Friday, April 16, 2021

frosty walks, needles, warmer, apple blossom


Frosty morning walks! Loved the needles on the whitethorn.

Forecast seems to suggest warmer starts from now on. Just in time, with the apple blossom coming.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

willow rose?, wildfell, mogford prize

Things were getting very springlike before the frosts. The pussy willows on the water meadows on the High Moor side of the village were stupendous - so colourful the closer you looked at them. Not quite sure what you would call the furry pink bud - a willow rose perhaps, by analogy with the larch?

Loving reading more of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I wondered if it would be difficult to pick up the story again but its plot is fairly straightforward (not a criticism) and I was in its world almost immediately.

I was really excited to hear that my friend and fellow member of Writers in Oxford, Lorna Fergusson, had been shortlisted for the 2021 Mogford Prize. Although she didn't win, the 3 runners up get a decent cash prize and to be in the final 4 out of over 800 entrants is amazing! Especially given the impressive judging panel of Jeremy Mogford, Lemn Sissay and Mick Herron. All congratulations to winner, Finlay Taylor for Madame Blini's Disdain!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

easter wreath, holiday, 'out and about', letting go, past the worm full moon, flurries!

Easter wreath at the porch of St Mary's Bampton.

Seen on my way through the churchyard after my morning walk - this week, taken at a civilised hour because I'm on holiday.

A lovely time to be out in the countryside.

It takes a while, though, to escape work, despite being tired after a busy term. You want to let go but the upturn in the year after the clocks go back, the change in the sunlight, and the passing of the full Worm Moon, make your mind somehow eager to take ideas forward.

I think I'm there now. Able to enjoy being at home ... in a different way to WfH ... and doing fun things.

The odd flurry of snow, ice on the bird bath and bitter North West winds are a bit of a surprise, even so, after the weekend warmth!

Sunday, March 28, 2021


Let's hear it for the dandelion!

So bright and cheerful at this time of year!

Sunday, March 21, 2021

days off, white violets, putting up pictures, crown series 3, cutting room floor, blurred


Had a few days off, which have been reviving after a tricky term (when aren't terms tricky in Covid times?).

Didn't go anywhere, of course, although that's not at all true, when there are white violets to see up the road - not to mention a great spotted woodpecker, a buzzard and a lark, amongst many others.

Also put up some pictures that have been sitting in bubble wrap - for years. Amazing to see them again!

Finished watching The Crown Series 3 on Saturday. We're always a box set or two behind the latest. Fascinating to catch up with what everyone was talking about just before the start of the pandemic. Mind you, there wouldn't have been the same 'Interesting how things come round again' moments then. Worth delaying, in fact.

I remember them making the Royal Family TV film, when I was at Heatherdown School in the late 60s. When it was broadcast, I sat down with my parents, full of expectation of being a film star, only to find I'd been left on the cutting room floor. I was pretty sure I was the blurred figure at the back of one of the football match sequences, though...

first frog spawn


Meant to post this last Sunday. First frog spawn in our pond. Since then there has been a lot of splashing! I've never seen so many frogs as there are this year.

Not perhaps the most pre-possessing picture. The stuff is difficult to photograph. Years ago, I had a holiday job working for a photographer in Bristol, who showed me tricks for making objects look as good as they did in real life, or better. He missed out the bit about frog spawn.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

oxford saturday, different despite everything being the same, cycling, primroses, frog spawn

Worked at the library yesterday. Haven't done a Saturday shift for a while. Strange how it felt qualitatively different to going in on a weekday, even though the streets were just as deserted. Only a few people in masks, heading purposefully and one or two without masks, looking somewhat anxious. There was what has become the usual absence of excitement.

There were readers in at the library, though, studying hard, which makes being at work worthwhile.

Cycling this morning. The wind's died down a bit and I was blown back to the village, once I turned onto Calcroft Lane (aka the gated road - without gates because they are long gone).

Saw this clump of primroses - and others - on the steep bank of the stream that runs past the Clanfield Tavern.

In our pond, the first clumps of frog spawn appeared on Thursday morning.