Farewell my lovely

Cradled in its amphitheatre of hills under a cloudless sky, Bath’s signature oolitic limestone gleamed like gold in the low winter sun as Helen’s family and many friends gathered at …

Fiendish for Yule

Usual rules apply. Solution in January ACROSS1 Alpha male’s wake-up call? (4-1-6-3)7 Play about a broken King Coal (4,4,2,5)8 Female veneer (5)9 Exotic tailpipe in regular use (5)12 Bachelor with …

Darkness descends

There are no words. Helen Lewis is dead. For forty years she was my comrade, my confidant, my muse, my beacon, my rock, my soul-mate, my mentor, my counsellor, my …

A mere trifle

An old friend visited for the first time since pre-pandemic, so I pushed the boat out a bit and made a nice lunch. Nothing fancy, just simple, nourishing peasant food: …

Toms harry Dic

Every year when spring arrives I can’t resist growing tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum). And every year, around this time in the dog-days of summer, I vow never to grow the bloody …

What a woebegone world

With apologies to Louis Armstrong (1901-1971) and Bob Thiele (1922-1996) & George Weiss (1921-2010) I see forests burnAnd heat domes fry,Foretastes of doomFor you and I,And I think to myselfWhat …

Yotam got ’em

I’ve collected all the various recipes accumulated on the blog under the umbrella of a new ‘Recipes’ category. To mark the occasion, a tribute to Yotam Ottolenghi GRUEL Prep 15 …

Avant-garde a clue

ACROSS9 Ghastly old queen gets to do little – primarily breed, eat, thieve and hunt (9)10 Creep’s typical behaviour? (5)11 Boy, I set extraordinary weight! (7)12 Protection is worn out …

Annibendod Mynwy

When I was in primary school my parents decided I should sit the scholarship entrance exam for Monmouth School. Then as now the private, single-sex boarding school was a bastion …

It’s over

Text message received from my sister 29/1/21: Dad passed away peacefully today. I’m collecting his stuff from the hospital x He was two weeks short of his 97th birthday. I …