A window on our woods

| Feb 6, 2011

A window on our woods

When I’m sitting at my desk working in my study, I can look up through a large window and enjoy the view of some woods with a meadow beyond. Except that I’m not too happy with the woods, that is, because they belong to ...

Anyone for a great green gourd?

| Dec 5, 2010

Anyone for a great green gourd?

Copying a Canadian friend, during spring for the last two years I have built tepee frames, not conventional trellises, for my cucumbers to trail around as they grow. This year, I built a frame high and wide enough for me to stand up inside, ...

Welsh worries for Japan's woods

| Nov 7, 2010

Welsh worries for Japan's woods

Larch trees were introduced to Britain from eastern Europe in the 17th century for their ornamental value in gardens — and the larch is indeed a pretty tree. A conifer with short, needle-like leaves that turn color in autumn and fall like golden rain, ...

Chickens at (almost) every turn

| Sep 5, 2010

Chickens at (almost) every turn

Go wherever you will in the world but you’ll never be far from a chicken. Certainly, the only inhabited places on the planet where I haven’t seen chickens running around somewhere have been in the Arctic. There were lots of ptarmigans there mind you, ...

A fish that knows not time

| Aug 1, 2010

A fish that knows not time

Recently, a few days before my 70th birthday, I was visited by the beautiful and vivacious actress Mayu Tsuruta. If you watch Japanese television, I’m sure you will know her from the many films, dramas and documentaries in which she has appeared. Rare in ...

A meeting of minds

| Jul 4, 2010

A meeting of minds

In 1958, just before my 18th birthday, I went along on an Inuit hunt for seals in the Canadian Arctic. That was the first time I tasted that rich, dark red — almost black — meat, and it was like nothing else I had ...

Chips for the kids and all

| Jun 6, 2010

Chips for the kids and all

I have just returned to my study after two days and a night spent in the woods with a group of young people who are visually disadvantaged. Some of them had no eyesight at all, some could just barely make out shades and vague ...