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 …

In the growing light

A Saturday afternoon of no work whatsoever and peaceful reading in the newly restored polytunnel here on Sarah’s allotment. Which is kind of mine as well now, as I’ve been here most days since Liverpool University closed its doors a year ago. Writing and working with my friend Abi as we both get on with …

A Year on the Allotment

A year ago now, as 2020 was arriving, Sarah and I had spent most of our Christmas working on her allotment. Digging out, restructuring and getting her plot of Liverpool land ready for a productive year. Taking advantage of the short amount of time when hardly anything is growing to get various pieces of work …

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 …

The Year of Living Quietly

An annual tradition is starting to happen. The ‘looking back on the year’ articles in newspapers, on websites and blogs such as this. Which is what has started me writing, sat here in Liverpool early on this Saturday. With Elizabeth Alker on Radio 3 playing me into the morning as she so often has, this …