Distracted by the tulips

Today I’ve walked over to the allotment to carry on working on my PhD like I usually do. Having made some good progress here yesterday I’d thought I might easily carry on where I left off. But I haven’t, and having thought about it I don’t much mind. Work works better when it comes easily …

Raindrops on snowdrops…

“Raindrops on snowdrops and warm woolen mittens…From ‘My Favourite things’ (sort of) Yes you can nearly sing along with this blog post to one of my favourite tunes from ‘The Sound of Music.’ Which would be a splendid thing, of course. But really the point of writing this is to show you the snowdrops. Photographed …

Talking About Writing

“You’re a writer as much as you’re anything else, so why not enjoy yourself and write for pleasure?” Wrapping up Series Two of our ‘Sustainable Cities’ podcasts Abi O’Connor and I have been talking about writing. We often do as we spend so much time here at the allotment, even on freezing days like this …

We’re all at the Open University now

My Uncle Danny was the first obviously clever adult I knew. Which doesn’t imply that the others were stupid, not at all. But while they all got on with the way life was in the 1950s and 60s Danny was always restless. A dreaming sort of human wanting something else from his life that he …

Reading “The Versions of Us”

Let’s nor split hairs, beat around the bush or dance on the head of a pin here, as if we would, but this is one of the best books I’ve ever read. This being “The Versions of Us” by Laura Barnett. A triptych of a book that plays with time and reality in three versions …

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 …