Category Life and life only

Where a million diamonds shine

So. Recently, I have spent a lot of time down a number of deep dark holes. On occasion, they have been wonderful, packed with shiny, interesting things, with little gems and nuggets there for the taking. And once down one of the holes I often find side passages that lead off into other caverns and […]

Great as in auk

So. Two short thoughts as we head for the door. First, a recent article in The Guardian told us the French and Germans had decided Brexit was going to be treated as a masculine noun, while the Italians, although they hadn’t quite decided, were probably going to treat it as feminine noun. It was the justification […]

This is not a nature blog

  So. Although this site is mainly about words and that, nature keeps creeping in. Yesterday I was cycling along the banks of the Tyne. The tide was going out, so there were mud banks showing on both sides of the river. Nearer Newcastle that exposed traffic cones flung off bridges, the ribs of old boats […]

Small stories of cycling

So. A few small stories from a week in cycling. Story One On Tuesday I locked my bike up outside Newcastle City Library. I had a couple of hours between meetings so I went to a quiet spot and worked on Gilbert the Liar. When I came out the little box of cycle extras (tyre […]

National Poetry Day

So. Today (6th October – Gregorian Calendar) is National Poetry Day. Hurrah. Poetry is good enough to deserve a day. Unfortunately, I have not written a poem today: too busy working and thinking about heat loss and condensation. But I did write a poem yesterday. Normally, I would post a little bit of a poem, […]

A short history of writing on the move

This post is a little like Ikea, if you want to skip past the kitchen displays and the bedrooms just get to the marketplace and checkouts then just jump here. And I can only assume that if you are still reading you are ready for a little meander. I have been writing for years (I […]

About bricks

So. I’ve spent some time in Siena and, apart from the Duomo and its marble, the overwhelming impression is one of brick. Mediaeval brick, renaissance brick, modern brick. Brick which makes walls, arches, columns, even floors (though strictly the Sienese probably count that as tile). You can trace the history of a wall in the […]

The morning after the morning after

So. At this time on a Saturday morning, with the weekly shopping done, I would normally be writing poetry. But poetry takes a certain amount of focus, and today I do not have that. Following the referendum result, the UK and Europe face years of challenge and uncertainty. I find myself uneasy and worried. I […]

The Fourth Crusade

So. Let us briefly turn away from today’s momentous events and bask in the warm and comforting glow emitted by the distant past. A period so remote that in our house it is referred to as ‘days of yore’ (which is much longer ago than ‘the olden days’). The period of the Fourth Crusade. Now, […]

So not a therapist

So. Recently, I ran a workshop on techniques to start creative projects. I have run it a few times now (and I have written about the techniques elsewhere), but not so often that I am on autopilot. Almost every time I find out something interesting for me. This time was no different. We started the […]