It's the simplest of things. Take a slice of bread, put it in the slot, drop the lever and wait. After a short time the lever POPS! and there you have it, perfectly browned toast, yours to adorn it however you wish, and ohhhh the choices are myriad. My usual toppings for a breakfast slice


I blame my Dad. He was a P.E. teacher so I guess it's understandable, and natural, that his job seeped into his home life and gave me a love of sport. Correction, a love of watching sport. My earliest memories are rugby, likely the Five Nations, with cricket and Formula 1 a close second (the


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


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


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


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.


"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


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,


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


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,


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


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


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


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


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