I need it all

It’s probably because of the seasonal bombardment by adverts for things which I don’t need that I’ve been thinking a lot about what I do need. While I post a series on ‘my life’s essentials’, many of these are tongue-in-cheek as I’ve come to realise that I need very little to be content. Recently, I’ve … Read more

Letting go . . .

Recently, a pyrex half-pint jug that once belonged to my Grandmother broke. We had used it almost every day for decades and perhaps it was just worn out. I liked it because it had imperial measurements, which I work in for cooking and baking. Nothing lasts forever and I was fond of it because it was a connection … Read more

My life’s essentials 10: breakfast

I’ve noticed that food figures a lot in my life’s essentials. It is, after all, essential to life for us and I think it figures so highly because I’ve had to look at my diet closely because of my Crohn’s disease and also to prevent middle-age spread. My aim is to achieve a balance of eating healthily while … Read more

My life’s essentials 9: treasure

What do I need? Not a lot. What have I got? Too much. This morning, when our dog took me out for exercise, we played with a newish tennis ball. I’d throw it for him to catch and bring back. Then he found a bald, broken tennis ball, which didn’t bounce. He was so happy. I put … Read more

It was just a car

I used to drive a 4×4 leased through my business: great fun. But then I thought about the cost – not just to my pocket, as I got 23-25 mpg performance on the motorway, but to the environment. For tax reasons I leased cars through my business, but gradually felt it was unjustifiable environmentally to … Read more

Not virtual: raw reality

I remember walking to primary school on winter mornings . . . in short trousers. How did my knees not lock up in the cold? I think of all the times I waited for a bus, tube or train on a cold, dark, miserable evening when commuting home from various jobs in London. Oh, to get … Read more

My Three Words 2016

I had already thought of one word – irreverent – I wanted to focus on in 2016 when Chris Brogan’s email popped on to my iPad in which he suggests identifying three words to help navigate choices in the year ahead. I don’t set resolutions, but I do like to focus and My Three Words seems a … Read more

My life’s essentials 8: laughter

Sometime you don’t realise how long something has been missing from your life. This often happens when you set yourself against some adversity that can last months or years. I realise I haven’t laughed as much as I usually do over the past few years. Laughter is essential, whatever happens in our lives and in the … Read more

Wishing you the Christmas you seek

We’re having a very quiet, reflective Christmas this year, a contrast to the big, family get-togethers we used to enjoy. Last Christmas was spent hospital visiting and this one feels like a transition. I’m sure next year we will be in more of a sociable mood. This year I have seen some pretty deep lows and, … Read more

It can be lonely in the crowd cloud, so find friends on #EmpireKred

It’s a big place: the internet. Especially when you’re not the noisiest of people. And there is a lot of noise on the internet. Many internet users lurk, staying in the background reading and viewing content, but never actually saying anything themselves or commenting. I suppose it’s because, as in real life, loud people can … Read more

Understanding leads to gentleness

Out in the rain this morning, we played ball. I threw it and our dog brought it back. He went to drop it in my outstretched hand, but I almost dropped it so he quickly grabbed it again with his teeth and then dropped it securely into my hand. It made me think of how we work … Read more

Do It Yourself

I’ve followed the recent media debate about sugar and obesity and health and tax with interest. In recent years, I have reduced my sugar intake considerably by limiting consumption of or cutting out sweets, biscuits and most manufactured food. Then this year my eating regime went haywire as I started to comfort eat when I lost my … Read more

Welcome Autumn

Spring is always full of promise as plants shoot and flowers come into bud. Then plants bloom and mature before dying away again. Summer has passed, the clocks go back and the days shorten. I’m always sorry to see spring and summer pass, but then reminded that autumn is just as wonderful. The views on the clear … Read more

Thank you

I do quite a lot of things, some of them for the community, but this year I stopped. It’s interesting how people notice differently. Some ask why things aren’t being done without stopping to think about the people who do them, while others are more perceptive. The reason I had to stop, or pause, is that it’s … Read more

My life’s essentials 7: wooden spoon

Following on from my home baking post, yesterday I realised that the wooden spoon I use for baking has become an essential. As I spend so much time typing on a keyboard, using my iPhone, apps and software, one of the biggest pleasures I take in baking, and cooking generally, is working with ‘real’ things: ingredients … Read more

My life’s essentials 6: home baking

Why? Because the flavours are overwhelming. And because I know what’s gone into it. And because it’s been a big part of my life. And because I find it a very relaxing activity. And because I like eating it . . . . . . and sharing it. When I was young my Mum baked a delicious light fruitcake … Read more

We need to trust

Yesterday, while walking my dog, I was approached by a man who was sweating profusely and asked if he could speak to me for a few minutes. He looked in distress, so I stopped. He said that he was very ill and was moving to the town and couldn’t afford to pay the van drivers who … Read more

Seven habits of highly successful recluses

1. Don’t use social media. That way you don’t have to connect with people, collect online ‘friends’ and followers or shoulder the growing burden of the minutiae of everyone else’s lives. 2. Don’t buy a phone. No texts, no calls, no gossip: peace. 3. Don’t network. You won’t have to walk into a room full … Read more

My life’s essentials 5: the sea

What a pull it exerts in so many dimensions. I have not always lived by the sea, but now I like to need to see it every day. Whether waves crash on to rocks or glassy blue stillness reaches out to the horizon, it is always a marvel. I could sit or stand, watching and listening … Read more