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.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

violets and spring flowerings, allotment?, last week of term, having fun?, beginning to look to the future, pint!


One of several violets in our garden. Under attack, it seems - though still gorgeous.

Quite a few other spring flowers out now as well.

The allotment is drying nicely but rain is on its way next weekend.

Amazingly, Oxford 8th Week starts today (Oxford calendar). The term seemed to begin only yesterday and it's hard to believe that all that time has gone, not to mention since it was New Year's Day! With lockdown, it can't really be because we're having fun - although I have enjoyed the creative writing side of my work particularly. And at the library, there has been a sense of looking to the future. Talk of things that we were doing a year ago and which we might do again come the summer.

Roll on being able to enjoy a pint too!

Friday, March 5, 2021

daffs, limes, what larks, busy-ness, who are you?


The daffodils around the row of lime trees in our street started to bloom last weekend when it was sunny. More are in flower now, despite the greyness and cold.

Some fine early morning walks and cycle rides this week, nevertheless. Larks in young cornfields. First violets in the garden.

Busy-busy-Oxford-term-time, and no less so for the pandemic. More so? Not really. Oxford finds different ways to be busy, that's all!

Sad not to be meeting students face-to-face for assignment tutorials, though Teams, Zoom and so on work well.

And thoughts are turning to picking up where we left off pre-lockdown, nearly a year ago, in a world that won't recognise itself.