The tooth and the NHS

The tooth got worse and worse. Clearly it was beyond paracetamol and ibuprofen, and I didn’t think I should drive at all, much less all the way to Somerset. I tried to find a dentist, but I couldn’t find anywhere that would treat a non-patient. Apparently there is an emergency dentist in Telford, but they weren’t answering the phone, and when I took a taxi there I found I was…



On Thursday morning we went to Iron Bridge, the first arch bridge in the world to be built of cast iron, in 1779. In the evening, my toothache got much worse. I spent the night waking up with the pain, whimpering until I could safely take another painkiller, then checking the referendum results-so-far while I waited for the painkiller to kick in. It did not make me happier. This result…

The servants dining area. Who sat where. at Attingham Park. Shropshire

Attingham Park

I don’t get a huge amount of use out of my National Trust membership, what with living in the Canary Islands, but I do like to visit a National Trust property when I can. So went to Attingham Park, a stately home near Telford. It’s gorgeous. And huge. We didn’t have time to go around much of the grounds (400 acres, if memory serves!) but we did go around the…


On holiday

I’ve escaped for 10 days before the summer guiding rush. On Sunday morning I flew to Tenerife and spent a pleasant afternoon and evening, mostly in the hotel room. I took a nap and caught up with email. For lunch, we found a nearby Irish bar called Grandee O’Donnell that was serving Sunday roasts. It was damn good! So we went back for dinner (also good) and a little karaoke….


My story on the web!

My story “These Eyes” is up on Collidor at I love the art work! They’ll be publishing an interview with me later. UPDATE: Commentry on the story at

Two silky sifakas

Squee Sunday: Sifakas

There are somewhere between 100 and 1,000 Silky Sifakas (Propithecus candidus) living in the wild. Sifakas are a family of lemurs, and all lemurs come from Madagascar. They’re so well adapted to life in the trees that they can only move on the ground by hopping.