A standing stone with "Coed Keri" inscribedMy wife, Keri, has achieved immortality of a sort. Twenty odd years ago, we started a project to turn 11 acres of monoculture upland sheep pasture into an oasis of nature.

Over three winters, I watched as she toiled in driving sleet and rain to spade in each day’s quotient of trees. More than 5,000 oak, birch, holly, rowan and ash were planted along with the remaining strength in her back. She didn’t crow about it, but quietly, satisfied, started to interplant with other trees and woodland plants. Together we dug ponds, erected hundreds of birdboxes and generally set about making it a home for all but humans.

Years later, to celebrate this achievement I had Ordnance Survey rename that parcel to Coed Keri and planted this commemorative stone. Today, Coed Keri, vibrant like never before, is left to the wildlife of Denbighshire, but the stone moved with us to Powys, and just got replanted in our garden in Meifod, where we started the process all over again.


First Aid for bees

An ailing bumble bee sipping honey and waterFIrst aid for ailing bumble bee: 1 drop honey, 3 drops water, mix and apply to paving just in front of the patient. You can just see his tongue between front and rear leg. This invariably revives them.

Inconvenienced in the convenience shop

The girl behind the counter couldn’t give a toss that they only had Happy Shopper 120s tea bags when I wanted PG Tips. But I felt a lot better when I saw that not only did leading independent construction company, Willmott Dixon, care about my inconvenience but that they were actually sorry for it. That’s what makes Britain great.
A contractors sign saying "We're sorry for any inconvenience"

New Horizons at Pluto

I’ve waited all my life for this Pluto encounter – ever since my six year old hands wore the pages thin re-reading Timothy’s Space Book. It was that very encyclopaedia of ideas which burned away at me and ultimately inspired me to go and work in an office for thirty years.
And whatever happened to the market gardens and rows of lettuce on Mars the book foretold? The Thatcher years saw to that I suppose.