Before the rain

The air is rich with the aroma of elderflower, roses and honeysuckle. Foxgloves march across banks, sheep safely graze on the sports field and a young deer skirts its dense perimeter. On the hedgerow, deep in one of Dorset’s holloways, a static serpent slithers around a tree trunk like a ship’s figurehead. Bee orchids burst…… Continue reading Before the rain

Under darkening skies

We’re still very much in lockdown although restrictions are slowly beginning to be lifted. That elusive light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t seem to get very much closer, though, does it? The summer is laid out before us but none of us knows what it looks like. It’s as if it’s been covered…… Continue reading Under darkening skies

Thank you for the music

As I thought it would be, it was a very emotional day in the village yesterday. The very last Sound of Music Through The Square Window. Tears were shed. And not just by me. You can see the final requests and selections, in reverse order, here on the village website. The final playlist is more…… Continue reading Thank you for the music


This coming Friday morning on Radio 4, there’s a special Desert Island Discs featuring the music that is helping people through lockdown. And the village’s story of The Sound of Music Through The Square Window is included in the programme. I can say this because several people have already told me they’ve heard my voice…… Continue reading #DesertIslandDiscsChallenge

Last clap finale?

Tonight’s Clap for Carers will probably be the last time we stand outside our houses on a Thursday night to give our key workers a round of applause for their work in the battle against coronavirus. Annemarie Plas, the woman who came up with the idea, says it’s the right time for her to stop,…… Continue reading Last clap finale?

I beg your pardon

I made the mistake of waiting for Dominic Cummings to arrive in the Number 10 rose garden yesterday afternoon. He was thirty minutes late and he gave that rapid ‘sorry I’m late’ statement people say when they’re not sorry at all. I was glued to the screen when he read page after page of convoluted…… Continue reading I beg your pardon

Another brick in the wall

I’m seething this morning at the news that Dominic Cummings, the PM’s trusted adviser, revered and despised by politicians in equal measure, is arrogantly unrepentant at breaking the lockdown rules. His acolytes in the cabinet continue to defend him. Each time one of them opens their mouths they seem to dig a deeper and deeper…… Continue reading Another brick in the wall

A legend in my own lunchtime

It sometimes feels like I’m at the centre of a feel-good comedy written by Richard Curtis. ‘That song you played yesterday,’ Mickey Murphy said to me this morning as he walked up from the community shop and I was walking the dogs. ‘My wife thought it was for her.’ ‘Not Doris Day’s Deadwood Stage?’ ‘No,…… Continue reading A legend in my own lunchtime

Welcome to limbo land

Having inadvertently published two blog posts within minutes of each other at the end of last week, I am now struggling to know what to write about. It’s now a strange period in the lockdown. We are locked down but we aren’t, if you get my drift. Guidelines have been changed and some restrictions lifted.…… Continue reading Welcome to limbo land