Open garden weekend


In June every year, London gardens open that are usually closed – followed by new builds and government portals in mid September for open house weekend. This was outside my usual realm in east London, and a pretty railed square tucked just around the corner from this flower stall and statue. Pimms and cupcakes were on sale as children ran round the beds and headed for swings.

Wise words for halfway through the year

“May the bridges I burn light the way” – courage from Jordan Ferney, founder of Color Factory

When choosing between two courses of action, Gretchen Rubin’s decider is to “choose the bigger life”. Great for those moments when you’re self-limiting without realising it

The powerhouse who is Stacey Abrahams, aka the governor of Florida contestant last year who insisted that every vote in the race was counted, has gone back to grass roots to continue voter registration and who gave a blistering non-concession speech, also has a useful distinction between acknowledgement and acceptance: Acknowledgment means you know it’s there; acceptance it is saying there’s no way around this. Stacey Abrahams says “I don’t accept anything; I acknowledge everything”. There’s more gold in her interview on the “Call Your Girlfriend” podcast last year.

And another important reminder from Arundhati Roy: There is really no such thing as the “voiceless”. There are only those who are deliberately silenced or preferably unheard”

Books and coffee


Photo from @thelittlebookroom. The sight of these new penguin Shakespeare’s reminds me of near the end of the film “An education” where Lynn Barber goes to have coffee with her former teacher and realised the fulfilment available in black spine penguin classic paperback style and postcards tacked to the wall. Yes!

A recipe for a summer day


On the twenty-second June, I spent the day taking depositions for young Thomas Harper Esq., in a room without windows or ventilation at an opposing firm on Sixty-second street. The subject of the deposition was sweating like a laundress and repeating himself even when it made no sense to do so….When we finally finished, I had to go to Central Park to get some air. I picked up a sandwich at a corner deli and found a nice spot near a magnolia where I could eat in peace with my old friend, Charles Dickens.

Katy Kontent (pronounced Kon-tent) in Amor Towles’ The Rules of Civility. 

As if I have eaten fire

Today I feel as if I have eaten fire.

I have never been so alive.

I need not move. I sit and think:

peeling away this poor husk.

Now the keen cloudy voices say:

Listen. We’re trying to find you.

Listen. We think we can see you.

As if I have eaten fire: Alicia Ostriker. Happy Midsummer, everyone.