Saturday, 2 January 2010


And a very cheerful and eventful year to everyone out there!

Of all the things I did or witnessed in 2009 the two that contend for top position are: the afternoon when I sat watching flying ants, and the air above me suddenly filled with swifts, swallows and martins catching the ants as fast as they emerged - an incident I recorded on this blog in summer 2009.
The other amazing phenomenon that contends for top place among the wonderful is pictured on the right here:
in late October 2009, I noticed these on a tod of ivy - ladybirds transforming from larvae to fully grown insects. When I looked closer there were very many ladybirds on the ivy, some in more obvious ladybird form. I was thrilled to have seen this as in all my years of looking at wildlife I had never observed this before. This was the only image I managed to get as there was a wind blowing and each time I took a shot the leaves shook; all I got was blur. But this picture is clear and I'm pleased with it.

This is a year when I only made one resolution, which was to try to do less as I get very tired. Already it has been broken: I have a book coming out at the end of July, (The Plucking Shed, published by Cinnamon Press) and clearly I will have to do some readings after that date to promote it. But even before that I have readings booked in Manchester, York, Ludlow, and London. Plus on Sat April 10th I will be running a workshop in Much Wenlock as part of Wenlock Books' first ever Poetry Festival. I am a small but nonetheless important section of it: there will be readings from Gillian Clarke, Carol Ann Duffy and Roger McGough among many other events. I am also to contribute the poetry input to a weekend of songwriting at The Oak Barn in Shropshire in May, along with singers/ musicians Polly Bolton, Sue Harris and Gitika Partington.

What else will the year bring? I very much hope that for the world it will bring increased international co-operation in trying to solve the climate warming issue (Copenhagen was a huge disappointment but maybe the seeds are sown and greater things may yet come from it), and that peace will be restored to Afghanistan.

And for you, whoever you may be who read this insignificant little blog, I wish you an abundance of joy and delight in living. May all your surprises be happy ones!

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