an easter story

More than a year has passed since I last posted one of Ann's beautifully crafted slices of life. That's not because she's not been writing - merely me falling so far behind I thought I'd never catch up again. Time for a new start with Almost a Ghost Story.


Kittens and codes, marriage and Breughal

There's something completely addictive about Ann's reflective connections, made with such apparent ease --  on a trip to the garden centre, f'rinstance. Here's the latest instalment from her life in Portugal (and I do have more to upload later). Click to read

Meanwhile - NB - Imogen (Robertson's) brilliant first novel Instruments of Darkness is now in paperback AND her second, The Anatomy of Murder, will be published at the end of the month.


Ann Palmer and Peter Duck

I was searching for something quite different when I came across this snapshot of the moment Ann and I met on board Peter Duck in August 2000. Ann had arrived in Harwich on board Shtandart, the replica of Peter the Great's flag ship. This was the project that had taken Greg and Ann and Peter Duck as well to live in Russia. Greg had died there and Peter Duck had come home to Woodbridge where Francis and I had bought her. Now Shtandart was completed and Ann setting foot on Peter Duck for the first time since she'd watched her sail away from St Petersburg. It was an emotional moment.


from Mimosa to Blue Toad

Mimosa is real and her name means darling: blue toad is in a Ming museum but his friend, red carp, is a 1950s fake. Between the first person and the last word  Ann worries about Senor Jorge's multiple missed deadlines and offers some practical suggestions for husband training... read on here


one year on

It was January 2009 when Ann first landed in Portugal. Now, one year on, her flat is almost ready and she is looking at furniture. She spends Christmas with a Portugese family, attends the opening of a furniture exhibition and joins a library. In her characteristically restrained and limpid style she thinks back to her experiences of illness in New Zealand, England and Russia, reflects on things she learned in her marriage to Greg and shares memories of Peter Duck, her son Ned as a child and his visit to her last year with his partner Imogen Robertson. Read here