Life is short: Happy Birthday to me

My partner Sarah’s just had a birthday, one due to be spent doing something she loves, being out in her beloved sea kayak off the coast of Wales. Well as you’ll read, that didn’t happen. Instead she spent two happily quiet days walking on a beach, gardening and reflecting on life and death. ‘The fact that I work […]

Autumn Arrives Quietly

Autumn arrives quietly, like it does When summer is over, Cutting back to be done As growth slows down And all the children go back to school. Autumn arrives quietly like a friend Coming round To talk endings and die back, While beginnings arrive And all the children go back to school. Autumn arrives quietly, […]

Gardens in the City

A meditation on hospitals, allotments and the National Health Service. While I’m writing this I’m listening to the ‘NHS Symphony’. A new choral work commissioned by BBC Radio 3 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of our health service. It contains a collage of sounds from two Birmingham NHS hospitals, routine sounds and major life event […]

Happiness

It’s the greatest thing that we possess, you know? But what does it look like and feel like? Well here goes. For my screen saver at the moment I’m using all the photographs of Granby that Nick Hedges took for Shelter around 1969. Because they’re some of the best photographs I’ve ever seen and because day […]

In Praise of Patience & Democracy

I first published this ‘Patience’ post early in March this year. Now, here in mid-April, I’m publishing this revised edition for two good reasons: To update you on how the garden is going, and because, while gardening, I’ve been thinking about democracy. ✹ I’ve never been a particularly patient person, quite the opposite in fact. […]

A Glimpse of Sky

‘There are times I think I would gladly die for a glimpse of sky’ Or at least that how the song goes in my memory. I also think it was written by Judy Collins. And though neither of these memories turns out to be true it’s Judy Collins who’s singing the song in my head, […]