Back in Town

Are we middle-aged or elderly, the quartet of us waiting in the Moreton-in-Marsh railway station? It strikes me that this is a moment in time. I am particularly struck by transitions, moments in clearly advancing time. This being my departure for London. It is in many respects overdue. Only this morning I realized that the notes in my wallet were all American, the coins the same. For protected within the walls of Caroline's and Alastair's country house, there is no need for money. The Farriers Read more [...]

The Road to Tea

Whatever the Royal Shakespeare Company was up to last night in Stratford, I was up to something else. Almost the moment the lights came down, I was truly lost. I found myself drifting and dozing through an antic, loud and very physical holiday production. And why? There seems no point in analyzing the RSC's 'The Mouse And His Child,' a British classic, if one is to believe the program notes. The whole experience may say more about me. First there is my conflicting set of feelings about this Read more [...]


Boxing Day. A Shadow Boxing Day, with me pitted against my own wretched excess. Jake, my cousin's son, helped me do up my trousers this morning. An event accompanied with much self recrimination, personal denunciation...and a general forswearing off wretched food excess. Followed by lunch, comprised of a sumptuous turkey sandwich fashioned by Alexandra, Jake's sister...a somewhat unconventional combination including not only cranberry jelly but actual stuffing. Which delivered a message. Stuff Read more [...]


Lack of sleep somewhat fogged my departure, particularly the packing, which never seems adequate at the best of times. This not being the best of times, to wit, wintertime, when the livin' isn't easy in Britain's seasonal cold. But really, I was thinking of missing Jane. It was a very mixed bag, the trip preparations. The result being an air of confusion, subtle but pervasive. The Vodafone card swam into my brain at Heathrow. Death Row, as my cousin Caroline calls it. I had seen the card, Read more [...]

A Foursome

First, let us say it simply - I am worried about them. Valerie and Luis. I say this to get the notion out of the way. They do not need me to worry about them. They are sturdy survivors. They have jobs in an era of pervasive unemployment among young people. True, they are working long hours, performing big tasks for small wages...not that I actually know what they make. And my worry? In many ways, it is simply that. More to the point, I have gotten through my life with help from key people at key Read more [...]


Don't you find it irksome the way young people turn their gaze away from passing natural scenery, vis-à-vis the view, burying their little post-adolescent noses in some little electronic toy? Damn straight, until you find that you have joined them, telling yourself all the while that, well, this is different. And it is, isn't it? I mean, after all, you have had such a hard time with your new iPhone. Having purchased the latter with great reluctance and after much delay...noting that your little Read more [...]