Suzerain

All March practising marksmanship, the plink of lead pellets against the upturned wheel barrow: plink. The target’s bruised centre, the barrow dimpled by spent pellets – shining catastrophes flat against its steel. Seen though cross hairs April is precision greens and browns, all the wind blow and flagging skies reduced to one intersection, a thin black centre. Plink. I […]

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Easter iv

After communion, the little congregation scattered to roasting tins and claret we climb the church tower, one father and his two sons, stone steps screwing us heavenwards, the tower stinking of winter, its four bells hanging in a bat chamber like green bombs, their detonators fouled with bad years. Upwards! The screw tightens us up […]

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My wife and I hiss and row about water

A glacier u’d out this green valley now the water pours liquid down its walls, rain falls onto wheat and grazing grass, into the river turning on its chalk seam, rain feeding acres of sweet table water sponged underground in sand and rock as overhead the cows chew and the wheat pales, and in our […]

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British Summer Time: highlights

SATURDAY Children do homework at kitchen table. Turned and rolled earth in south east corner of garden. Planted six trees: 4 apples (cookers), 1 damson, 1 greengage. Plus stakes. Applied grass seed to south east corner of garden, and elsewhere. Ate lunch outside on terrace (hot ham and baked potatoes). Sunglasses. Salisbury IPA. Mowed lawn. […]

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Notes on planting an orchard

We have lived in our house in a small village on the edge of Salisbury Plain almost 2.5 years. Gradually we make it and the garden our own, by giving both much of our time and money. We do so willingly, we are happy here, and feel lucky to have found this home. Last year […]

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