The View from Here: a tentative return

And in making her choice, the squirrel – generous squirrel – has granted me the opportunity to join her at her table.

This morning I watched a squirrel, sleek and plump.  The squirrel and I are at eye level. We are each intent upon breakfast: I, dallying safe in my warm kitchen in our inverted home built from bricks and glass, cocooned and disconnected from what it really means to be in the throes of life, and he, moving freely in a habitat more suited to his wild and precious nature where every sight, sound and smell weaves a story in his brain about how to survive.  He is intent on his task and seemingly oblivious to my silent presence, tidied away behind the glass and safely distanced from those sensory signals that shout ‘danger’. Continue reading “The View from Here: a tentative return”

The View from Here: when the words don’t come

I had accepted that for the moment I can’t write – nothing publishable at least.  It will pass.  But snippets, fragments, jottings coalesced without my noticing… into what I would be writing about if I could.

Earlier today I accepted that, for whatever reason, at the moment I can’t write.  I have the ideas but not the capacity to create anything from them.  I was explaining this in a reply to Margaret at From Pyrenees to Pennines.

Margaret, thankfully, is much more prolific and consistent than I am.  Among other posts on her blog, she provides a one-word stimulus every Tuesday here at Ragtag Daily Prompts.  She has provided three so far, each one chiming absolutely with things I want to capture.  Every week I want to respond – it just doesn’t happen.  And I was explaining this to Margaret in a comment on her latest post.  Until I realised that without thinking about it, I was writing what’s been eluding me these past weeks. Continue reading “The View from Here: when the words don’t come”

Six Degrees of Separation: from Tales of the City to …

I so nearly didn’t post a chain for this month.  I made a start but the second half had several false starts and then when the final link came, I was aghast at how I could have missed the last few.  By then I’d taken a step back from the blogging world for a short while, and it’s been such a long time since I’ve posted about anything other than books; I thought, maybe I’ll just let this one pass …. But here I am: posting about books. Continue reading “Six Degrees of Separation: from Tales of the City to …”

Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor


I have owned a copy of Angel (1957) by Elizabeth Taylor since the earliest days of Virago Modern Classics, but I only actually read it earlier this year.  Everything I’d read suggested it was Elizabeth Taylor’s finest book and for a while I thoroughly enjoyed it.  But that didn’t last.  I found Angel as a character quite ghastly – which is of course, the intention – but I also found the book dragged.  It was too wordy, too slow, and I couldn’t find a single character that I warmed to.  The writing in Angel was good, but not good enough to get me past a tedious story and an odious protagonist.

So I am delighted that I found my second attempt at one of Elizabeth Taylor’s novels to be an entirely more positive experience.  Continue reading “Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor”


perhaps what all the best fathers and father figures have in common is their universal striving to offer unconditional love and support to those in their care

I am aware that it’s been quite a while since I posted anything related to Cornwall and our lives here; I really must address it.  But not today.  Continue reading “Fathers”

The Provincial Lady in Wartime by E M Delafield

I have had less opportunity for reading and blogging recently, which partly accounts for the fact that despite my best intentions, I did not get to finish a book for E M Delafield Day: the next underappreciated lady author in Jane’s Birthday Book – and even this post is late.  In fact, I didn’t even start what I intended to read – which is probably her most well-known book: The Diary of a Provincial Lady.  But it’s not so long ago that I read another of her ‘Diaries’ so I’m joining in anyway. Continue reading “The Provincial Lady in Wartime by E M Delafield”