Dressed as a wasp or Viking

My second writing shift starts after dark. When the children were young it was the way I could get in a 12-hour day: 6am to 2pm (cycle home, spend a few hours dressed as a wasp or Viking – the things that being a parent requires), then back at my desk 9pm to 1am. I’d like to think they didn’t notice I was absent in my head, working, but they called my Helen of Troy, “that treacherous book”. The perfidy of writing is ingrained.

Extract from an excellent interview (it was published about a year back in the Times or Telegraph, I think), with the history Bettany Hughes. I’m sure quite a few mothers (I’d like to say parents) recognise this…



How luxurious are these fantastically vampish sketches by Helleu?


This is absolutely the ideal of beauty between 1900 and 1914 and I feel I could seriously get behind it…


All images via Pinterest.



I haven’t posted some ceramics love here for a long time, so here’s a mug from the Slick and Sleet range. I don’t know how they thought up the name but this piece definitely conjures up the stormy seas to me.

Spinning the globe


As longer-term readers will know, I very much like finding places that if you saw them in a book you’d mentally place on another point of the globe. I’m pretty sure most people would think this was a Scottish Island, unless you already knew the Pacific north-west.


All photos Oregon, Cannon Beach. October 2017.



It says a lot about how much I enjoyed family holidays in Wales (rain! No sunburn! Castles! A baker in the next village with doughnuts!) that this is pretty much my happy place.


But really, aren’t these lights and reflections beautiful?

Oregon, October 2017.

A different scale


Walking through the trees of Ercola State Park, I wouldn’t have been surprised if a dinosaur had appeared out of nowhere. And these aren’t even the giant redwoods of California. After half an hour’s walking you begin to hear the sea through the pine trees, glimpses of blue opening up between the shadows, the roar of the sea covering all other sounds.


Oregon, October 2017.

Ercola State Park

A fifteen minute walk from my cottage you can be in the foothills of the Ercola State Park and about half an hour later, stopping occasionally to catch my breath but not truthfully breaking a sweat, I reached this.


And this.


And this.


Completely stunning. October 2017.