Funny bone


The beginning of the holidays, instead of smoking the kids out of the neighbouring houses, seems to make them vanish altogether. Where have they all gone, we wonder – off to the seaside, perhaps, or Spain, or to visit their grandparents in Lincolnshire, or to school holiday programmes or whatever working Londoners do with their kids over the summer. Continue reading “Funny bone”

Tempus fugit


Awww, don’t be sad, people… I’m not sad! It’s been an amazing year, and I wouldn’t have traded a minute of it, but like I said earlier, a year has been exactly the right length of time. And now that we’re getting ready to head back, my thoughts are turning daily to the things I’ll love about being home. Continue reading “Tempus fugit”

Wild food and wildlife (If this is autumn… part 2)


So as I was saying, the autumn roadsides are ablush with ripe hawthorn berries, which appear to be non-toxic but still entirely useless as a foraged food. The wild rose bushes, however, which are also widespread, are laden with fat scarlet rosehips, and these are useful. (Remember, we’re operating on an if it’s free, we’ll eat it basis.) Continue reading “Wild food and wildlife (If this is autumn… part 2)”

Contents and discontents


So, our Hawea house is perfectly nice, but the contents… well, not so much. Unsurprising, of course, for a cheap rental with a high tenant turnover.

When we arrive, the airing cupboard is stuffed to the ceiling with musty duvet inners, stained mattress protectors, fraying towels and mismatched sheets and pillowcases in an assortment of prints from the 70s, 80s, 90s and today. Continue reading “Contents and discontents”