“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”

Virginia Woolf

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For those of you new to my blog, I should explain that my parents died when I was young: my Dad when I was almost 10, my Mum when I was 14. Her sudden death at home was quite a traumatic experience for a young person, but in 1972, there was little or nothing in the way of counselling or support on offer, and that only served to make me bury my feelings deeper. It’s only with the benefit of experience and hindsight that I can see how what happened continued to ricochet through my life for decades.

A Lasting Companion

A few days ago, I noticed that the cowslips had begun to appear in the ditches hearabouts, seemingly overnight. Such a pleasure to see those pale yellow candelabras! It’s one of the joys of living in this part of France – there is little intensive arable farming and they maintain the hedges and ditches by the roads so well that wildflowers still thrive in a way I haven’t seen in Suffolk since my childhood.

I have been absent in the Spring

I have so many memories of my Mum, but the happy ones often involve food. Coming home from school to the smell of baking; licking the spoon when she made a fruit cake; ‘helping’ her by pushing pieces of apple through the Spong mincer when she made mincemeat in the autumnal preparations for Christmas…

Eat, love, remember

When the first lockdown started here in France, I wasn’t too bothered by the prospect. For one thing, I’d been in a sort of self-imposed house arrest for several months anyway, so it was almost a relief not to have to find an excuse not to go out.

The L-word

“You know what? I think I’ll blame Tom Hiddleston. You’ll see what I mean.”


What is wrong with me?

My grandson, Ellis Alfred…

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