Crossing the digital divide In the old days it was easy to tell the “haves” from the “have nots”. The former used their bathtubs as part of their weekly grooming rituals, while the latter kept the coal in theirs. So they say. These days the goalposts have moved and we now measure ourselves in more […]

Read More →

At Large in the Luberon To the north of Aix-en-Provence lies an east-west ridge of mountains called the Luberon, and dotted around this ridge are numerous villages set in vineyards and occasional other crop fields. Those familiar with the works of Peter Mayle will know this is the area he introduced to the world when […]

Read More →

Sur le Pont d’Avignon Today a trip to Avignon, home of the famous bridge leading nowhere. It’s a couple of hours’ drive from Aix, where we were staying for a four-day break with my mother and her travelling companion George. My job for the week was driving the rented car. I can say I was […]

Read More →

A week in Provence At the start of the year I had a phone call from my mother to ask if I would take her on holiday for a week at the end of March. Although widowed twice and in her late 80’s she is still in good health, and with her travelling companion George takes […]

Read More →

Websites and cats It’s now mid-February and as far as I’m concerned winter is over. The temperature still drops at night – there was a touch of frost this morning on the cars down by the river – but the days are lengthening steadily and it’s pleasant to go out. It’s also pleasant to stay […]

Read More →

Sloping off It’s been six weeks or so since I felt impelled to write anything, a strange period of economic gloom, dismal weather and a minor flu epidemic. As we all now know, it’s official that pretty much the whole of the Western world is now in recession. Actually I thought this had been pretty […]

Read More →

Thwarted escapism and street performances Hello everyone, and a special greeting to everyone in England. This is just me being nice, trying in my small way to counter the endless doom and gloom put out by the British TV news channels. From what I see, the country is about to sink into the North Atlantic […]

Read More →

Arctic weather, birth rates and jumble sales The weather in Europe has been the number two topic of news and conversation recently. (Do I need to identify the number one? Surely not. But just in case, I don’t mean the American Presidential election, just the mess poor Obama will inherit when he takes office in […]

Read More →

Roast chestnuts and demolition After a cool September, October has been warm. Unseasonably so, according to some of the locals, though given the changing weather patterns worldwide who can be sure? Anyway, it’s been a month to enjoy warm sunshine without the blistering heat of summer. The clocks went back last night, heralding the imminent […]

Read More →

Recycling gets personal Today’s diary is about a load of rubbish. It’s also about honouring the passing of old friends. One of the things that makes life so expensive in the UK is council tax. And a large part of that goes to pay for the weekly rubbish collection service. Every week, fleets of trucks […]

Read More →