The Parks

One of my favourites walks in London is the string of parks – Royal Parks – from Notting Hill Gate in the west to Trafalgar Square in the centre of London. There are several more Royal Parks scattered around London of course and all are memorable, but these four make a chain of two or […]

Being sixty-six

Let’s start at the bottom. Well, on reflection the bottom is technically about half way up, so let’s start at the foot. Being 66 appears to involve an increasing awareness of one’s feet. This is awkward in many ways as they seem much harder to reach than they were…and even harder to see. This inaccessiblity, […]

The Comeback

I read the other day that an acquaintance had announced a return to London after an absence of some months. This felt strangely gratifying and welcome. I say ‘strangely’ because we have only communicated in a series of on-off electronic pulses, and not even live ones,  so that distance is surely immaterial.  Yet distance does […]

Aladdin’s Cave

It’s a little known fact that young Aladdin some time after his famous film appearance took over a former railway station in south-east London. The station closed in 1917 as a wartime  economy measure and never reopened, one of many such failures of imagination that has helped give inner districts  south of the river a […]


My favourite present this Christmas just gone is a copy of David Mitchell’s memoir, Backstory. No, not that David Mitchell, the other one. I’d only read a few pages when I found myself fondly imagining the impact of my own highly entertaining memoir, Being Sixty-Six. This will shortly be available for just £0.50p – as […]


Apropos the previous post, am plagued here at 5am by some itching in the old sacrum environs. I would liken the associated skin deformation to the strange lumps and bumps associated with the odd post-glacial landscape. The bare truth is that I was wrangĺing them little wee pebbles into cement in between some paving slabs […]

On the edge of the glacier

When we first arrived here, we soon noticed the garden was full of pebbles. Whenever and wherever we dug a hole to plant anything, the soil contained pebbles…lots of them. Usually small, sometimes the size of hens’ eggs, and sometimes hand sized. They are often black, and sometimes tan coloured. I might add that the […]