The Secret Garden 

Needed a change of scene so have drifted back to my parents house to write. And it’s blogging day (for the last time) so I thought, let’s do a material culture sweep of the back yard in the drap month of February! 

And sure enough, I discovered some forgotten, leaf tangled secrets in the undergrowth. Garden furniture is either bemusing or just…awful. I hope my mum never reads this. 

(Ps. I NEVER instagram or filter photos but, because this IS a sentimental garden, thought I’d go all out.)

What is with the marbles?

Remenents of my sister’s art project in flowerpots…concrete milk & washing up bottles…I’m going to ask her about them

Statue to all the late cats we’ve known

This one time, my youngest sister took a massive run into the garden, all the way down the path and headbutted the bird table. Which broke. Dad fixed it pretty well considering #familysaga.

Obsolete blueish paraphanelia

Need a hand? This guy is supposed to be the wish granting goblin thing in Five Children & It

I don’t understand the fat penguin but hey ho!

Thanks for the blogtimes Human Seasons! 



Muddling fog…


So I have been at the PhD all winter. While I HAVE made progress, I currently find myself in foggy territory. I am mulling over how quantitative data, historical accounts, and the narrative of my ethnography all somehow have to sit side by side, signposted, and well-presented as a readable whole. Current affairs are misting up the big picture (distracting me with relevant angst about the NEW ‘post-truths’or ‘alternative facts’). These present me with distant brake-lights of caution, which (if I had any energy) would easily turn me to panic.

I recognise we have a great deal of critical comment being thrown on the matter of ‘truths’ and narrative, i.e. I’ve watched British History’s Biggest Fibs, and am reading Terry Pratchett’s brilliant Wyrd Sisters (1988). He was already nailing down how to be self conscious of the power of words, turning them into ‘things’, and stories with purpose. Reading his unpredictable fantasy is helping to keep the ‘real world’ (via the BBC Radio World Service) crystal clear. Well a bit more anyway.


Normally I work through such angst about the ‘truth’ in nervous panic and frantic scribbling. But now I just feel kinda numb, kinda plonking down, resolute like a walk through a foggy field whose end I cannot see, but I know must be there…

I seriously hope it is there.



Shot taken from my kitchen window at 17:32 (it has an obscuring plastic sheet stuck to the bottom half, hence the patterns)

A friend & inspiration for this post is Hilary Orange, light-archaeologist.

I keep thinking about light this January, both human and natural. It keeps revealing itself to me in odd ways. We’ve slipped over the longest night but its still pretty dark. The Christmas lights are still up but we’re going back to work.


View coming out of the supermarket

I’m drawn to the sense of anticlimax at this time of year and how it manifests in ‘light’.  I quite enjoy this “mass-quiet” moment. After Christmas, I feel we are more subject to the basic undertones of ‘winter living’ (i.e. party’s over, it’s cold and dark, lets keep warm inside…) So now windows either look really warm and inviting or overly stark white.

Lights seem to have more impact on vitD deficient eyes. Especially when the sun comes out. That feeling is at once celebratory and humbling (as I am reduced to squinting like a bat!)


Silhouette in the morning

(PS. I am not SAD  but have researched it recently as my partner does shift work. I can only imagine what it must be like and keen to know more).

Leaves & leaving

We are in the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, and I’ve remembered that it has been said (by whom I cannot recall, my BA English supervisor I think?) that the Romantic Poets used to get their best work done at this time of year, being influenced by the ‘Eolian Wind’.

I am allowing myself a little poetic/nostalgic revelry today: this is my last month in York. I move south for winter and in with my partner for the ‘write-up’ year on the 30th.

So I took a walk around the Kings Manor and The Museum Garden and looked at the leaves (and some cheeky cyclamen).