Up before the sun. Who ever thought I’d be celebrating that?
When I first imagined doing 50 things, watching sunrise was one of them: I had a romantic notion of being somewhere warm enough, and verdant and lovely, preferably with a long view; there would be a flask of tea and a sense of wonder, perhaps with a side of epiphany. But that particular version of (more…)
This would be a fine place to spend eternity.
From the lichened drystone wall where I sat the land rolled away to the horizon, a series of gradual grassy undulations punctuated with clumps of shrubs and trees. In the distance the peat browns and heather purples of the moor spread their muted patchwork; within the tiny churchyard itself, oaks, ashes and other trees were stretching (more…)
As we all know, Her Royal Perkiness Queen Julie reaches for her favourite things when the dog bites, when the bee stings, and when she’s feeling sad.
Bee-wise, I’ve been fine. But I did get nipped by a dog the other week—one of those tiny jobs, all hair and needle teeth, about 5 inches tall and clearly feeling it had a lot to prove—and generally (more…)
I know. Sounds most unlikely as a special or celebratory act, right? But stay with me. It’s been a pretty thorough tidying up, with some surprisingly lovely and unexpectedly profound things involved.
It all started when my landlady was getting people in to quote for redecorating my house, and one of the decorators thus consulted had a look in the front room where all my books and bookbinding equipment and supplies live—and we are talking a lot of paper here, friends—and said, ‘Hmm, when we’re done, you’ll have a chance to put things back nicely, won’t you?’. Patronising git. (And he left the seat up, too.) (more…)
A few years ago I was interviewed in a sort of rent-a-therapist slot on Radio Cumbria; they wanted someone in the biz to say something vaguely intelligent for a “dealing with difficult events” programme. Getting the phone call from some BBC gofer I’d thought it was a wind-up, but there I was, about an hour later, sitting in my study being invited to pronounce on a variety of things down the telephone—and live on air. Surreal. ‘Ah yes, (more…)