along Penny Lane to Greenbank Road, through Ibbotson’s Lane, round the …

In The Japanese Garden

I never did subscribe to the idea that our John was any kind of a saint. I think we all know he wasn’t. In fact what first attracted me to him and the music he helped make, when it lit a rocket under my childhood, was that he was clearly a little rough around the …

In Sunlight Autumn

Although the day has dawned rainy here in Liverpool and seems likely to continue that way we are having the beginnings of a glorious autumn. I know because I’m spending most of my working time outside in the weather these days, noticing it. Writing much of my sociology PhD on an allotment since the early …