My wife was only yesterday sticking needles in me, for the second time this week. Be re-assured: this is not anything reprehensible:  I allowed her, nay, encouraged her, for she has no evil intent. Far from it: I have benefited from what she does before, and this time the crisis was a back so badly pulled that I had difficulty sitting or lying or driving and yelped involuntarily when I had to move unexpectedly. Her acupuncture – she is a very skilled and experienced acupuncturist – has helped many people over many years, and I first experienced its effects when in a matter of hours she cleared up a troublesome tickly cough that had bothered me for weeks.

Spring Morning, Paris

It is still early. A clean morning: a walk along the canal de St Martin to the Gare de Lyon appeals much more than taking the Metro, and meets only minimal, even token, resistance from My Lady Of The Needles. For it is one of those late winter mornings which promises delight to all the senses, touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight, a morning when the senses play a polyphony of experience into consciousness, greater than the sum of the parts. The play of light on streets wet from last night’s heavy rain…the smell of coffee… a gull crying the call of my coastal childhood…  this is a morning, a light, the Impressionists would have enjoyed.

A Day Off

A couple of weeks ago (before everyone decided it was spring …), sharp, bright, with a hard frost, we had a day off. We woke later than usual, which, conscience quiet, gave a sense of holiday. We decided we would walk down to the washes of the Cam, for when I had driven past at sunset a few days before the water they hold in winter was covered with flocks of migrant waterfowl – pintail, pochard, tufted duck, widgeon, and the geese I love. (I have reservations about the aggressive and invasive Canadas, to be sure, but the pinkfeets and the greylags are always welcome visitors back from the far, far north.) I stopped the engine, and the quiet sunset was filled with the whistle of widgeon, the indignation of mallard, and the parleying of geese. Worth coming back to listen and see properly, I thought.