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Fish in the orchard

Fish in the orchard

I am not surprised to see him
in the long wet grass between the apple trees
because I know what we are all capable of 
when we act with conviction.

Not that we have to swim against the tide,
do the opposite of what’s expected
to be noticed. The same road or river,
the same worn path offers itself up

to us: bright green leaves of dandelion
in a crack of tarmac, the sound water
makes over rock, our footsteps adding
to the memory of other footsteps

on the hard packed earth. We are always
at the beginning of something.

Recent posts

My Honey Dilemma

When I was a child in the 1960s the honey sold in the local Co-op was Gale’s but I was only interested in the ‘thick’ one that I loved to spread on toast for breakfast. If my mother had bought the ‘runny’ one instead I’d pass on the honey in favour of Bramble Seedless jam. 
These days I use clear, pourable honey in my spiced tea. I add a squirt or two to my homemade vegetable soup to temper the acidity of tomato. I drizzle it on roasted carrots. I whisk it into cream to dollop on apple cake or pie. And I make hot toddies with it, adding lemon juice, nutmeg and a shot of whisky.
But I still prefer a creamy set honey spread on buttered toast. At least I thought I did until I tasted Sarah’s Acacia Honey with Mixed Berries.
‘Taste this,’ I said to my husband, handing him a slice of toasted corn bread.
‘Ooh,’ he said. (In a much more manly way than it looks on the page!) 
Because it seems that after 50 years I’ve found an alternative response to my childhood predicament of choosing bramble jam …

Rope, Running, Trees

I threw out a rope and gathered in the frost, the leaf-mulched paths, sunlight, the bumpy clatter of wood-pigeons overhead, ice shattered by cars over puddles, the sound of a golf ball before it flew through the air, Beechin Wood, Pigeon’s Green, Potash Lane, pot-holes, sudden hollows, a short stink of methane at the back of the quarry, the snuffle of a horse behind a hedge, a duck pond, dogs and their walkers, and all kinds of trees that accompanied my steps, my breath all the way out and home again. 

Running through History: Snodland, Paddlesworth, Birling

Let us praise the small roads, the ones we know by place names not numbers: Paddlesworth Road, Birling Hill, Snodland Road. Let us praise being sure of where we have come from or where we are heading to. And let us praise their raised shoulders of earth crowned with trees, a sudden slap of a red post box on a bend, a memory of quenched thirst sunk into an old stone wall.  Let us praise too those who walk, ride and run them, adding their footsteps to the centuries of history, to the stories sitting behind us, and the one we are moving through that never, even if we do, really ends. 



We Fly

The garland of plastic icicles
has yellowed to the colour
of old bones.

Less frozen water
and more the evidence of age
of lives lived

as if all our days
have compressed around the marrow
of joy and loss, fear and gain.

We are tough and brittle.
We walk and we fall and even 
without wings we fly.


With warm wishes for Christmas 2017 and the New Year

haiku

a tray of eggs
          homesick now 
          for middle age




          Modern Haiku 46.3 Autumn 2015

Strawberries in November

There’s a lesson here, perhaps,
that even the beautiful can be discarded.

Or another lesson, that there’s a time
for everything, or that change is inevitable,

and other dog-eared philosophical scraps
we try and make sense of the world with.

So let’s get back to the here and now:
the poly-tunnels empty, a shoulder-high

slump of bags and plants and then
the unexpected scent as I run past

like the sweet ghost of summer
lingering in the autumn sun.

Archive 2010 to 2017

You can read every single one of the original hungry writer blogposts, joyfully written between the Autumn of 2010 and Spring 2017, by clicking on the menu bars on the top right hand corner and choosing Archive.
A beautiful simmered reduction of the blog's first five years was published in October 2015 by indie Kent publisher, Cultured Llama. The Hungry Writer, in book form, will transport you from France to Wales and to rural Kent. It will tempt you with lovely colour photographs and personal recipes, and encourage both apprentice and practising 'hungry writers' to maintain or begin a daily writing habit and explore your lives, memories and imaginations with 365 writing prompts. You'll also find workshop guidelines at the back of the book for writers who choose to work with the writing prompts in a more structured environment.
Enjoy. Eat well. Live well.
Lynne x

The Mythic Biscuit: Oreos

My childhood biscuits were mainly plain but had lovely names: Marie, Nice, Rich Tea. Quiet biscuits. The kind of biscuits that would never interrupt a conversation. Polite, not pushy. At the other end of the spectrum, and only irregularly present, probably a result of practical economics, were cheeky Jammy Dodgers, irritable Garibaldis, and self-contented and reliable Bourbons. And even more irregularly, the flashy inhabitants of a Christmas Box of Biscuits: Pink Wafers. I ate them at the same time as not liking them very much, a bit like Miss World Contestants in sparkly dresses, too much eye make-up and a saccharine idea of world peace. 
I'm in the mood to think, and personify, 'biscuits' because the lovely team at Oreo sent me some samples of their new Oreo Thins. I hadn't heard of Oreos until the early 1990s when a friend asked if I would bring him back a packet from a Florida holiday. I forgot and pretended I couldn't find them. 'But they're everywher…

International Women's Day 2017

I am running through the wondrous silence of history past standing stones, invisible tombs, the route Chaucer's pilgrims took across the North Downs, the stone cold dead in churchyards, listening to the sound my feet make on lanes, on mud and stone, sharing my breath, the thump of my heartbeats, with sheep, the sky, the fields. Sometimes I wonder how I got here, what propelled me forward to this moment when the snags of fleece along a wire fence shine with glory, when another the bend in the road ahead is an inspiration not a defeat.  And I think of the words, 'yes', and, 'you can', and the centuries of women before me who said them out loud, or quietly to themselves, believing that something could change and making it happen for themselves, their families, communities and for the world. And here I am, each step, each clear thought changing almost nothing, which is still something, and feeling better for it.