When I was a child, my mother once smacked me for throwing a piece of orange peel out of the car window. Smacking children has long since been banned but littering (and even worse, fly tipping) is now endemic in the UK. Say what you like about Europe, but you’d be hard pushed to find cities and countryside on the other side of the channel that are as rubbish-strewn, unsightly and unloved as their British counterparts.
What a nice experience to pop over the road from my job at the Royal Berkshire Hospital to the fourth Summer Show of the Reading Guild of Artists (RGA) in the UoR London Road campus. The exhibition features a rich variety of paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and mixed media work from over 50 RGA members, as well as showcasing the final year work of BA Ed Art students from the University of Reading.
When I was growing up in Wales, my local corner shop was called Eva’s after the homely purveyor of goods and gossip who lived on the premises with her doddery black mongrel, Paddy.
The first rule of Forage Club is…. never eat anything unless you’re 100% sure of what it is!
My first bee hotel was open for business two or three years before guests moved in.
A poem by Victoria Pugh
with illustrations by Jane Burnett.
So many hat boxes, stacked up, on shelves by the door –
round, black, with a crest on each one; full of flat caps,
trilbies, bowlers, top hats? Or nothing? Like extra-wide
organ pipes, ready to play a tune in brown dog tooth.