Monthly Archives: July 2012


I’m about to turn 34 in a few minutes! 34!

I feel like a list should be made of things to do before I turn 35 – though I guess you never know what the coming days ever hold.

Like I don’t think I’d ever have thought at 7, or even at 27, that I’d be living in a little English village with an Englishman of my own and a little Lily-flower who takes me for long walks through woods and fields.

So let’s say c’est la vie and make a list anyway. Tomorrow. Unless the sun comes out and Lily wants to take me for a walk instead 🙂


These guys are just lovely in life – their wings in flight, flashing their distinctive bold black and white colouring, are just gorgeous to see. I remember them pecking around our back garden in Lahore many years ago.

I do miss them – and that garden.

Write a Letter


Just a random musing. A dear friend from school days emailed today trying to trace the whereabouts of a tape recording of a play we all did way back when. He had CCed other people from ‘back in the day’ and I added some more and the thread grew, peppered with exclamations and greetings and nostalgic recollections and news of births and marriages. And you know, it felt quite special. Like snail mail used to do. This also coincided with a trip to the village post office earlier so I think it’s all a sign to write more letters and send more e-mails, just to say hey old friend, I thought of you today and it gave me great joy.

For the Journey

Today’s illustrative moment of Zen.


Hedgehog in the Fog

I have discovered something wonderful today! An animated Russian classic from 1975. What a marvellous, poetic little story. And one featuring my dear little friend, the hedgehog!

As Michelle Aldredge, a writer and photographer, says on her blog Gwarlingo.: “If you’ve never seen Yuriy Norshteyn’s Hedgehog in the Fog, then you are in for a special treat. And if you have seen it, you owe it to yourself to revisit this classic, animated film”. Go on, you can spare 10 minutes! To learn more, take a look at Michelle’s blog where she expands on the background and the creator of this little gem.


Yes. It is finally in the works. I think it has been more than 9 long years now that I have been dreaming of an Arvon week. Why has it taken so long, you ask? Let me tell you in a poem:

illusions of grandeur

I’m glad not to have pursued those dreams
Sometimes the failure to do, it seems,
Can be all that remains if you are to speak
To yourself of all that you could have been.

Yes, indeedy. There is cowardice at the heart of it. But I did tell myself 2012 would be the year to take this bull by the horns and put pen to paper at last – and what better way to brush off and breathe new life into an old dream than a week of wonder at The Hurst.

Due to a mix of troubles, financial and logistical, I was unable to stick to the original plan of attending a Fiction course with the beautiful and talented Sarah Hall and equally beautiful and talented Owen Shears this September. Being a fan of their very lyrical prose, I was quite thrilled to have gotten a space in their workshop and was hoping to have a modest body of work done over the summer to show. But the best laid plans…you know how it goes. So since I have to spend the summer trying to earn the money for my little adventure and don’t expect to have to much writing time, I have moved myself along the calendar to November, when Kate Long (a lovely lady who, curiously enough, seems to share my love of prickly rodents) and Simon Thirsk (of Bloodaxe Books, eeeeeeee!!!) will be running a course designed specially for those of us who need permission to write. And you never know, maybe after I get my ‘permission’, my toehold on an intangible goal, I may scrimp and save my way on to another one of Arvon’s offerings in due time.
Three months to go!

Flower Tag Templates








Not sure if this will work, but thought I’d try adding a couple of templates for tags you can (hypothetically) download. Okay, so they’re a bit rubbish, but it’s early days I tell you! I will evolve!

Scraps of Colour

So I’m still using scrap pieces of paper and spare bits of time to play with my watercolours. Sadly, I still lack the skills to render ‘Mind-blowing Artwork that Will Rock the Planet’, but I must say it’s a nice little bit of stress relief for the perpetually anxiety ridden.  

Also, this – about the badgers. The whole business is making me very sad indeed.


When I am feeling out of sorts for whatever reason, I find that a little walk through the fields is the best remedy. Mostly because after you have watched a cow benignly chewing cud for a few minutes, the world seems a lot more manageable somehow. Or maybe that’s just me. That divine calm on her face? I’m going to call it bovinity. So here’s to the cows.