A Community of Displaced People

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

March

     March Storm.  On a recent morning walk, a passenger jet prepared to land on my head. It didn’t. And it wasn’t. It was only the wild wild wind thrashing the trees– spraying the raindrops into showers of rainbows in the surprising, intermittent sunshine. The fierce roar was intense. Sometimes I was hustled along,… Continue reading March

American Thanksgiving in a Non American Country

Well, we had roast turkey, sausages, gravy, apple-celery-bacon cornbread stuffing with cashews and cranberries, Amish sweet potatoes with apple and mace, mashed potatoes, squash with crystallised ginger, green beans almondine, broccoli, cranberry-orange relish, the obligatory creamed onions (which, I understand, is an Upstate New York addition), and mince-peach pie, apple-cherry pie, and of course, pumpkin… Continue reading American Thanksgiving in a Non American Country

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

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

Cookies for Hallowe’en

There are occasions when I want to go back to the age of innocence. Hallowe’en is one of them.  When I was growing up, Hallowe’en was a beautiful time to be someone different – to dress up in any costume I felt like, to be anyone I wanted to be. Goblin or princess or cowgirl,… Continue reading Cookies for Hallowe’en

A Community of Dog Walkers

             In a country where prevention of cruelty to animals gets Royal blessing (RSPCA) and the same for children only gets national blessing (NSPCC) I guess it’s not surprising that my articulately crafted, brilliantly witty poem against owning a dog never gets published. However, being a dog-less morning walker, I am free… Continue reading A Community of Dog Walkers

A Neolithic Community

    Well, because it was a ridiculously, harebrainedly impossible plan, we did it with enthusiasm. What better way to spend a summer holiday? Our California daughter Lizzie and her two children wanted to see Standing Stones in England. We managed 11. Stone Henge, Avebury, the Rollrights in Oxfordshire led us tantalizingly up through Derbyshire,… Continue reading A Neolithic Community