The possibilities for glorious rebirth from apparent disaster (and of course the reverse of that, and of course of course all the countless in-between positions) are always present, especially in football. Quite what took us from being 0-1 down and missing a penalty to winning the game 3-2 is beyond me. It was baffling, beautiful and entirely needed.

While Leeds were being the end of me once more, we were attending the birthday party of one of my nieces. Went for a walk along the river before afternoon tea and cake.

In the image here, you can just about see where the level of the river has dropped. The weir a bit further down stream collapsed late last year.

The narrator here says two-three feet; it’s at least six feet in places at the moment. There are no plans to fix the weir as far as I’m aware. It’s keeping the water much fresher than it was, with a faster current, and the banks will cover over again. Today, the air was rich with wild garlic, and there were wood anemones, late snowdrops, early bluebells, celandine.

Plus – keeping a group of 10 kids busy for a couple of hours – the water finding its lowest level has revealed a trove of stuff in the silt. Presumably items thrown off the old viaduct: sections of railway, telegraph ceramics, bits of pottery… as well as more contemporary pieces of junk, like crusty bike frames, an abandoned boom box, fishing rods, plastic bags full of nameless sodden items.

Along the river bank, and along the cycle path that now runs across the viaduct, the trees had made that switch from incipient new growth to plump, visible buds, the colours changing, spring blossom out or arriving. The clocks go forward tomorrow.

Something about all of this going on offers a reassurance that is also baffling, beautiful and entirely needed.

No garden activity at all today. Full spectrum dominance attained by our two young children.

Here is a picture of a garden that is lavishly scoped and well-tended, and has no children in it.


Schönbrunn is one of those wonderful ‘foreign words with no direct translation in English’. Loosely speaking, it signifies ‘a lovely quiet garden with no children in it’.

I mean, just for five minutes or something?

Monday jam today was characterised by a lack of flow.

Guitars going out of tune, everyone playing a bit loud, chords not sitting right where they had before, beats skipped.

We were all fine with it, though. It’s only three weeks in, and we’ve got a few songs going already. We decided to put it down to some bad juju in the room. Seeing as we practice in a drama studio in a local school, we speculated this was ambient fury left from someone trying to wrangle a Year 8 class through the last lesson of the day. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong way fur rubbed. One of those ‘lively’ groups, full of the kinds of youth that might really test a teacher’s teeth gritting skills.

Fortunately, driving home music on the radio was the inescapable DB: