A Brief History of Cycling


I’m not a ‘proper’ cyclist, but I’ve always enjoyed cycling locally wherever I’ve lived, and we’re lucky to have the beautiful cycle path along the river here in Wivenhoe. Last February I injured my back, and the sciatica resulting from the bulging disc pressing on the sciatic nerve proved painful and restrictive. Standing up and walking relieved the pain; sitting, lying down and anything else (trying to sleep, for example) exacerbated it. Cycling was out of the question. Continue reading “A Brief History of Cycling”

Fascinating Fungi


A golden day, a day of blue skies and autumn colour. A snatched day, squeezed between endless cold, grey, rainy November days. I meet Chris and Jude Gibson for another of their popular Bug and Botany walks (Chris Gibson Wildlife). Today it’s Trees and Fungi, and I’m definitely here to learn about trees – the fungi don’t interest me very much at all…

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Director’s Notes: 1


Photo: me as the Goddess Diana in Pericles, 2017

In June 2020, I’m directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream  for Wivenhoe Open Air Shakespeare.

The following is an article which appeared in the Summer 2019 edition of Wivenhoe News (number

Getting Started: Is All Our Company Here?
Having served an apprenticeship with two different and talented masters, I am now let loose on my own. Continue reading “Director’s Notes: 1”

The Bicycle Orchestra


Photo: Joshua Niedermayer for Fictive Dream

I am delighted that my short story The Bicycle Orchestra is published here by Fictive Dream. I wrote the first (much longer) draft three years ago, when I’d just stopped teaching and was completing my MA. The story, loosely titled Bicycle Race, marked a break, a change in my circumstances, and also the first piece of more independent writing for some time. I’d spotted a small summary in the paper about an unnamed fifty-something woman in West Yorkshire who’d headed out for a short bike ride and ended tangled up in a race.

Continue reading “The Bicycle Orchestra”