Thursday, 16 June 2016


This is what makes the battle with the slugs, moths, and torrential rain all worthwhile. Aquilegia lemon sorbet, so perfect.

I can't believe that I took this with the camera on my phone, but I did. Sometimes I am almost sure there is a supreme being - call it god if you will - when I look at perfection like this. I am so proud to have grown this from seed. Perhaps that makes me part of god too.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The stuff of nightmare...

I don’t quite know how this has happened but it seems that at some point over the last few weeks I have become sane. I don’t know if it’s been happening gradually or took place in a flashbangwallop of a moment that for some reason I didn’t notice at the time. Maybe my new found sanity crept up on me - slowly, slowly catchy monkey style - and or it cornered me one day forcing me into becoming…

Well, what have I become?

All of my thoughts seem so ordinary and mundane. No longer do I have ridiculous flights of fancy that can take me away for days. That man I pass in the street is just that: a man and not a sewer dwelling rat person. That tiny blur that just ran behind that plant pot was just a mouse and not a grey liveried messenger on his way to warn Titiana that the man who lives at the bottom of the garden - the one with the ass's ears - is up and about. That warm breeze isn’t blowing in from Tangiers with the promise of the harem and camel rides and I can’t smell spice or the juice of blood oranges on its waft; it’s just a wind from up the road.

Perhaps it's the rain or the referendum or America's totally crazy idea that it's okay to buy sub machine guns in supermarkets. Maybe it's the booze or the gardening. It may even be this bloody new computer; the one that seems to have a mind of its own but no bloody memory.

Just where has my imagination gone? Where has that creativity – something that has been a blessing and a curse for all of my remembered life – taken off too? I didn’t ask it to go. We never fell out as far as I am aware. Has it gone forever? Or is it just taking a small vacation leaving me in this barren dessert of sanity without the hope of an interesting thought or a passing camel to climb up on.

I want my madness back, paranoid delusions and all. It’s not enough to only dream in my dreams. I want my dreams all of the time – even if they are sometimes made from the stuff of nightmare. And this is my nightmare, to think in this dull and boring way without the excitement of my madness running and jumping from brain cell to brain cell until my whole head is alive with ideas, until I am forced to snatch up a pen and begin scribbling.

Could this be the end?

Friday, 3 June 2016

Boundaries and borders...

I want to write about boundaries and borders. In fact I want to write in praise of boundaries and borders, not something very well looked upon in these days of free movement and fear of saying that difference is good and that there are differences. Difference is a precious thing, it’s difference that moves us all forward. But first let’s talk about boundaries and borders.

When I was young the county that you lived in defined you. I was from Oxfordshire and had an Oxfordshire accent. Next door was Bucks and they spoke quite differently. Down in Cornwall they spoke a strange tongue and over in Lincolnshire, where my family came from. I couldn’t understand a single word my granddad said. I’d never heard Scouse, or Black County, or Geordie, they all came much later, but I guess the point I’m making is that we were different and separate and it was okay and nobody expected you to be the same as the chap from the next county.

Over the years I have seen these county differences, particularly accents and customs, almost vanish as people move freely from one county to another seeking work or change. Gone are the days when each small village was a tribe, often running with different words for the same things, sometimes running on different times as the church clock was the time in that place. Now I’m not saying this was a good or bad thing but it did give a wonderful diversity, boundaries and borders kept good things in and sometimes kept bad things out.

Of course, the media and ease of travel, technology and fashion, the need to conform and aspire to what everybody else has got has changed all of that even in the short sixty years of my life. No longer are there people who have never been out of their county as there were in my youth and the days of living in the village you were born in all your life are long gone.

By now you might have realised I don’t quite know what I’m trying to say. But I think that my point is that as we allow our boundaries and borders to be opened up, we lose the differences that make us so interesting. If we accept the idea that we must all be the same, speak with the same accent, run on the same village time, we will lose uniqueness and eventually we will become a grey sludge of nothingness no better than a mound of ants working and thinking to a pre-formatted plan.