It has been a long 10 weeks. I have grown weary of the endless skirting round hole-diggers, plasterers, plumbers, electricians, a team of heating engineers and a kitchen fitter. Last week the cast also included four high- viz hooligan window-fitters and roofers. Twirling in an endless polka through stepladders, like a deranged folk dancer, I... Continue Reading →


When the relief of having survived another Christmas and the buzz of a Happy New Year subsides, we in the northern wilderness are still faced with at least four more months of unrelenting Yorkshire winter before it feels like time to haul the vacuum-packed storage bags of shorts and gauzy shirts out from under the beds. And even then, it’s just to... Continue Reading →


It had been over an hour since I’d seen another living soul besides the deck-hands on the approaching P&Os, skylarks, Exmoor ponies, and the dashing pilot of a low flying spitfire, but suddenly there was a stranger close by, walking menacingly towards me. I glanced down, planning my first move: If necessary, I’d attempt a swift... Continue Reading →

For The Tree People

Breathing heavily now, and struggling to keep from toppling over, I am forced to turn my face bitterly into the foliage, the spiny branches whipping to and fro with the laboured motion. Skin stings and prickles with the spite of a million tiny needles. It’s nearly done, I pray for it to end...But the ordeal... Continue Reading →


I’ve long been fascinated by the sneaky way women (and sometimes men), use secret weapons in the endless pursuit of appearing to be younger, slimmer or sexier. I’m not talking about the 1950’s practice of setting an alarm clock to allow for a quick slick of makeup and hasty removal of curlers before one’s husband... Continue Reading →


Disclaimer: This is not my usual brand of goofy blog. I wrote it a while ago, but what stopped me publishing it was the sheer futility of my lone voice in attempting to effect change within an old established organisation. Since then, however, I have been encouraged by good friends to share it. Following an... Continue Reading →

Sunday Girl.

The first thing my eyes focused on each morning upon waking, was the exquisite face of a woman pierced through with five evenly spaced steel skewers. She gazed down upon me from the ceiling above my bed, and informed me on the ways of being kick-ass, sexy, and creative. I was only ten and my... Continue Reading →

Mad About Marseille

Arriving at a deserted Gare Saint Charles, late in the day after a transit of nearly 14 hours, sense of humour was at an all time shortage and the clammy Marseille dusk greeted us off the TGV like a searching pair of blackamoor hands. Weary travellers from the cold north, we boarded a cab and... Continue Reading →

Making Memories

Travelling en famille can be testing. In our case, four individuals with very different ideas about what makes an enjoyable summer holiday, and each of us highly skilled in the subtle art of infuriating to extreme any, or all, of the others. Lazing beside the pool while the little darlings splash about like demented otters for hours is... Continue Reading →

…Take The Strain

I blame Portillo. The romance of rail seduced me. And those virtuous Extinction Revolution bods, who also partially influenced my decision to take the family all the way to the south of France from Yorkshire by train. I was sold on the idea that, with unfettered quantities of sun lotion and unlimited litreage of mineral... Continue Reading →

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