“Is Greece!”

“Deutsch?” asks the nun at the ticket desk. “Ohxi,” I say. “Australian.” She seeks clarification, “Austria?” stressing the last vowel, “Australia?” the last syllable. “Australia,” I say again and just to be helpful, “Kangaroos.” “Neh, neh! Kangaroos!” Yes, yes! She claps and then shuffles voluminous folds of her heavy black habit to one side producing from its woolly depths a tiny battered address book. “Ah!” … Continue reading “Is Greece!”

Farewell Foxtwist

Generally nothing much happens in November, sandwiched as it is between October’s golden glory and December’s frosty festivities. November is apparently the quietest month for depilatory products (hello denier tights), weddings, package holidays, house sales, and (sadly thus far) electing female presidents. The major source of excitement at Foxtwist comes from the Saturday soundtrack -bang! bang! bang! – generated by the opening of the shooting … Continue reading Farewell Foxtwist

B-Best of British-B

The Best of British – B&Bs, brollies, black pudding, beer…  all beauties. But these are some of my B-favourites. BOXES Britain is bloody marvelous at boxes – mail, telephone, hedge, picnic*.  Just spying a sliver of the iconic red and I’m down the rabbit hole, following bears and big surprises into the woods today.  I will cross streets and fields to peruse an English mail … Continue reading B-Best of British-B

Desert Island Discs

Hello I’m Kirsty Young. Thank you for downloading this transcript of Desert Island Discs from BBC Radio 4. For more information about this program please click on our link Desert Island Discs . My castaway today is Ann Webber, known well to most of you who read this blog but completely and utterly unknown to the wider world. Before we went on air she quipped, “I’ll never have … Continue reading Desert Island Discs

Cristes Maesse

Merry Christmas! Or as it was first recorded in Saxon 1038, Cristes Maesse! I’m home at Foxtwist, allowed day release from the physiotherapy gulag, where I’ve spent the last four months camped out amongst the floor mats, mini weights and therabands. I’m enduring multiple, repeated manual shoulder manipulations, interspersed by tortuous exercise sets. You’ll be pleased to know I’m doing our Antipodean reputation for bloody-getting-on with-it … Continue reading Cristes Maesse

Collecting Autumn

I’m watching a grey squirrel push hazelnuts into our lawn. She’s bouncing from patch to patch, rejecting various locations before choosing a spot to drop her autumnal treasure. She twitches and skips, momentarily freezing her impressively bushy tail  as she catches me spying. Then she bends, pawing through the fallen leaves pushing winter’s sustenance into her turf-pantry. On the endangered species scale, squirrels are classified as “of least concern” and this perfectly sums her attitude … Continue reading Collecting Autumn

The Anglicisation of Annie

I think I’m turning Englishese, I think I’m turning Englishese, I really think so. It’s true. I said “smashing!” this week without conscious thought.  I didn’t exclaim to any designer clad, Verve Clicquot guzzling wannabe. No, I said it in Waitrose to a olive and green clad employee who I know is too well trained to even privately roll her eyes and think”wanker”. Suddenly I realised I’ve been minutely … Continue reading The Anglicisation of Annie

On the Fringe

30,000 performances 2,000 shows 464 venues 4 pain killers/day Half the number of functioning upper limbs If the Edinburgh Fringe Festival flogged bespoke T-shirts mine would read “I survived Ed Fringe with a broken arm”.  I’d be a proud but exhausted wearer, my fractured shoulder suspended inside the garment, empty sleeve flapping in victory. Under the Fringe festival archway, I’d thank GlaxoSmith Kline, codeine manufacturer to the feeble and my friend Sally … Continue reading On the Fringe