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
The Launderette (Laundromat) Community.
Something was definitely wrong. Okay I know that my American accent causes English people to be on their guard, and why not? Here comes a mouth wider and louder than theirs, regaling them with boring stories of their town “back home”. But I was already on my best subdued behaviour when the launderette manager, (whose… Continue reading The Launderette (Laundromat) Community.
The Steinbeck House
How many of you retired folk wake up one morning and say, “I think I’ll buy me an old house, turn it into a restaurant, and get it registered as literary landmark”? Not your ordinary retirement activity, is it? Not quite sitting and staring at the middle distance waiting for a daughter to ring, or wandering… Continue reading The Steinbeck House
A Make-Do Community
“And to top it all”, she wailed, “when I emptied the last tin of fruit cocktail into the bowl, it wasn’t fruit cocktail. It was cooked carrots.” Tehran, Iran, early 1970s. I was pretty sure I knew how that could have happened. I’d been in a favourite shop that week, and saw proprietor and minion… Continue reading A Make-Do Community
A Remembering Community
In Memory of Jo Cox It’s a pity that the nation’s politicians don’t live in the trees lining our street. If so they could have received absolutely stellar advice that would have sent them scurrying back to their manifestos to make such changes that would set the nation on fire. Or maybe not. We were… Continue reading A Remembering Community
The Airport Community
Going everywhere except here. Detroit Airport, Michigan USA, May, 2017. A chance to be 10 hours in the airport on my way home to England. I spend it walking, reading, walking, singing, walking, sleeping, walking, and people-watching. So many bodies are here with me, milling around, but their thoughts, hearts, and souls are somewhere else… Continue reading The Airport Community