Friday, February 19, 2010


Your breathing is like the swell of the ocean
and we´re drifting away on the tilt of the night
our warmth in the comfort of the lighthouse light
it´s beam sweeping over the ebb of our dreams
the whispers of the wind, the creaking grain
we need to go so we can return again

the ocean´s dunes
shifting and changing
the same yet never again
the fathomless sky
of stars and moon
setting the scene
for eternity

by our transience we are defined
travellers over the deserts of time
pilgrims on the oceans of life
swelling from big to small
on the wave of existence
an impression of scale
or an expression of spirit?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Carrot, Fennel, Chob and Rocket Soup

As the UK (and much of the rest of Europe and Spain) experiences a Scandinavian-style winter, Barcelona is having a British winter: rainy, overcast with the fleeting respite of a couple of sunny days, now and again. So, lots of cups of teas and hearty soups to shake off that all too familiar bone-chilling, depressing dampness!

With a pressure cooker, who needs ready meals or take-aways? Soups are so. wonderfully. simple. Roughly chopped onions fried for a bit, roughly chopped whatever you want to chuck in, a good pinch of salt, herbs or spices to season and water - as much as you fancy - transparent and brothy or chunky and stew-like. It goes without saying that fresher ingredients are better, but soups don´t suffer greatly from throwing in whatever non-descript left-overs you find gazing forlornly out of the fridge at you.

So, here I chopped up and finished off an older bunch of carrots, a cauliflower chob (what´s left after you cut of the florets!), some fennel stems (the bulbs are too fresh and crunchy to be pulped to death now!) and what was left of a packet of rocket - lush! 5-10 minutes in a high pressure sauna, a quick whizz with a hand blender, fennel fronds piled on top, homemade bread crusts chopped into croutons and yum yum - rain? what rain!

I´ll never buy a packet or tinned vegetable soup again - it´s a crime against the palate!

Friday, February 5, 2010

school blues

the essay I so enjoyed writing
failed to make the grade
"the oldest mistake in the book", he said.

and I´m left with a mirror
to write teaching reflections on
but after everything I see
am I really so dumb?

No pain, no gain, they say
as they convince us
our students need chill-out grooves
and a friendly, safe cocoon

for us a bed of sharpened pencils
a pillow made of books
paperclips grip our eyelids
information overload

when is a student not a student?
or is it just professional contempt?