Wednesday, June 27, 2007


In one of the comments on the BBC Have Your Say Forum the other day:

This is the UK. We only have two seasons -
rainy and August.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Revelling in Croxley

On Saturday I went with some friends to the Croxley Revels - a big village fair that's been held annually for hundreds of years. There were lots of stalls for worthy causes, selling the usual range of weird and tacky but sometimes strangely useful items (I picked up a book stand for the poet's readings). Lots of plants, including a stall from the local allotment-holders, and apparently cakes, although I missed those. A milkshake stand making chocolate-bar-flavoured milkshakes, candy floss galore and at least three face-painting stalls. And three women wandering about covered in wooden clothespegs - hedgehogs, apparently.

It was fun, and what really impressed me was the sense of community: families and pensioners and young couples standing outside their houses (glasses of wine and cans of lager optional) watching the parade of Brownies, dancers, policemen and Noah's Ark (populated with very cute little lions and tigers) before all trooping behind in the street with their revelling shoes on and their cake and plant money in their pockets. I lost my camera, and someone handed it in. Call me cynical but I can't see that happening in London.

As well as the stalls (I bought a sage plant and a fuchsia - and I will not let the snails have them!), there was the central arena where one could watch 'dancers' aged 4-15. The baby cheerleaders were pretty cute.

And then the piece de resistance - Brownies dancing around the maypole.

After the brownies did their maypoling, rather impressively not once getting tangled up, ending with the creation of a 'spiderweb'...

there was some nonsense with local schools and an enormous ball as the grand finale.

Right on cue the rain bucketed down and we ran for cover into a local pub. Entirely appropriate that an English celebration of midsummer should conclude with a freezing deluge.

In and around a poet's house, chapter 1

We are not a Buddhist household. (Luckily for me, as last night I stomped about 25 snails. Not without regret and guilt, but it was them or my sunflower seedlings. Frankly, I have had to abandon my friendlier, less murderous practice of throwing snails into the nether regions of the garden because the little bastards keep coming back. Which is why last night at 1am I was confronted by an army of shelled leaf-munchers, of all sizes. And hence the stomping. Today I bought beer baits, but I think the stomping may be kinder than slow dissolving in salty beer - or is that just me?)

So we are not Buddhist. Some of us are. however, dipping our toes into the learning of Kabbalah. But this is ok, because in Kabbalism there is reincarnation, but there is no reincarnation as insects. Unless they just haven't got around to telling me that bit yet?

Monday, June 04, 2007


I miss natural spaces I can get lost in. Too much time spent underground and in busy London saps my spirit.

And oh! How I've missed my daily blog fix. I have a lot of catching up to do.

Oh, the love

Now I have two very convincing reasons to be in Australia.

The elder asked why the poet couldn't live in England and I live in Australia. When I explained my silly adult reasons, he looked calmly at me and issued an ultimatum: 'Live here!'

His baby cousin just grinned and tried to eat my hair.