Friday, 26 October 2007


Yesterday I took the girls into London to visit the V&A, which claims to hold the world's largest collection of art and design. It was the first visit for all of us and I was, as I often am, overawed by the sheer scale of the building and its contents. We concentrated on fashion, miniatures, a bit of sculpture and 20th century design which, in itself, took us 3 1/2 hours (including a bite to eat in the very stylish cafe).

London holds a very special place in my heart. I lived there for 7 1/2 years in the 80s and it was one of the happiest periods in my life, not without its low points, but my overwhelming memories are of friends and the time we shared together. There was a church, St Leonard's in Streatham, against which I have judged all other churches and found them wanting. And then there is the city itself, of which Boswell once wrote "when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

A number of my old friends have now left London, or moved away from Streatham, and one died suddenly last year. The congregation at St Leonard's is filled with unfamiliar faces and Geoffrey has retired as rector. I have left my job in the City and sold our flat. I don't belong there any more, at least not physically. My visits are increasingly as a tourist or a protester. But as the coach sailed over the Hammersmith flyover yesterday morning there was still a tiny part of me that thrilled at the prospect of coming home.

Sunday, 21 October 2007


On Thursday evening I went to Broadmead Baptist Church to hear George Monbiot speak on Climate Change - Global Injustice. He spoke very powerfully of the need for 'us' to act 'now' and suggested three things that we might do which, if I remember them correctly, are:

1 take steps to ration our own carbon consumption
2 join with others to tackle climate change in our own community
3 take direct action

I have made a mental note of the date and venue of my local climate action group, but what captured my imagination was the first suggestion. I have, along with many others I know, been trying to cut my own carbon consumption but I have no idea of how effective, if at all, my efforts have been. George's reference to carbon rationing action groups (or CRAGs) prompted me to go looking for them on the internet where I found them at It is a fairly complicated process but, given the urgency of the issue, worth considering and I would be very interested in discussing the possibility of forming such a group in the Bedminster/Southville area.

If anyone would like to join in the discussion (in one of our local hostelries, perhaps) please let me know.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Chooseday? Tuesday?

Last week I attended a cafe meeting to discuss an exciting new initiative called Chooseday. The idea is that on one day of the week (Tuesday?) you choose to break with routine and do something different, something that will be good for you and good for the planet. It is suggested that your first choice should be to leave your car at home and walk/cycle/take the bus to work. I think it is a great idea and one that I hope will capture the imagination of the people of Bristol when it is launched later this year. For further information and to register your support log on to

What will you choose to do on Tuesday?

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Free Burma

Support Burma
International Bloggers' Day
4 October 2007

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Summer 2008

This afternoon I posted our booking form to Cornish Riviera Holidays. It's only a few weeks since we returned from this year's summer holiday and I am already looking ahead to next year's adventure. However if one wants a cottage in St Ives in the school holidays then this exactly what one has to do to guarantee a place of one's choice. Besides the thought of two weeks on Porthmeor beach (even if I have to sit in my hoodie with a cup of hot tea) will see me through the long cold winter.