Category: Out & about


Now is not the month to go a-Maying

Today is May Day, one of my favourite seasonal festivals which, had it not been for the lockdown, I would have marked with a visit to Oxford this year, to hear the Choristers and Academical Clerks of Magdalen College sing their hymns and madrigals from the top of the Great Tower, and later, with a walk through Christ Church Meadows (below) or University Parks. … Read More Now is not the month to go a-Maying

+ Photo by Pixabay on

A Good Friday tradition

Today is Good Friday and on this day each year, members of the Royal Choral Society and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are back stage at the Royal Albert Hall, preparing to perform Handel’s Messiah. The Royal Choral Society was formed for the opening of the Royal Albert Hall in 1871 and sang its inaugural concert in that place on 8 May 1872. Of all … Read More A Good Friday tradition


Nature’s salve in lockdown days

The sights, sounds and smells of Spring lift my spirits at the best of times but in these lockdown days, as I’ve grown used to the blissfully deafening silence and reduced levels of pollution, the growth of the new season seems all the more thrilling. A sharp acidic scent of new-mown grass and blooming daffodils is flowing through my windows from the garden next … Read More Nature’s salve in lockdown days

+ Photo by Tom Swinnen on

Coffee beans and a grinding machine

The horrifying and unedifying pictures of people stripping our supermarkets unnecessarily bare throughout the course of the past week makes me despair. There is now, apparently, some £1bn-worth of food sitting in the storage cupboards of our homes and you have to wonder what is the likelihood that most of it will never be eaten by the hoarders. A different kind of panic-buying came … Read More Coffee beans and a grinding machine

‘The time of the singing of birds is come…’

Watching the still-winter-slim pigeons and ever-bold magpies swooping down to pick up twigs at the bottom of the garden, and then up again into the various tangles of bare branches they have decided to call home for this nesting season, it’s hard to believe we are living amidst a terrible pandemic. Thanks to the COVID-19 virus, the news pages report today that more than … Read More ‘The time of the singing of birds is come…’

Night walks 1

After several years of proud ownership but infrequent use, I have finally decided to buckle down and learn how to use my camera properly. The camera is, I’ve been told by various professional photographer friends, a perfectly reasonable piece of starter pro-level kit but instead of telling me to do a photography course, they all agree. ‘Read the handbook and then get out there … Read More Night walks 1