Saturday, 4 July 2020

Losing my phone

The world belongs to those who check - a useful phrase I've adopted over the last couple of years, and usually it works, except a few weeks back I didn't check when leaving a gîte. About half way back home I realised I must have left my phone charging. It was annoying but I'd ask our very efficient host to send it back and reimburse her. Which she did immediately but the phone never turned up - 'lost' by Chronopost (never use them unless there is no other option, and then, don't, unless you wish to spend all your waking hours trying to navigate their complaints system - there isn't one).
So, life without a smart phone. I noticed, as when I first gave up coffee, a slight nagging sensation in my mind; something missing, something habitual, my index finger poised to prod that little round, slightly concave disc which would then wake a screen which would allow me to trawl, scroll, and distract myself for as long as desired. I didn't think I was addicted but the absence of the thing wakened me to the fact that I had - albeit a light addiction - been. How had people reacted to that last Instagram post? Should I post something new on Facebook? I'll just check messages/WhatsApp/ the weather/mail/google - what was the name of that Russian dog who was sent into space?  etc.

After searching about in the 'misc' drawer we found two old iPhones - a three and a four. I love the three with it's rounded corners and ultra solid feel but sadly it would be impossible to use now - and this was confirmed when I took it to the Orange shop. The seventeen year old assistant had handled the two ancient gadgets with a sort of wonder; how had people used such oddities? He sorted the sim card on the four and handed it back to me with a look of sympathy - good luck with the antique.
The phone works, in that I can call people, text, occasionally access Safari if 3G is awake enough, but not a lot else. Instagram is unattainable, Facebook, possibly, but my passwords don't seem to work. For a few days this was annoying. I wanted to share pictures of slumbering upside-down dogs, flowers, extracts of my writing, etc but after a while the urge sloped off to now be no urge - at all. I forget where the phone is, forget to charge it, forget it's presence unless I need to call someone. It feels good not to have the nagging sensation. The only thing I've really missed is the map apps as they save huge amounts of time when trying to locate a place - see last post... However I am paper map obsessed generally, and talking to other humans to get directions isn't a bad thing.
This may not last of course; I may feel deprived, left out, feel quietly derided for using such a scarred antiquity with its piddly screen. Or not. Maybe its a wonderful thing to reclaim that part of one's brain so drawn to those regular-as-clockwork tiny dopamine hits and be content to revert to using a phone for what they originally were devised for.


Thursday, 2 July 2020

If Kafka had ever visited an industrial estate

he might have been inspired to write a novella on the subject...

                                           Carcassonne before its industrial estates.

I hate these places generally, wastelands of land-fill producing companies, (on the whole), the odd coffee van lurking on a corner if you are lucky, and miles of interconnected roads leading to nowhere that all look the same with often insufficient notice boards decreeing which companies are there, and where exactly.
Yesterday, armed with the name and address of a removal company which supplies cardboard boxes, tape and suchlike, I ventured forth to afore-mentioned warren of roads and spent an hour and a half driving slowly around and stopping, much to the annoyance of courier vans, to try and fathom where 'Gerard' removals was located.
My phone has recently been stolen or 'lost' in the post by Chronopost (another rant to be ranted) and the prehistoric iPhone we found in a drawer won't do much more than call and text, so, no map apps, and very hesitant search engines, AND, I'd forgotten to write down the firm's number. I swore a lot under the shade of a lone tree - that's another thing about these places, or this one, there are no trees anywhere - and phoned Mark to ask if he could look up the info on his phone. He did, but it was another Gerard in the middle of town, and nothing to do with removals, so I drove around a bit more then saw another removal company called 'Cabri' so went in to ask if they know the one called Gerard.
Interesting the psychology of certain French women in a slight power situation. She calmly and briskly informed me that Gerard and Cabri were the same thing. I duly said that I'd been driving around the estate, and not for taking in the beauty of it, and why wasn't there a sign, or a name anywhere to indicate the presence of Gerard (Cabri) removals, and why did it not say on the website that Cabri was the name one should look for. She deflected my comments by demanding what I wanted, and, since it was nearly lunchtime and I would be then thrown out and a whole morning would thus be wasted I forgot the Kafka stuff, told her what I required, paid and was given the pile of flat pack boxes and shown the stairs.
A certain satisfaction crept back; at least I had achieved this minor task, and could now enjoy a quick lunch with Mark in the town square, and more importantly empty my bladder as too much tea before setting out was starting to be an issue, and I wouldn't have dared to ask if I could use Cabri's loo.
I arrived in the square, we chose a cheap bistro, ordered and I said I'd just nip to the loo.
'It was not allowed, madame' stated the waiter. Covid rules. I said it was extremely urgent, and what did they do when they wanted a pee. He said it would be a penal offence if were to use the loo, they didn't have the right cleaning 'materials' and air hand dryers were forbidden. Crossing my legs more, I asked where the nearest public convenience was. He pointed to the corner of the square and I hobbled off. It was out of order. I asked a policeman. He said normally the ones at the other end of the square under the raised stage area would be available but not for some time to come as various events were being put on and the loos blocked off with scaffolding. I asked where else was there one and he looked blankly about before pointing in the direction of Barcelona. Maybe over there . . . somewhere. Meanwhile my plat du jour was going cold. I walked more swiftly about through various streets, begged in a few bars, nope, not possible, even if I bought and downed a shot of brandy, which by that time I was beginning to need.
I peered back into the square. Mark was looking slightly worried, and my lunch was sitting there getting more gelatinous by the second. I walked around further away into some tiny back streets, considered a doorway until I noticed somewhere watching me with interest from an upstairs window. Fountain in the square? Forget lunch and drive to a field?


                                       How happy I would have been to find this beauty

In got back to the square and really began to feel a bit panicky.
Going to the loo in a café when you have ordered something is so utterly unthought about. It's just what you do. I've done it hundreds of times. It's the law for eating establishments: normally. But this is Covid time, and nothing is normal. Perhaps all these eateries shouldn't be open. Maybe all these waiters shouldn't be touching our plates without gloves on, or wearing their masks casually over one ear while discussing football with regulars. Maybe we should have been at home eating, but it was a special event. Mark has just left (desired to leave it) his job, and I had successfully not gone mad on an industrial estate.
In desperation I pushed open a very decrepit door in one of the square's buildings, went into a hallway hoping perhaps there might be a communal loo somewhere and then - crazed from bladder pressure and no food - went down a flight of stairs into a cellar which was full of old fridges and rotten wood. But no loo. I really had fallen into a worrying novel or that film 'After Hours' by Scorsese. Some old woman would appear and strangle me with half finished knitting or I would fall down a hole into a parallel time where all the loos would be open in the square but Mark and my lunch would never be found. So, anyway, I did pee, next to a pile of rotten wood and zipped back up the stairs praying no one would ask me what I was doing.
My lunch was cold but I don't think it was probably ever too wonderful. I ate then went to pay. The waiter did actually apologise and said he would ring the local council about the lack of public loos. I later wondered what all those other eighty or so people sitting drinking beers and cokes had done faced with the same situation. Od course, it is somewhat easier for blokes...

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Walk cataloguing

So . . . yes, we are in the process of moving - in that we have found a house Northwards in France, or rather North-Westwards. It was going to be purely Northwards but plans have changed . . .
It's about fourteen years since we last moved house and that was only a mile up the road. This move will be huge in distance and stuff. I've been steadily boxing up unwanted stuff for the last couple of weeks now and taking it to the equivalent of Oxfam, but the amount doesn't seem to be decreasing much. If Mark had been a flute player and just that, not a pianist/multi-instrumentalist/ethnomusicologist we might not have quite the amount of associated items, but we do, and that's fine. We also have all the antique and boot sale finds that we have accumulated over the years, partly for the pleasure of doing so but also with the idea of running a 'brocante' /tea shop somewhere. This new house may well lend itself to such an enterprise so all that has to be kept too.
Anyway, part of moving to another region is the excitement of new discoveries but also the sadness of leaving loved people and places behind. The people will hopefully visit but the places will only remain in memories and photos, therefore I feel compelled to catalogue all the favourite places, mainly those that feature in regular dog walks.

Walk one:

This involves a short car drive to a village on a hill, and a further winding road leading to a tiny hamlet called Lapayre, now just one dwelling in which resides Mr Oui, Oui, Oui, and his wife who I have never seen. If Mr Oui, Oui, Oui (called thus as his cheerful conversation is peppered with the repeated word) is around he will sally forth on his elderly but spritely legs and retail us with information about the hamlet which once held eight families all called Lapayre, the vines, the woods, his regard for all people whatever their skin colour, his happiness at living in such a place, etc.
Today, he appeared, hobbling slightly and explained that he had met with a slight tractor accident. I congratulated him on his magnificent vegetable patch (small field) which made ours look utterly pathetic, and talked about pesticide-free gardening. He led us into the veg area, cut us a lettuce the size of a turkey and handed it to me saying his chickens would only eat the outside leaves of a home-grown lettuce, non of this supermarket rubbish...
We thanked him and set out on the walk which features a gently concave slope of vines slightly resembling a saddle. The dogs, let off after a safe distance from the chickens ran off knowing well the walk's outline, just waiting at the appropriate moment when we decide whether to take the shorter walk where one admires the view of St Polycarpe Abbey and the hills of Arce (snigger not), or the longer loop walk which ends back up at Mr Oui, Oui Oui's tractor barn.
We took the longer walk which leads up into a small wood, down a lush hillside full of wild flowers and insects and then up into a small but challenging (in the heat) upward section back to the car.



I've probably done this walk about fifty times over our seventeen years in this beautiful area of the Aude, and I never tire of its sights, and sounds of the resident crows who live in the forest above the path and the breezes that blow through the pine trees.



Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Leaving things alone

For years I've been attempting to hold our garden back from its natural urges.... It wants to be a half acre of weeds.
Not meaning to sound as if I am a control freak sort of gardener; not in the slightest, but come each May I do usually zip around with a small strimmer to get rid of what we perceive as weeds.
I can recall my mother ranting about ground elder in vicious terms, in fact it's edible apparently; if she had known she might have looked on it rather more fondly.
This year after reading so much horrific stuff about declining biodiversity, lack of bees and our general lack of understanding about the damage the human race has and is continuing, at an alarming rate, to inflict on all other lifeforms, I decided to leave as much as possible alone.
All weeds, or rather, plants that gardeners generally label unattractive or invasive, have been left to do their thing, and I have just cut tracks through the swathes. Of course there are a few plants, such as Japanese Knot Weed, that I might have attempted to keep well at bay if we had it here but so far nothing menacing has encroached.
The birds are noticeably more in numbers, which could partly be due to lockdown meaning verges all around were also left alone. Insects are everywhere, and the trees that usually get attacked by various blights are looking healthier. In a vague (and I want to vastly improve on this) nod to Permaculture I have mulched everything like mad, even using shredded bank statements and the vegetables are looking stronger than when I previously turned the earth and cleared away weeds.
It's all an experiment to be developed but our small patch of the world certainly feels more alive than any other year so far.




Our resident collared doves second nest of the year

Tomatoes and potatoes with bank statement mulch.

Postscript: I've just been down the garden to empty the compost bin and noticed a certain (don't know the name) vine that I usually pull off the laurel bushes is covered, and I mean covered, with honey bees...


Monday, 25 May 2020

Junk shop magic

In the days long ago around mid March, when all shops were open and the sight of someone wearing a mask was an oddity. I was in an Oxfam shop on Goodge Street collecting together a load of old crockery to use for my book launch. After the event my kindly brother returned all items to another charity shop but I kept these two wonderments as a reminder of a particularly amazing evening before everything changed....

Saturday, 23 May 2020

dog indifference to music

I've seen and heard other dogs howling along to various genres of music, but ours seem totally untouched by any type whether it be classical, jazz, Japanese noise terrorism, ska, opera, folk; Mark practising accordion, piano, cello, or Ezra playing guitar.
Here is a small experiment: me trying out a Kink's number on Gala.

Friday, 8 May 2020


It is no doubt that our consumption of it has, and is having, terrible consequences on this sphere we inhabit.
I'm not a vegetarian, but have never eaten much meat seeing it as an occasional treat and more recently an occasional necessity - I have a low lying tendency to Trigeminal Neuralgia (sometimes affectionately (not) referred to as the worst pain known to man) - and feel that a from-time-to-time chunk of meat protein does keep my body stocked with B12 (vital in this case) and other vitamins. Having experienced the real full on TG thing I can honestly say I would eat a whole goat at that point if it would stop the attack, therefore chewing on the odd small steak feels warranted.
Mark (husband) would be totally happy as a vegetarian and often has been throughout his life, although travelling for music research in some countries required him to lapse - tricky to rebuff a host's kindness in refusing a meat dish.
He's now probably 90 percent vegetarian at home but accepts meat or fish if other options are not readily available when eating out - mostly the case in Southern France. My son is a true omnivore but happy to eat a mostly vegetable/pulses diet.
When I do buy meat I choose something locally slaughtered and usually from our town's bio-coop; just a small amount, maybe once a week. It might be a bit of minced beef to add to a pasta dish or a guinea fowl which will do for several meals - roast, curry, soup and two lots of dog meal scraps.
The word omnivore derives from the Latin omnis (all) and vora, from vorare, (to eat or devour), therefore we could conclude this means we eat everything, although many people would argue that we could but should we.


I don't know. Probably no one, as with just about everything else, has a finite answer. We have canine incisor teeth for tearing flesh, big square molars for chewing . . . would seem logical that humans are designed to eat whatever they encounter depending on the situation. We who live in countries where a massive food choice is easily available do have many options but certainly where I live in France meat is top of the shopping list, tofu something alien and mysterious.
Lockdown for us has partly meant going back to shop in town. We'd got lazy, driving to the supermarket to do everything in one go. We did always use the local bio shop for staple goods but now it, the town's veg shop and occasionally one of the butchers has become of prime importance.
A meat-based lunch planned yesterday (Mark the vegetarian makes a mean traditional lasagna) I cycled to town and joined the queue outside 'Jose's'.
We've been being buying occasional bits of meat from this shop for over fifteen years and part of the joy (if there joy involved in peering at animal carcasses) is engaging with the lovely couple who run the place. However overworked they are they always stop and chat, suggest the best way of cooking whatever it is you are purchasing, faces bright with enthusiasm over garlic sauce, accompanying vegetables, secret methods handed down, etc.
It's never a quick shop. All the clients receive the same treatment whether it's, in our case, buying a small packet of fresh steak mince, or two carrier bags bulging with carefully cut and wrapt flesh. I stood and listened to old Madame Whoever ordering an enormous and varied quantity of meats, each one discussed, advice given, choice of cuts offered. She was a small elderly woman who must have had a voracious carnivore appetite, or maybe she was shopping for ten people; I suspect not. Probably just her and Mr Whoever for a few days. But meat was obviously the central dish of every day: lamb cutlets, pork something, various sausages, paté, a chicken and two thick steaks . . . I watched Jose lovingly slice the steaks with a knife so sharp it literally melted through the flesh while they talked about pan heat and garlic.
My eyes wandered up to the old framed photographs that adorn the brown tiled walls and studied them as I have so many times while waiting. They have pride of place here, family members caught in sepia arrest, proudly holding splayed cow/horse? carcasses; the local abattoir, and a particularly fascinating photo which I must ask to look at in detail one day: a group picture, a family or small business perhaps. One man holding a large cut of meat, a dog grinning in the foreground, a man grasping the nose ring of a bull and another man holding - in demonstrative position - a huge lump hammer over the head of the bull, his job, presumably the 'knocker'. I don't know what the equivalent is in French, I just recall the name from reading Upton Sinclair's 1906 book The Jungle, a terrifying portrayal of (mainly) the American meat-packing industry.
Is there a safe point between the barbaric meat industry and no meat? Possibly, but it requires a complete rethink and education about meat generally. We have become used to anything being available whenever we want it; plastic wrapped, no preparation, no thought needed about where a pork chop or chicken leg actually comes from, the conditions the beast lived in before meeting its end.
As with so many other elements of how we live today, (which is being severely questioned at the moment as we attempt to deal with Covid), I think the answer is less. A lot less. Local. Small scale. Better quality. Occasional. Up the vegetable intake drastically, educate about real food, love the lentil, and seriously think about how and why this virus has come about. What nature might be telling us.

I've just found two of the mentioned photos, including the 'knocker'.


Sunday, 3 May 2020

Latest Londonia review

Another positive and in depth review by Sarah Tanburn at HORLA - the home of intelligent horror.

I ENJOY a good sprawl of a novel about London and Kate A Hardy has served up a good one in her big stewpot of ideas and images with a solid side order of mystery. This is a long, immersive read, excellent for those of us waiting out lockdown... Hardy has created a complex world, rich in allusion and geography. It is satisfyingly sensual, full of smell and touch and noise ...

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Great LONDONIA review

From Sci-fi and Fantasy magazine LOCUS.

Kate A. Hardy’s London of 2072 in Londinia  is  divided into two worlds. 
In the Cincture (hyper-center of old London Town, also called the Egg), the elite live a more-than-comfortable, mostly frivolous life, protected from the harsh realities of dire post-apocalyptic weather and a hand-to-mouth existence. Londonia (also known as The Pan), where life is nasty, brutish,    and  short, resembles Dickensian London. And like Dickens, Hardy portrays both the best and the worst of it.

Despite the poverty, vicious weather, and the considerable percentage of the population who are cruel and murderous, Londonia’s barter-based society is also full of true friendship, cooperation, and humanity. Hoxton, the protagonist, is of unknown and mysterious origin, but her intelligence, natural talents, and luck in attracting the best of comrades set her up as the best Finder – one with a knack and connections for finding desired commodities and trading them – in Londonia. She also becomes a Finder for citizens of the Cincture and moves between the two environments, which enables her to pursue answers to the puzzle of her past.

As compelling a heroine as the capable and beautiful Hoxton is, her finding partner, Jarvis, and her community of friends are just as well drawn, as are the denizens of the Cincture. The plot flowing through this rich world and animating the characters living in it is an intelligent commentary on current society and where we may well be headed, but it is also a traditional, if updated, story – and, consequently, a real page-turner.

Hoxton wonders who she is, but once she learns there is someone in her past she must find, her search for answers becomes imperative. There’s also a strong stream of romance, a dastardly villain, and room for a sequel. A deeply engaging and always-entertaining novel, the author’s superb use and invention of future language is brilliant. Paula Guran

LOCUS May 2020

Friday, 1 May 2020

A few ink drawings

from my story 'The Katbells Fishing Community' which I'm about to make into a film for our 'Tales from the Vestry' Youtube channel.



life in detail

Constricted as we are in travelling about, the garden has become even more of a discovery zone; after around fourteen years of no pesticides and pretty much free range to all weeds every corner of it is a verdant surprise this year.
Maybe it's my imagination but there seem to be more insects, frogs and birds than usual. But not just in our garden, the whole area feels more alive: more bird song, uncut verges brimming with wild flowers and grasses. Nature must be nodding her head, hands on hips, smiling as she looks around: "Yep, this is better, yep, heading in a better direction . . .
We have a large collared dove population in the garden, a few resident pairs who nest - or attempt to nest - usually in bizarre places with no structure. This year a pair decided on a hastily constructed twig 'platform' in a large bush next to the terrace, so we were able to observe the whole young dove life cycle from egg to almost fully grown bird.
It was incredible how quickly the two lumps of fluff turned into miniature doves and then took their first wobbly flights, a matter of perhaps three weeks in all. . .
I felt quite proud as I watched them flap away as we had played a part in their maturity - the parent birds having largely nourished themselves and their offspring from our grain, and quite sad to loose that amazing little bit of life detail so close to the house.


Slightly blurry picture of the young birds as the camera homed in on the vegetation

Monday, 20 April 2020

Hoxton Radio interview

Well, with a name like that they had to interview a Londoner whose novel features a leading character with the same name.

The interview went out last night and although I listened waiting to cringe somewhat it was really okay. Jordan Scudder (could also have been a character in my book with such a name) was an excellent interviewer, making me feel totally relaxed - good preparation for appearing on Woman's Hour/ desert Island discs... one can dream.

The only tricky point was when he asked me on the spot for a record that would have relevance to Londonia. Complete blank and then thought of about fifty possibilities three minutes after the interview had finished. Anyway, oddly this does make me think of the book, so my sub-conscious must have taken over, which it often does in my writing process.

Great video too.

In celebration of trees

This wet spring (for here) has seen a proliferation of foliage and blossom I can't recall ever being quite so lush. Or maybe it's just nature noticing that humans have been put firmly in the background for a while - possibly longer/for ever... middle finger well and truly jabbed upwards to our destructive race.
As a committed tree hugger/tree admirer I was happy, very happy to hear that Mark (husband) was writing a music accompaniment to an excellent reading of 'The man who planted trees' or, in its original French, l'homme qui plantait des arbres'. The result is touching and beautiful, and the message of the story so utterly relevant for all times, particularly now.

                     A lone, and happy pine on top of the 'pic de Brau' near our town

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Todays allowed-out walk

A grey day. Suburbia beckoned. Not that we have much of one, but there are some fine examples of 1920s/30s and 50s housing estate architecture on the outskirts of the town.
Setting our phone apps to a slightly later time as we would be unlikely to meet a policebod until reaching the main town area we set off along one of the oldest roads of Limoux (la Petite Ville), past the hospital, along the river for a while, across the Rue Oscar Rouge and into the area of mostly 50s and 70s housing.
After crossing the river we tried to follow a rather overgrown path along the banks and had to stop where tree debris from the January floods blocked the way. Walked back, and into town which was almost deserted, apart from a few brave shoppers wearing surgical masks. We've lived in this town for about eighteen years now and I can't recall a single day when most of the cafés and at least one bread shop was open, even on Christmas Day.

Yesterday's walk

You looking' at me...

A detail I have stopped to look at many times over the years. I just love the care that someone has taken to sculpt the stone to enable key turning

Mark reminded me of the fable that you should never sleep under an elderflower as you might never wake up such are its soporific properties...


One of 'the music houses'


               Random art piece

                               Reminder of the river's January height


                                                              The overgrown path

                            Spring fashions in rural Southern France. 

Live reading from my novel, Londonia.

An extract in which our heroine, Hoxton, visits a 'shouting house' (auction rooms circa 2072) to seek a requested Ikea cabinet.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Conceptual art walk

sort of...

At the time for the communal family walk this morning - a series of deep-exploration of our town and surroundings, within the allowed kilometre radius (slight cheat from time to time) - no one could make a decision on which direction to start from. No problem. Bag of cut up paper each piece marked with: Left or Right, or Straight On.
So, left out of the gate, up the deserted road, left at a 'crossroads' (choice of continuing the road, or one of two paths). Then we got distracted by a not-previously noticed path and ignored the bit of paper's instruction of 'right'. Short-lived art piece but new views, plants and possible other routes observed. To be continued... or not. Probably not.

Left out of the gate

choosing (reluctantly) the next bit of paper - Mum, do we have to do this...)

Next turn

Left and up the hill

new view of the town

Monday, 13 April 2020

Reading of The Panto Horse End

Part one:
A deadly fart causes an accident that changes the course of Marions' life...

An honest portrait

Forget all those, 'oo, wait while I just check my hair's okay,' moments, this, caught in a moment of silliness (happening more frequently...) is probably the most true picture of me I've seen for a long time. Nicely snapped Ezra.
I'll keep messing about between the blog/Twitter/Instagram/website etc and see if it surfaces on Google....


Building No 65

Spotted on our Allowed Out walk this morning.

Could it's clinical concrete exterior be a cover for something wild and at-the-present forbidden? The gate could give a small hint to the right observers. Tea dance? Exclusive private party featuring a stranded in France stadium rock band? Drug-laced rave?
. . . Probably not. I'd guess at beige or pale grey walls, white leather three piece suite, grey floor tiles, a clipped Yorkshire terrier, shiny red kitchen units, cinema screen TV, brass uplighters, huge white bathroom tiles with a scattering of gold and silver mosaics, palette knife black and red paintings, and a cream Renault Captur in the garage.


Thursday, 9 April 2020

Following on from last post...

... another walk we discovered within our allotted kilometre walk this morning.

I must have driven up the road that leads to a favourite walk about thirty times and most times have wondered where a small path on the right goes. As we were on foot this time it was easier to think - 'okay, let's find out.'
And we did, until Gala the sometimes deranged greyhound ran off... but the bit of walk we managed was beautiful - a hillside full of scented gorse and thyme, a river cascading in the valley below and new-to-us views of the town.

                                                             Gala with her innocent eyes.... 



As an appreciator of small abandoned dwellings and cabanes, I was happy to find an excellent specimen, complete with tiny fireplace, old chairs and long disused kitchenalia (not sure if this a word, but I like it).
I thought the shack and its ghostly owner wouldn't mind if I took a souvenir - an old and much cracked coffee bowl, which will now house a basil plant on the terrace.


In contrast to the wilderness and peacefulness, I recorded a few urban sites on the way home.

                                                a favourite view near the river


                                                   Charming bit of 80s architecture

                                              Weathered lockdown ad hoarding - Ha, Macdo!

If I was living back in London I would no doubt do what John Rogers (urban flaneur par excellence) does and record in detail everything around me, and look into geography and settlements of the past.
Below a recent video in which John uses the allotted 'lockdown' hour to investigate his patch of London.