Two time-stoppers

(i) I am walking to school. Pushing the pushchair with two hefty toddlers in it, wellies mud-streaked, balancing H's scooter over the top with a spare finger, sweaty enough to make me feel like this is exercise. It's one of my favourite things to do. The light is grey as steel, but the woods look … Continue reading Two time-stoppers

Earth days

Today is Earth Day. And I could wax lyrical about the walk we took by the canal on Saturday evening: the setting sun turned everything green and gold, and I was so grateful for any sunshine, any at all, that I could've cried with the loveliness of it. I could tell you about how we … Continue reading Earth days

That’s what I’d do on a farm

Hey, you: it's sunny. Let's go outside. I cannot tell you how giddy I get when it's warm enough to let go of winter coats. It hasn't been for months. I saw the sun streaming through the window this morning as I listened to Alan Bennett's The Lady in the Van - a joyous, funny, … Continue reading That’s what I’d do on a farm

Lunch with a side of blue sky

They said it was the last summer day of the year. And we were jubilant about Henry's newfound willingness to Eat Some Things Some of the Time (his own fork, and a seat at the table. That was what he was holding out for. The cad). So, a Saturday picnic? Obvious. We went to The … Continue reading Lunch with a side of blue sky


The sun came. Oh, it is marvellous. On Sunday, we had some friends over for dinner and then went up to The Holies in Streatley for a walk. It's a National Trust-owned slice of woodland with gorgeous views over the Thames Valley. And it's best in sunshine, so there we were. On the way, we … Continue reading Sky-chasers

Yo ho ho and a cup of herbal tea

There are things in my life that make me feel terribly English. See, exhibit A: love for scones and jam; exhibit B: inability to sing 'Jerusalem' without bellowing; exhibit C: crippling awkwardness in social situations. Spending the day on a narrowboat chugging down an Oxford canal has to be in the top five. We did … Continue reading Yo ho ho and a cup of herbal tea

And then: sunshine

This morning someone nudged May in the ribs and told it to get its act together. And so it brought out the sun. I wonder sometimes what it would be like to live in a country that was sunny in season. I am so unstoppably cheerful on a sunny day. When I wake up and … Continue reading And then: sunshine

Inside and out

This time last year, almost to the day, Tim and I went for a picnic in Prospect Park. It was unusually good weather for early spring. I was working from home on Wednesdays, sick to my bones, and Timothy took a break from his finals revision and pulled me out of doors for an hour. We … Continue reading Inside and out