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Bluebells in oak wood. College valley WILD THING ‘Wild Thing’ was a top ten hit in 1965 for a west country ‘group’ called The Troggs. Not many people, even those of us of a certain age, realise that The Troggs achieved more top ten hits than other luminary outfits such as the Who and Bruce Springsteen. It must have sunk into […] Continue reading →


William Blake, painter, poet, craftsman and engraver, was a Londoner.; the “supreme poet of his native city.” (1) How fitting then that a massive mural incorporating one of his poems adorns the end of a building in Peckham. The words ring out: “The sun does arise,  And make happy the skies; The merry bells ring […] Continue reading →


SYNCHRONICITY It was to be a week of physical endeavour with all the old tools, the mattock, peck, shovel and bushman saw, to be deployed. To what end? The removal of previous garden making, a willow pergola along with its associated planting, a golden spruce. After twenty years this grouping had outgrown its space and […] Continue reading →

New Horizons ONE

NEW HORIZONS ONE “The thing is”, writes Annie Dillard in her essay ‘the Weasel’ (1) “ to stalk your calling in a certain skilled and supple way, to locate the most tender and live spot and plug into that pulse.” Reading this, as I went about my daily post hip-op exercise routine, spurred me on. […] Continue reading →


SEASONS “the past was like a great ship that has gone aground and an archivist and writer must gather as much of the rich squandered cargo as they can” (1) More often than not the cargo I draw on when writing recalls old songs and lyrics. It’s not that they were ever neglectfully squandered but […] Continue reading →


FRUITION In April 2014 I read an article on auriculas in the Guardian Weekend magazine by Ambra Edwards. She spoke of their “exquisite, neat round faces and rich colours” and how these could best be displayed in small pots in an “auricula theatre”. Inspired, I contacted the secretary of the Scottish Auricula and Primula Society, […] Continue reading →


PLANTING Easter Sunday 2016 Back in October last year our garden ‘armageddon’ ( see earlier post) descended on Innisfree. Recovery began the following week with an eye on the coming year. Much planting of bulbs, corms, wallflowers and forget me nots took place. Has it come to fruition? Well so far so good. The crocuses […] Continue reading →

Desmond, Henry and Gertrude.

“Wild spirit which art moving everywhere”. These words by Shelley from his ‘Ode to the West Wind’ surely sum up the weather over the past few weeks. Here we have been lucky, spared the impact of this “Destroyer….dirge Of the dying year……..from whose solid atmosphere Black rain.” Apart from venturing out to replace wind mangled […] Continue reading →