Empty Nest


A few weeks ago, two robins decided that the garden shed was the site for their next nest. On Mothers’ Day, 10 May, I found out that they had hatched six chicks in a plant pot – high on a shelf, at the back of the shed. Day after day, I watched the two robins flying back and forth with food. From time to time, I’d peer through the window, and would catch a glimpse of a fledgling. This weekend, the parent robins stopped flying into the shed through the hole on the roof and out through the gap in the door. I opened the door wide, and stood back. No noisy intervention or fly-by from the parents – the fledglings had flown, leaving an empty nest.


Waxing Crescent

As the days draw longer, I enjoy my evening walk more. On Monday I strolled along the edge of Cymbeline Meadows towards the sunset, to catch sight of the moon, waxing crescent as it rose. I respect the older trees; here long before me, here long after me, their constancy reassures me.



‘The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one’s appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship.’

Amelia Earhart, quoted in ‘Soaring Wings : A Biography of Amelia Earhart’ (George Palmer Putnam, 1939)



Glazed – Handle with Care.

Last year, I visited Nassos Keramik on the island of Rhodes, Greece. This particular outlet has been producing handmade ceramics in a traditional style since 1964. Its founder, Nassos Mylonas, had learnt his trade at the ICAROS factory which had been established by the Italians in Rhodes in 1928 to reproduce the traditional, regional ‘Iznik’ designs.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to visit Nassos Keramik with a friend who was learning how to decorate the ceramics in that traditional style. Even more so, the next day, to be taken on a guided tour around the exhibition ‘ICARO – ΙΚΑΡΟΣ The Factory of Rhodes 1928-1988’ at the Grand Master’s Palace in Rhodes Old Town.

This visit was a while ago, but it is never far from my mind. My memories can travel, even while I cannot. They have a fine, translucent glaze and I handle them with care.




During lockdown the apple tree in the back garden has blossomed. The grass is now carpeted with blossom petals as soon as there is a breeze. The tree really needed pruning a while back – as did so many of the garden shrubs – but I like having a green wall between me and the outside world. Now, I’m happy I let it be. I sleep with the bedroom window open and the blossom is the first thing I see every morning when I wake.




Zoe-dog is now living her best life. She has been practising self-isolation for over 7 years, emerging only for basic necessities (this category includes, but is not limited to; chasing cats off the property, ensuring Frank-dog is not being preferred and TREATS).


How Can We Tell?


Artist: Mark Titchner

Installation: Some Questions About Colchester

Commission: Our Colchester Business Improvement District, with Firstsite

As seen today, on my walk for Tuesday, in Colchester High Street.





Touch Your Soul

I saw you leave the bar last night
With some nameless, faceless girl.
All at once you were a lost little boy,
And a man of the world.
Your lonely nights of conquest
Can never make you whole.
You squander your body,
You need someone to touch your soul.
I watch you in your helpless dance of masculinity,
You’re so tired you can’t sleep,
Least of all with me.
You search yourself inside and out
‘Til the silence takes its toll
And you squander your body,
You need someone to touch your soul.
You feel exposed when someone knows,
A secret that you’d
Rather not explore.
You move in close, then you run away.
Does it hurt that much to say
What you really need to say?
I’ll run into you again someday,
I hope you will be free.
Meanwhile don’t waste another minute of life,
It’s precious to me.
Don’t keep on running from yourself,
Alone in the cold.
Don’t squander your body,
Let someone touch your soul.

Phoebe Snow touches mine time and again, never more so than now. A consummate musician and lyricist; her voice will always speak to me. Taken from her 1989 album “Something Real’.

Touch Your Soul



Still Life Sunday


Zoe-dog chilling on lockdown.