Tuesday, November 13


I have a sunny disposition and can usually be relied upon to find a positive slant on almost every situaton but I confess that having to deal with the fall out from Sunday's disaster has made me feel very grumpy.  What irks me most is that the dogs' owner can choose what happens next. All he has to do is prove to the Dog Warden's satisfaction that he will in future ensure the dogs are kept within his property and then they remain in hs care. He can choose to put them down if he fears that they may pose a threat to other animals or people, or not if he feels there is no threat. This irritates me no end as due to his negligence we had no choice about the demise of the rabbits, even though we were keeping them responsibly and in a safe place. I wish I could say that there is no doubt that the animals pose no threat but I am terribly afraid that one day in the future I will be forced to say "I did warn you" and it wll not be with any sense of triumph.

Monday, November 12

Mindless violence

Picture from The Guardian
Whilst we were solemnly observing two minutes silence on the train at Gatwick, pausing to think of all the fallen who have given so much so we may be free to choose our futures, a mini massacre was taking place in our garden.  A pair of Rhodesian Ridgebacks, escaped from their garden and roaming unchecked for the fourth time this week, launched such a ferocious attack on the hutch that it is broken beyond reasonable repair and the rabbits were left sadly defenceless. Thankfully the children were not present to see the ten minutes of carnage that left their beloved rabbits strewn in pieces across the lawn but their devastation has been heart rending to say the least. The dogs' owner has been, wringing his hands and wondering what he can do to make things better. As Lapin says nothing will make it better as Stanley cannot be replaced. As you can see, he was not your ordinary rabbit.

In the grand scheme of war and the many hundreds of thousands of lives lost, two rabbits is not the end of the world. However, we have lost two great friends and the gap in our lives is palpable.

Wednesday, September 12


What was the best thing about going to the Parade?

Bounce replies "I saw Mo, he saw me and we did the Mobot together."

Well worth the trip.

Wednesday, September 5

Mourning a Gentleman

Early this morning a great man was taken gently into the endless night, a man to whom the epithet Gentleman truly belonged. 

John Lawrence was a fearless and talented amateur jockey and also a journalist of great professionalism, insight and wit. A man with such integrity and humility he filed copy for the Telegraph shortly after being passed on the long Aintree run-in during the 1963 Grand National without showing any great bitterness in that last gasp defeat.

 Picture from the Daily Telegraph

Later as Lord Oaksey (having inherited the title from his father) he was a founding Trustee of the Farrell-Brookshaw Fund which became the Injured Jockeys Fund, providing financial and pastoral assistance to jockeys forced to end their career through injury.

A man of great wit and humour he exuded intelligence and mishief in equal measure and was rarely without a chuckle.  His autobiography Mince Pie for Starters is typically self deprecating and the audio version, read by John himself, told with such amusement the listener feels great pity not to have been there at the time. 

I was honoured to have known him albeit briefly in the twilight of his years and shall remember him with great fondness and respect.

Thursday, July 26

Sartorial opinions

Cycling in to town this morning, enjoying the early morning balmy warmth on our skin, we chatted idly of this and that until Lapin suddenly spluttered the following phrase with utter distain:

"Mummy, why is that man wearing socks with sandals?"

and then with some surprise:

"Why are you laughing? What is so funny about that?"

and finally in a disgusted tone:

"And they were navy socks with cream sandals."

Is it any wonder I find cycling in a straight line so tricky?

Wednesday, February 29

Innocent gluttony

In a few minutes of post-school artistic activity, (whilst his laissez faire mother attended to some emails upstairs) Bounce absentmindedly ate his way through nearly a pound of dried apricots. When faced with his parents' laughing incredulity he innocently said

"but I was hungry, and I'm allowed to eat fruit."

We await the consequences nervously.

*Picure from organixbenefits.com

Tuesday, February 7

Effective early morning alarm systems

"Mummy.....the rabbits have escaped."

Cue much leaping about and struggling blearily into clothes before rushing out to mount a stealth mission which coerces them effortlessly (for once) back into the hutch before any of the local cats get wind of a breakfast opportunity.


Monday, February 6

Brown, and green, and grey

Definitely not white.

Much to the disgust of the smaller Ps there is not even a hint of snow on the ground though we hear it is everywhere else. Bounce, on the phone to my sister in Norfolk, was heard to ask if she could put some snow in the post and is now eagerly awaiting the postman.

I fear terrible scenes of unbounded disappointment when he returns from school.

Friday, February 3

Ditchling Beacon

At the very top of the steep green giant that is Ditchling Beacon, a small herd of cattle grazed idly beside the frozen dew pond, apparently impervious to the biting wind whistling across the crest of the hill. The sun shone wanly with slightly grey light so the rolls of grass looked like an old army surplus woollen blanket thrown carelessly down, the folds left crumpled and creased.

I sat in the fuggy warmth of the car gazing at the villages strewn along the valley below and enjoyed a short pause in my busy day.

Wednesday, February 1


Seen today:

A gaggle of very noisy sparrows, filling the air with an almost deafening musical chatter from their treetop perches. Twenty or more of them all singing at the tops of their little voices with joy.

A solitary kestrel floating majestically above the road, eyes scanning for roadkill which may constitute lunch. His wings flap occasionally but his head remains absolutely still.

Three red kites wheeling around above the trees with the same speed and frivolity of small boys playing a game of tag.

A flash of green as the woodpecker moves from tree to tree.

Tuesday, January 17

Red boots

Whilst surfing for some boots to replace the ones I have worn out, I found this.

Not quite what I had in mind but isn't he the sartorial pig about town?

Monday, January 16

Bright start

Monday mornings are notoriously tedious as the weekend is reluctantly sloughed off but who could fail to be enticed out of bed by a sunrise as beautiful as this?

Sunday, January 15

Babysitting service

Seen outside an enterprising pub in the nearest shopping town:

I like their thinking.

Wednesday, January 4

After the storm

As the whistling of the wind and the swirling of the rain finally began to subside yesterday the end of the storm was heralded by a midday dawn chorus. Suddenly the air was filled with little birds all talking at the tops of their voices from sheltered perches and the noise was beautiful.

Monday, January 2


The words have been stuck somewhere between my mind and the page, usually because they don't seem poetic enough to share. I'm resolving to do better but in the meantime, here is a summer picture to brighten the short winter days.