I truly believe that books can be life-givers, life-savers, as important to our well-being and growth as are food and drink.

I just shouted ‘yyeesss’ when I saw one of Matt Haig’s posts on Instagram …

… and then again when I read his then current favourite line from Anne Lamott.

Thanks Matt. Thanks Anne. Thanks Jane Austen, Mary Oliver, Yung Pueblo, David Whyte, Brianna Wiest, and to all who encourage, feed, nourish and sustain us – though all too often you cannot know how much you mean to your readers and fellow travellers. Thank you! 😊x


The sheer majesty of the natural world sets imagination alight – and was certainly a perfect, tranquil setting for the lovely walk I’ve enjoyed in excellent company today. Our conversation touched upon allsorts, including the Funeral for Prince Philip at Windsor. I wonder if that’s why I ‘saw’ a flight of angels in cloud art in the photo hereunder?


Lambs calling out ‘Mmmaaaammm’ notwithstanding, there’s a deep, deep silence to be heard and felt on a sunny, still day on the shores of Ullswater. It facilitates my hearing something of the deep, deep reflective silence somewhere, sometimes, in the centre of me …

Sunlit oxalis

Morning sunlight through the translucent leaves of oxalis triangularis is among the countless astonishing things I feel I notice more and more with the passing of days, weeks, months and years. I don’t quite know whether it’s chiefly an effect of daily meditation, or simply of ageing, but I hear a daily call to slow down. And still enough, often enough, I notice the veins in an oxalis leaf, and the way she opens and turns to face the sunlight, and I recognise the same pulse of life in her as in me. So it is that a plant in sunshine leads me to thankfulness and – once again – to a being ‘surprised by joy.’

A Royal Gun Salute

Remembering HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-2021

Having walked up to Edinburgh Castle in the morning’s Spring sunshine I was much moved at lunchtime by the Gun Salute there for His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, who died peacefully at Windsor Castle yesterday. Prince Philip has spoken of his time based in Rosyth with the Royal Navy, and of his affection for Edinburgh, and of his Chancellorship of the University here, and I felt his spirit loomed large in and around the Castle Esplanade.

Children and adults alike enjoyed a slightly warmer day, the presence of an ice cream van, and the deep and resounding booms of this extended salute. It gladdened me to see many, many people obviously engaged in quiet lone reflection. I know that I will ever remember the extraordinarily long lifetime’s service and example given by a most remarkable man.

I join countless thousands all around the world in extending warm and deep condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and to her family.

gun salute here and more at gardenstudiogram and at writinginlight