Living in Limbo

I can find the Christmas plates, but not the base to the kettle. I can find my Grandmother’s jewellery, but not my socks. I can find 36 boxes of books, but two slow cookers have gone missing. Taking the paper off cherished and almost-thrown-out possessions – an unknown packer treated all items of equal importance..… Continue reading Living in Limbo

A Community Farewell

  Well, it had to happen eventually, didn’t it — time to leave this community. people who have welded themselves into our hearts, who know us well, have seen us in pajamas and no make up hanging up clothes, have lived through our tragedies and us theirs. Friends who have shared the ghoulish parts of… Continue reading A Community Farewell

Community Beautifiers

              Just look at these wonderful gates. They’re in Berkeley, California. The decorations are cut out of the metal – leaves of bog rosemary, blue oak, sugar bush, California Buckeye, California Maidenhair, and many more.  Rivers and trains, roads and tools are represented.  Looking at them you can see all of Berkeley life. Names of… Continue reading Community Beautifiers

A Day at the Festival

3 000 New Testaments burned, by order of a Bishop Fight, not facts, are more important to today’s press. The Malawian government seems to be preventing poor people from being educated We are killing our planet Racial prejudice is still blindingly rife in this country In the random events I chose to attend that day at the… Continue reading A Day at the Festival

Community Gardeners

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I once infiltrated a posh Herb Workshop on a massive Gloucestshire estate, hoping to pick up cooking tips using herbs.  Bad bad idea.  The situation turned prickly after the lemon balm tea and lavender-bud shortbread, when we had to explain why we were there. All had… Continue reading Community Gardeners

A Community of Listeners

I came across something startling today. I was so surprised I did a double take.  A father didn’t have a phone in his hand as he took his two children  to school.  Had to check again: no, he really really didn’t. I myself was doing my usual morning walk. Yes. Doing.  Not necessarily seeing or enjoying or… Continue reading A Community of Listeners

Pantomime Time — oh yes it is!

When husband John first mentioned the word “pantomime” to me his American bride, I was quite sure that I knew what he was talking about: actors in make-up who could silently and dramatically describe a wall, running, going upstairs, and much more, just with their bodies and no props. “Oh no,” he laughed. “This kind… Continue reading Pantomime Time — oh yes it is!

January 24th is Peanut Butter Day

Living in a cramped maroon room with an exquisite view of the brickwork on the neighbouring building outside my window taught me much about life during my graduate days in Ithaca, New York. My octogenarian landlady downstairs, gave  the same piano piece to all her students, and ate fried potatoes for supper everyday. Occasionally I’d join her… Continue reading January 24th is Peanut Butter Day

Twelfth Night Party

  I am delighted to live in a country where it’s possible to celebrate twelve days of Christmas. Thank you, Great Britain, for inventing it!  No need to get cards and letters to people by the 25th of December.  Let them arrive after the first day of Christmas, when people have more time to read… Continue reading Twelfth Night Party