Highs and lows



During the past few weeks a few things have happened in my life to raise my spirits. First, Chapel-en-le-Frith Arts has at last been granted charitable status, after a long succession of frustrations and a good deal of correspondence. My…

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Definitely Spring!



As I predicted in a recent blog, a few days of fine sunny weather have released the coiled Spring. Within 72 hours, bare branches have become green, flowers have bloomed, cherry and magnolia blossoms have brightened our gardens. It’s raining…

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Spring and its associated hopes



The past winter was at its most severe during March, so spring is late. Resident birds were cranking up their mating songs during the blizzard five weeks ago, and migrants such as curlews returned to the moors from the marches…

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How afraid of Russia should we be?



Much has been said in the West (and in Russia) against Vladimir Putin. His recent re-election to the Russian presidency by a landslide majority was a transparent mockery of the democratic process, with widespread vote-rigging, not to mention the rule…

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The Skripal poisoning case



On 4 March 2018, a former Russian military intelligence officer and British spy called Sergei Skripal, together with his daughter Yulia, both living in Salisbury, were poisoned with a neurotoxin identified by UK investigators – and subsequently by independent experts…

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Discourtesy



It’s more than a month since I posted a blog. There are reasons, or excuses – high work load, health problems requiring hospital visits and medication, a holiday – but a significant element of idleness has contributed. Idleness is something…

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Public performances



Last Wednesday evening, the snow having largely one from our roads, I drove to the village of Butterton in North Staffordshire, the south-western end of the Peak District, to accept an invitation to deliver an evening’s storytelling. There were more…

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Gratifying words from a neighbour



A fellow-resident of my native village, Old Glossop, put an envelope through my door a week or so ago. Inside it was a little card from “Paul, Diane and Ellie the Dog” containing a handwritten verse about my book Cruel…

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The Oxfam scandal



News broadcasts a week ago resounded with the story of sexual exploitation of women in Haiti by Oxfam aid workers after the devastation of 2011. It now seems that this wasn’t an isolated incident. Workers for Oxfam and other aid…

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Flash and further!



We’ve had a glorious morning. Yesterday, snow covered the branches and walls. Last night there was a hard frost. Our village awoke to a cloudless blue sky, winter sun struggling to melt the frozen snow, sending fine showers of flakes…

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