Once, my little granddaughter asked me what darning was. Does anyone remember darning socks? I can see my Ma now, sitting in front of an open coal fire, a wooden mushroom in her hand, a basket full of balls of wool in all colours and another, full of the offending foot covers. It was a… More THE PASSION OF MEMORIES
Writer’s block – we’ve all heard about it. It’s totally unacceptable to me, so I’ve softened the condition by calling it Writer’s Wall; that gives me a chance to consider graffiti at some point. I’ve been back in the chilly UK for a month now. Perhaps it’s the weather that is closing down those little… More WRITER’S WALL
If you are a woman, reaching a certain age in the UK means that you are supposed to keep youth mouth shut and play Bingo. You must to talk in platitudes, making sure that you know your place by never having an opinion that might assault the delicate senses of the population at large. Your… More ON BEING AN OLDER WOMAN
As the mother of four adult children, I’ve been pondering on their childhoods and my parenting skills. I have always worked. Why did I work? My reasons were were purely economic. How did I cope? Like working women today, I enlisted on the help of grandparents, neighbours and then nurseries and child-minders. It was predominantly my domain, this juggling.… More HEDGE FUNDS OR CHILDREN?
Looking after vulnerable older people is a serious responsibility. Abuse of older people comes in many forms. This is what Age UK say about the issue: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/ If you know an older person who is being abused or who may be at risk of abuse, then you might find our information useful. Whether you know the individual involved through… More WARDEN OR ABUSER?
Staring out of the window today at the rain drenched Devon countryside, I took a break from writing my second novel and thought about some of the projects I produced for the county. One particular project came to mind as I opened the window and heard a cow lowing at a nearby farm. In February… More ONE MAN’S MEAT
Last year, we were throwing up our hands in horror at the alleged misdemeanors of Edinburgh City Council. BBC Scotland found evidence of things seriously amiss in building work overseen by the council. It seemed that work done under the statutory notice system – a system that allows the council to commission builders to repair private homes, needed a… More WHAT’S HAPPENING TO OUR LOCAL COUNCILS?
I couldn’t face Christmas shopping this morning, so instead I walked. And walked and walked and walked. There is something about the rhythm of the step that clears the head and makes the brain function better. The walk was a close encounter with herons, geese and a dozen or so other wild beauties with wings, but… More LOOS AND VIEWS
Meetings! The Brits love ’em. Give a committee a table and some papers and they will push them around forever. Tea and coffee must be provided of course, and in the most serious of meetings, there is usually herbal infusions to soothe and prevent bloody murder. Meetings are a microcosm of our class system and… More THE JOY OF MEETINGS
Six o’clock in the morning and a thunder storm is about to unload on my small patch of the earth. No use staying in bed. I’m up and at the window, watching the clouds get ready for war. Thunder storms in May in rural England? Rare in my childhood. Now, strange weather is becoming common… More NATURAL THEATRE