Other Things We've Survived: Reflections from an allotment

As the ‘just in time’ supply system of the major supermarkets, together with a mass change in shopping habits, has left empty spaces on supermarket shelves lately, there’s been a good deal of ‘so you think this is bad’ talk from those of a certain age on social media. Like a Monty Python sketch but […]

Just Breathe and the Springtime Will Arrive Anyway

Just breathe and the springtime will arrive anyway.This is difficult, though the light is growing now,To not shake your hand when we meet,Or wrap our arms around each other, let alone kiss.In a land without leaders or steady advice. But we’ve made our own way before, And we will do again, won’t we?’Together Alone’ like […]

Expectations of Soon

After I’d brushed up the last few leaves and put the allotment to sleep for the winter I walked home. Not to home now but home soon. Out of the gate and down a different road I walked into the future. In this history of now. The first walking of a walk that will become […]

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 […]

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. […]