Archives for the ‘Garden’ Category


Mid-March, and the frogs come out of their wet lairs for the annual jamboree.

Sound of Mind and Body

She says she’s sound of mind and body, and I say “what does that sound like?” And my cat looks like she’s passing through when in fact she’s passing away. She gives me that look that says “look—don’t look at me that way. Let me sit at the edge of the shade. And let me […]

A true story from the neighbourhood

Last night I was lounging in a friend’s garden a few doors down with a whole bunch of good neighbours, good wine and good food. All the kids had taken themselves off and we were left to chat and laugh. I was sat next to my friend’s mother, an erudite and charming woman who was […]

The English Spring Paint Chart

By popular demand, a seasonal companion to the successful Greek Holiday Paint Chart. Here’s a pixel palette collected from my garden in Hackney today.

Jays in the garden

We’ve always had jays here in Hackney, and I’ve always cursed them, fending off their raids on other birds’ nests with hollers and pebbles. This year, a pair have taken up in the garden and they’re flitting to-and-fro, twig in beak, to the sycamore. And now I’ve developed a begrudging fondness for them. They are […]

Garden warblers in the cherry tree

The original Little Brown Birds. A pair stripping the tree of insects, just for a minute and gone.

Pondlife alchemy

Properly hot, and weekend, and shoes off, and a ukulele Christmas DVD put to bed. Time to peel off the ivy from the shed, and empty its contents onto the lawn to put it back again in the right order. And at 37˚, the pond starts to bubble over. Fish slithers over fish, chasing their […]


Just heard and then just caught a glimpse from the window.


It’s that time again…