Dances with Goats


This week I was walking home and met a couple of cats. The first sauntered across the pavement, arched its back, yowled and invited me to fuss it. I can’t help but feel honoured when a cat deigns to talk to me so I stopped and stroked it but within seconds it got bored and wandered off to find someone else. Later, when I reached the golf course at the back of our house, a second cat darted out of the long grass and wound itself round my feet.

At the moment I have no animals of my own but there was a time when I had rather a lot. There were cats, dogs, chickens, geese, goats, and from time to time some lambs and pigs. We had a bit of land and in the morning I would lead the two goats down to the tangled woods where they would browse contentedly all day amongst the brambles. In the evening I would bring them back to their shed and lock them up for the night. That was the general plan but sometimes life didn’t go smoothly Continue reading

Home Thoughts


I’m keen on lists but am well aware that this divides people – many of my friends and family avoid them at all costs. But for me it’s a love affair. I even wrote a book about a list. And I particularly like ranking things—I just can’t seem to help it. For years my favourite book and favourite film have been unchanged. There’s something about knowing that Remains of the Day and Cinema Paradiso are important to me that helps define who I am. The Great Gatsby and Don’t Look Now are my second-favourite book and film; 101 Dalmatians and The Shawshank Redemption come in at number three, and Far From the Madding Crowd and The Railway Children are at number four.  I could go on…but there’s a strong chance that you’re not as keen on rankings as me, so I’ll stop there.

“Which do you prefer?” I asked my husband when we first met – “Beatles or Stones?” He looked mystified and said Continue reading