Sunday, 20 February 2011

Orchard regiment

Rows of apple trees standing to attention, all waiting for the command to blossom.

Monday, 14 February 2011

In the stars

Clear night. I look up to see the same view I could see from my bedroom window as a child; Orion watching over me.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

French breakfast

Deliciously warm, thinly crispy on the outside, pulled apart to reveal the soft and fibrous inside. Perfect with butter and strawberry jam.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Nice weather for the time of year...

Well there goes another week in the blink of an eye and it’s Friday again. Friday is my treat day, a day when I can please myself – during school hours at least. Today I’ve had a, frankly, HUGE danish pastry (which won’t do a thing to help with the post –Christmas weight-loss intentions) with some good coffee, and a peruse of the new issue of one of my favourite housey-gardeny magazines, all in peace and quiet. It’s the March copy (already!) with some beautiful spring flowers and sunshine on the cover. Optimistic and hopeful.

One of the things I’ve noticed about my noticings over the last few weeks since I’ve been writing small stones is how much I’m influenced by the weather and the surrounding landscape. I’m lucky enough to live in the lee of the Malvern Hills and I sometimes think we have our own little micro-climate here – slightly warmer, wetter, colder, frostier than even a mere 10 miles away.

The hills are a constant presence, mostly benevolent, and take on different guises depending on the time of year and the prevailing weather. They are a constant source of inspiration whether I’m looking up at them from my garden or looking down from them.

The sun was shining this morning as I walked my son to school and it makes such a difference to the mood of the day doesn’t it? Puts a spring in your step, especially at this time of year which can be so dreary. That said, I know I would get bored very quickly if it was guaranteed sunshine every day of the year. I love the way our seasons change and how the landscape changes with them. Our island nation is so diverse – I don’t think I could ever live anywhere else. It’s not hard to understand why us Brits nearly always begin a conversation with a comment about the weather!

Here’s to more Spring-like sunshine, even if it is glinting off frost, or struggling to banish early morning fog.

Until next time, have a lovely week… x


The ticking of the clock. The hum of the fridge. As quiet as it gets in our house.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Shepherd's delight

Inky clouds slowly diffuse across a pink blotting paper sunset.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

In the wind

The tall yucca in my garden looks like something bigger and heavier has tried to sit on it. Such is the bluster of the wind.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Adornment and fighting time

A large tree,
in its winter state of undress,
proudly shows off its clouds of mistletoe.


So January has been and gone, thirty one small stones written, not nearly as many read as I would have liked. What an enjoyable experience! Quite apart from anything else it has catalysed my somewhat dormant creative juices and I find myself seeing small stone material everywhere. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who have read my offerings, taken the time to comment and deemed this blog worthy of following. I have been hugely encouraged by this - positive feedback is so valuable, no matter how small.

The small stone format suits me in my current life form too. Time is most definitely the enemy, but a stealthy one, my intentions are all too often dashed by the time stealer creeping up on me and the need for sleep being more persuasive than the need for writing or reading. In between the working, the washing, the food shopping, the meal making, the mum-I-need-your-help-NOWs, the ironing (oh the endless ironing!), little moments of quiet for composing my thoughts and writing something worthy of being read are very few and far between.

It may be that it is my priorities that need to change. It may be that I need to set aside an hour a week, just for me, which is non-negotiable. I'm going to try and carry on posting small stones as often as I can and write something a bit longer on Fridays (my supposed day off). I've said it. I've found I respond well to a challenge - I thought I might struggle to come up with a small stone every day in January, but pride spurred me on, there was no way I was going to miss a day when I'd committed to the river of stones project. So here's hoping, now I've made a committment to you, lovely readers, that I can honour this one too.

I have also just signed up to another of Fiona Robyn and Kaspa's good ideas, Writing Our Way Home, so come and say hello there too.

Until next time... x

Thursday, 3 February 2011

A warm welcome

Washing out on the line, flapping like bunting hung out to celebrate the appearance of a February sun.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Tending offspring

Last night, broken.
Lids heavy.
Only the washing up between me and an early night.

Monday, 31 January 2011

All change

Fresh bed linen, cool on my skin after a hot bath, somehow makes the bed more comfortable. I curl up with my book and the fragrance of summer days.

Sunday, 30 January 2011


The smell of Sunday roast evokes memories of home, wrapped in a warm nest of love, mouth watering. I ponder how lucky I am to have had that kind of childhood.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Happy birthday

Five year-old's party. A barrage of noise. Children gleeful at being let loose in a soft play area. Parents gleeful to have a few uninterrupted minutes for a coffee and a chat.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Pregnant grazing

Grey sheep enjoy grazing in the sunshine, eating for two, maybe even three or four. Their unborn lambs, visible as bulging sides, are oblivious to the vagaries of the weather.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Eating greens

I bite into a raw sugar snap pea. The intensity of the flavor surprises me, I can almost taste the vivid green-ness of it, the taste of summer in the vegetable patch.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


Massacring beetroot in the kitchen, magenta blood drips from my hands. It looks like a crime scene. Out damn spot, out I say...

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


A swathe of fluffy white cloud sits atop the hills. Gilding the lily. Haberdashery for landscapes.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Lust for life

An exuberant puppy strains at his leash, desperate to sniff every single sniff and smell every single smell. The world is so exciting when you're newly in it.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

And the living is easy...

The busking trumpet player sounds out the dreamy tones of "Summertime". The irony makes me smile. It's a cold and slightly damp Sunday in January.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

A night off

My reflection in the hotel bathroom mirror looks slightly different. Tonight I am me, not mum.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Destination anywhere

A plane streaks across a blue sky, vapour trail dispersing like a woolly pipe-cleaner. I wonder about the passengers, all going the same way, but all on different journeys.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Mixed races

Sittting in a restaurant in the middle of Birmingham. I look around me and realise how much I've missed the cultural diversity of a big city.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Detective work

Toothpaste tubes on the bathroom shelf give away the identity of their owners by the way they've been squeezed.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The expert

On the river a pair of rowers pause to observe. The swan glides on disdainfully.

Monday, 17 January 2011

A flash of promise

The sun reflecting off the car in front is blinding. I don't mind. It's a reminder that the days will lengthen and become brighter, given time.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Fond of absence

No little red dot on my clock radio display. I can wake when I'm ready. Today my time belongs to me, not someone else.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

People watching

Unseen, from the window of a first floor cafe, I observe the High Street on a Saturday afternoon. The sheer diversity of the human race always amazes me. It makes me feel very small.

Friday, 14 January 2011


The smile lighting up my son's face holds so many of my hopes and dreams for the future.

I hope he can't feel their weight.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Home from work, the house is still, peaceful, waiting for life to energise it. I try not to move too quickly in case I wake it up.

The school run beckons. The stillness will soon dissolve.
Competing with the sound of the extractor fan,

birdsong, greeting the day.

It reminds me of Summer's early dawns.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Misspent youth

Listening to an old favourite album, not heard for years, takes me back twenty years to the smells of hairspray, dry ice and the nightlife of my twenties, when anything seemed possible.

I am still the same, just different.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Last year's nest, its hiding place exposed now the branches are bare, sways gently in the breeze. Nature's way of rocking fledglings to sleep.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Dark chocolate with chilli...

... says the chocolate box menu. Too basic a description for something that dances a Tango of flavours in my mouth, all intense and fiery.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Saturday, 8 January 2011


Gone is the anxious leg-clinging child.
Replaced by a child with the confidence to hurl himself headlong into the party, with barely a backward glance.

I must be doing something right.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Landscape painting

dawn steals across the sky, seeping into every corner, painting the day with its colour

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Reclaimed space

Festive trappings taken down.
The faces in the photo frames have room to breathe again.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011


The still-to-do tax return menaces from the box file on the bookshelf.
I wonder what it would feel like to be more organised.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Back to work

Reconnecting with daily life.
Routine is comfortable, like old slippers,
but lacks the sparkle of a pair of party shoes.
But then, party shoes wouldn't be party shoes if we wore them every day...

Monday, 3 January 2011

The thrill of it all

I'm new to blogging but I'm rapidly becoming hooked - this small stone format is making me see things in more detail and they're flowing much more easily than I expected. I love the fact that people from all over the world are reading my little snippets and I have found that there is a frisson of excitement when someone I've never met or communicated with before leaves a comment on one of my posts. Thank you lovely readers! Isn't the internet wonderful?


The inexperienced teeter onto the ice rink, all keen to avoid the humiliation of the domino effect

Five minutes more

I stretch languorously. Five more minutes. 08.15. The sound of a car passing outside. This time tomorrow that will be me.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Display until...

Christmas tree looks over-dressed on this January morning,as if it's stayed out all night and is doing the walk of shame

Saturday, 1 January 2011

January 1st

Party poppers litter the floor, their innards spent, evidence of the new year's welcome