A surprising gift on a very grim trip.
Shame, they say, hates being shared. Once shared it can’t survive. Shame loves secrecy. A few years ago I, a closet non-gardener, stupidly infiltrated a herb garden workshop hoping for cooking ideas. The situation turned itchily uncomfortable early on. The place was huge, and when I heard participants comparing this to “Charles and Camilla’s… Continue reading Busted Cover
Nowruz! The Amazing Zoroastrians Oh dear. We missed it –Persian New Year. Why, you ask, is that important to our culture here whose immediate worry is how to find hand gel, toilet paper, and tinned tomatoes in empty-shelved grocery shops, where every bit of community comfort is denied to us because we can’t hug? WELL,… Continue reading Nowruz!
Alexandria, Egypt. Summer, 1966, during the Six Day War. 4.am. We arose silently, dressed, gathered our meagre belongings and went outside. The police, also silent, led us into their waiting cars, the engines idling softly, ready to move.. Then quietly, quietly, they drove off. They suggested that we duck down if we saw anyone on… Continue reading A Community of Displaced People
“’ ‘Tis a gift to be simple, ‘tis a gift to be free, ‘tis a gift to come down where you ought to be” goes the song given to us by the Shaker communal society, with their simple shared property, celibacy, pacifist life. The tune was woven in and around Aaron Copeland’s Appalachian Spring. But… Continue reading Shakers and Movers
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