Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I love lambs

We used to bring tiny weak lambs into our farm kitchen when I was little, and sit them in a box by the Rayburn, and feed them with a bottle. If they were really struggling to stay alive, we put the box in the stick oven and left the door open.

Last weekend, my daughter-in-law met lambs face to face for the very first time. Brought up in Colorado, and now living in California, she'd never seen a lamb in the fleece. So we sought some out on the fields above Eyam, and she fell in love. My son Isaac shot a video of some lambs and it's her grinning face at the end. Click here to view.

Monday, March 30, 2009


A friend said in a recent email that she has missed my blog, which was a sweet thing to say, as it's nice to feel appreciated. I miss my blog too, but there are times when one doesn't feel like sharing one's life with the world, and the last couple of months have been such a time. Losing my mother (see the November 2008 archives and some of December) has turned out to be so much harder than losing my father. I used my experience of the latter in Zuzu's Petals. I was sad for a long time when my father died, but adjusting to the loss of my mother has been qualitatively different.

Someone at my Quaker meeting said to me "It's very deep when your mother dies, isn't it? The world feels like an unsafe place." Absolutely. Dave has been extending our teeny tiny bathroom into my old study. He knocked down the wall between them in February and when I reviewed my photographs of the process and saw the one above, I thought - Hmm...a picture of my life.

No, my life wasn't in ruins. But losing my mother has been like surviving an earthquake.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


It's been such a long, hard winter here in the Peak District that everything is late this spring...the daffodils, the forsythia, the flowering currant, the seething stew of mating frogs in the pond. But now the frogs are at it - see those huge mounds of frogspawn, and just listen to their ribeting. Don't you think it sounds like the revving of tiny motorbikes?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I was a guest on a phone-in on Radio Five Live the other night. The topic was losing one's mother. I had to stay up way past my usual bedtime to be on, and when I listened to it later on the net, I thought I sounded drugged. Fortunately, my son said I just sounded sad, which I was.

A lovely woman who phoned in about grieving for her mother said her husband had taken her on a cruise to try to cheer her up. When I reported this to Dave, he said "I could take you on the boats in Markeaton Park, if you like."

Monday, March 09, 2009


I'm not blogging at the moment, but scroll down and see the links on the right hand side. In the gallery section there are photgraphs of places in the Peak District that feature in Plotting for Beginners, and ones of Wensleydale that are mentioned in Zuzu's Petals. In "Popular Posts" there's a piece in which Jane and I explain how we wrote Plotting for Beginners together, and there is also my baby bio.

p.s. there will be a guest appearing on the blog on Wednesday March 11th.