Reading time: 3 mins

Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1999, sang Prince. Which would mean ditching our smartphones, not playing Crazy in Love, or Uptown Funk, and I’m not even sure I want to contemplate the fashion choices we’d be subjecting ourself to once more. I bought the single, 1999, when it came out. It wasn’t my first…


Reading time: 2 mins

I’ve always enjoyed nature documentaries. Admittedly in the UK we are especially spoiled by the wonderful gift that is Sir David Attenborough. For many people my age we grew up with his voice resonating. Before that there was Animal Magic with Johnny Morris, another advocate who taught us so much whilst making us laugh as…


Reading time: 2 mins

The title of my blog has been Happily Imperfect for some time now. I’ve written about this before but since then, things have changed. The name came about because I am, on the whole, happy with who I am, where I am in my life, and where my life is headed. If anything, the past…


Reading time: 2 mins

Every little helps. It’s a reasonable maxim to live your life by; save a little money when you can, eat a little less of the bad things and exercise a little more than you do to stay fit and healthy, make a little gesture to brighten the day of a stranger, and so on and…


Reading time: 3 mins

I’m on my way to work. I step off the bus and head for the same location as I have these past four years. As I enter, if she’s working, Alice says hi and takes my precious travel mug from me, and starts to prepare my … wait for it, large skinny, sugar-free vanilla, latte….


Reading time: 2 mins

“In the greenhouse, my grandfather and me. Smells of summer.” – Martin Stephenson. Is it the gentle aroma you get after a warm summer shower on dry soil? (Also known as Petrichor). Is it the subtle waft of a perfume from a passerby that transports you to forgotten time and place? Is it the smell…


Reading time: < 1 min

A blue desk, with a flip up lid, painted red in a later life, sitting there looking out through warbled glass. The smell of a warm wet dog from the back of the car. Sitting at the top of the stairs whilst my parents and friends talked and laughed late into the night. My blanket,…


Reading time: 3 mins

A couple of years ago I sat down at my desk. It was the first day of a dark November and my intention was to write 50,000 words of a new novel, my first. Having written posts for this blog for several years, and increasingly looked to improve the quality of the writing it was…


Reading time: 4 mins

I grew up in a house that always had the TV on. My Mum knitted, professionally, and the TV was the back drop to that. As she was working, she preferred things that she maybe didn’t have to pay close attention to, so Saturday afternoon movies became a staple, as did cricket and Formula One,…


Reading time: 3 mins

10 PRINT “Hello World!” I can’t remember if it was a birthday present or a present from Santa, or if it was from an Aunt or Uncle, but I can still remember the first time I used it and the mild awe I experienced when I got it working. The present was an electronics starter…


Reading time: 3 mins

Amongst the many internet trends – the commercialisation of happiness, the quasi-religion of productivity approaches – there is one phrase that makes my toes curl and my blood start to simmer. “Do what you love.” It’s a distillation of a thought first offered by Confucius “Choose a job you love, and you will never have…


Reading time: 2 mins

A couple of months ago, in the midst of my sisters wedding, I looked around the room and took in all the faces there. I saw many familiar faces, some of whom had been at my own wedding, many years ago, and I saw too the gaps of those no longer with us. It’s been…


Reading time: 2 mins

The air is cool as it moves around us. Under foot, crimson leaves lie fallen, their work done, and far above our heads the empty branches whisper in the wind. Decades of stories are whispered back and forth, as we stand below them, looking up as they sway and talk, telling their tales in a…


Reading time: 3 mins

It took ten minutes of chopping – carrot, celery, onion – plus a bag of yellow split peas and some vegetarian stock, add salt and pepper, some more water and, after slow cooking for several hours the kitchen was filled with the wonderful aroma of split pea soup. Thick, creamy, utterly deliciously. I’ve written about…


Reading time: 3 mins

Do, or do not, there is no try. The challenge was to get from the outdoor centre to a specified point a few hills away, and back, before anyone else. Four teams were assembled, all going to different points on the map that only they knew, and we all set out at the same time….