Tag Archives: horticulture

The Winter Trees

Winter trees - 22The day before this walk we’d all watched in horror as much of the north of England was flooded after days of the heavy rain we’re becoming used to as our climate changes. Thinking about this and after my standard but understandable rant about our useless govermnent, it’s failures on climate change and its fawning over backwards to moneyed interests, I remembered something George Monbiot has written about many times over the past few years, the importance of reforresting our uplands, the importance of trees and their contribution to slowing down the speed with which our denuded sheep farming hills flash off the rainwater which is then sent gushing down into the streets of Appleby, of Whalley, of York, of Hebden Bridge, of Mytholmroyd and then turn the Kirkstall Road in Leeds into a new river.

Anyway, and fortunately for us all up here, today dawned bright, dry and blue so Sarah and I went out for a walk around our relatively dry neighbourhood in Liverpool.

Along Penny Lane.

Along Penny Lane.

Continue reading

One Day in Paradise

Sometimes in our lives, if we are lucky, we get to spend some time in somewhere that’s so beautiful that when we look back at our photos only two short weeks later, we can barely believe we were ever there. Today me and Sarah want to show you Ilnaculin, a tiny island in West Cork.

And our day here in Paradise.

And tell you about our day here in Paradise.

We got there on a boat from ?town?

We got there on a boat from Glengarrif.

We got here on a boat from Glengarrif.

Continue reading

I remember you: For Rachel



Today a very personal post from my partner Sarah about her best friend Rachel, who died three years ago.

When Sarah was diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago now, she fairly soon wanted to find her sisters. Other women who’d shared some of her experiences and ‘been in some of the same rooms’ as we always described those places and days of rapid diagnosis, treatment decisions and prognosis. Other women she could really talk to.

Well finding these sisters took a while, a great while. But eventually, through social media, into her life they came. Americans for the most part, and an Australian living in the States in one very particular, opinionated and lovable case. Rachel from New Jersey.

Their friendship was brief, as you’ll hear, but deep and intensely joyous. Their regular Skypes changed the sound of our house. And Rachel’s love brought the sparkle back into Sarah’s eyes. A spark and a sparkle the eventually ebbing grief of these past three years has never subsequently extinguished.

And of course Rachel and these years since changed my life too. Made me value the living of it more than ever before. But you’ll know about that already if you’ve read my ‘Year to live’ posts.

So here is Sarah, remembering Rachel. Continue reading

Artisans in the Park

Artisans in the Park01The first part of my Sunday out walking, reading and generally mooching, was spent happily in the Old Police Station in Lark Lane, flicking through LPs and having wonderfully intense musical discussions with the traders at the Lark Lane Record Fair. I’ll show you what I came away with later.

Next I went into the park to meet a friend. I knew he was running a stall at an event there, so I thought I’d call in and see how he’s doing. Though we’re often in contact tweeting about social injustice and horticultural history, I don’t recall us actually meeting since my birthday back in January.

So I decided to call in on him here.

So I decided to call in on him here.

Yes indeed, you can believe your eyes. It’s an event in Sefton Park, involving food, arts and crafts, that’s free to get into. Unlike the iniquitous Liverpool Food and Drink Festival a couple of weeks back that I won’t stop being angry about until we stop it happening on public land.

So anyway, this being a free to enter festival I’m strolling by to see my friend Andrew and whoever else might be here. Because although there’ll be loads of stuff on sale, it’s as much a social gathering as a market place. And a social gathering open to all, non-exclusive and welcoming. In a place we all own anyway, our beautiful Sefton Park Palm House. Continue reading