January 16th, 2020: 70th birthday. A fine day of celebration marked by our walk on Bamburgh beach all the way round to Kiln Point on Budle bay. In biblical terms such a birthday is a significant milestone, alluded to in Houseman’s memorable lines (1) “Now of my threescore years and ten Twenty will not come […] Continue reading →

TIME TRAVEL: Trilogy Complete

Still life in 'studio' It is often said that certain moments in ones life are recalled by way of the music that was current at that particular time. For me schooldays chat was about Beatles singles then the 1970’s followed and albums took centre stage. And what albums they were with their arty sleeves and more significantly their resonating […] Continue reading →


My cycle ride to the Thomson monument, recorded in my previous post, wasn’t the only excursion of recent weeks which triggered a journey into the past. Beth was home and keen to visit her friends from University days, one of whom was living in Lanark. When Lanark was mentioned I suggested that I come along […] Continue reading →


Way back in time we swam in the Evenlode river beneath Gritney Hill. Today it was the Shereburgh and Staerough hills which overlooked our late summer bathe in the Bowmont river. Towards Clifton it had cut into its bank and scooped out a twenty yard deep stretch of the river bed. For this fast flowing […] 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 →


MAY DAY(S) “Generations have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell; the soil  Is bare now, nor foot can feel, being shod.”(1) These words by G. M Hopkins were written between 1876 and 1889. Perhaps he had been dipping into his […] Continue reading →


April 2nd saw the first swallow arrive: early. Too early for its own good in fact as it was greeted the following day by an inch of snow. By the 5th, however, there had been a melt and a bright and breezy day appeared which was just right for a cycle run over to Hethpool […] Continue reading →


CUTHBERT’S WAY and BEYOND Beth was home for a few days in November. Unbelievable weather, still and sunny, saw us out walking along the ridge to Wideopen and Grubbit. The rolling hills stretched away to the horizon left and right. Below, the Bowmont and Kale valleys slowly filled with mist. A kestrel flew by and […] 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 →