A fish without bones, a pea on a fork and a door to possibilities

Overheard while waiting at the gate at Aktion airport, en route home from Vassiliki: a woman impressing her neighbour with all the new-fangled food she’d tried out in Greece. Like tuna. Which (and this may come as some surprise to members of the tuna family) she referred to as a ‘fish with no bones in’….

Getting grumpy in Vassiliki

It’s the little things that trip you up isn’t it? I mean here I am in Greece, all zenned out with yoga and sunshine, and something is really buggin’ me. Quite apart fom the actual bugs. It’s the people next door. In the next room. They keep nicking our chairs. All the rooms have two….

Counting our blessings on the highways to Hell

We should ‘try living in the real world’, said our detractor, via the Letters page of the Cockermouth Times and Star, winding up for his punchline. ‘In a city!’ Clearly it was heart-felt. And aimed full square at me and my co-contributor of many a letter to our local paper, regarding our on-going concerns about…

Stormtroopers and sandbags

Our newish neighbours, across the way in what used to be loosely called ‘the view’ from our living room window — essentially wild green verge, hedgerow, field and cows, in that order — last week erected what appeared to be an eight-foot stormtrooper in their front bay window. As in shiny white-panelled foot soldier of…

Make up tips for old ladies

It’s official. I’ve crossed a line. Stepped into a twilight zone which may last mere moments-long but may also stretch way off into some distant demented good night. Given the choice, I’ll go for the burning and raving at close of day, raging long and hard against the dying of the light. So damn Mr…

Nothing quite so irritating as a migrating mite

I’ve been fascinated by Anne Treneman’s continuing tales in The Times of the lovey-dovey visitors to the yew tree outside her husband’s ‘man cave’ window. I can still recall, only too creepily, my own similar story. Back at the old house, before I moved north to Cumbria, I too had a pair of amorous collared…

108 Sun Salutations. The aftermath

So. Here’s the thing. Those 108 Sun Salutations I so proudly accomplished back in early January. Maybe not such an accomplishment after all. No hang on, that would be to take away the euphoria (albeit short-lived) of hearing that one hundred and eighth marble plop into the singing bowl, strategically placed, at the head of…

Let me read your lips and listen: #itsoktotalk

Good to see that scientists, always so quick to dismiss anything they perceive to be ‘airy fairy’ till they’ve involved a furry creature or two, have finally caught up with things on the hearing front. Apparently, a series of experiments with ferrets, ‘which hear the same range of frequencies as humans and appear to distinguish…

108 Sun Salutations? Are you mad?

You did HOW many? A gaggle of faces stunned into something. Horror? Pity? Pure, unadulterated admiration? Hard to tell. And this was just twenty-seven in. Sun salutations that is. A Thursday evening yoga class, and news of our forthcoming challenge – and confirmation that one of us at least was taking it seriously – had…

Skiing for wrinklies

We watched them with awe, the wrinkled old dears, skiing gracefully down the mountain in their ancient kit, their baggy-kneed racing pants, faded anoraks and home-knitted bobble hats. Watched and wondered – fresh-faced with the arrogance of youth, in our brightly coloured one pieces, brand new skis and wacky hats – whether, one day, when…

An avalanche of social media and ‘how to survive’

‘You are only as good as you are at the moment people are listening’, wrote pianist Max Levinson in 2009. By which measure, I might well have peaked last week. Because, last week, people were definitely listening. I know this thanks to the verging-on-obsessive, mesmerised eye the Gremlin and I kept on the rapidly mounting…