Category Archives: Balcony


The set of Dickens left me by my lovely Aunt Jenny

As we are 88 and 90, we’ll be confined for at least 4 months in our 9th floor flat. Luckily, we have a balcony that gets the sun in the afternoon. With the weather turning fine, we’ll be able to sit outside and read while getting a South of France tan. Luckily we went to the library just before this plague blew up and I still have six more books left to read. My lovely Aunt Jenny gave me her complete set of Dickens – the Hazell, Watson and Viney Ltd edition with illustrations by Phiz. If push comes to shove, I’ll re-read all 16 volumes. I was recovering from one of my several broken bones when I last ploughed my way through them all.

I planned on using this time to would get on with the sequel to my memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat’, learn another Bach Two Part Invention for the piano, and keep up with my Ancient Greek, but like my New Year resolutions, they fell at the first hurdle!!

We have a very pleasant newish Waitrose nearby in Nine Elms and the last two occasions we went before being confined to our home we had been sent a page of £4-off vouchers if we spent £40. We have always done most of our big grocery shopping in the Tesco’s and Sainsburys in Cromwell Road, only topping up with a few odds and ends in the more expensive Waitrose. On the first occasion, we made up the £40 with toilet paper and on the second with bread flour and yeast – I bake all our bread. Must have earned some good points with a Higher Power to make just those choices.

So, instead of being virtuous, and writing and practising and learning, I’ve been baking and cooking double quantities of dishes – eating half and freezing the other half. It’s so satisfying, starting off with some uninteresting looking powders, making the most heavenly smell, and then producing a great looking crusty load of bread.

The manager of our flats has set up a Whatsapp group so there are offers of help and friendship. And we all come to our balconies and windows to clap for the NHS on Thursdays at 8pm.

I hope those of you reading my memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat’ will take some comfort from the stories of hard times past we all came through.

Lots more stories like this in my memoir ‘‘Woman in White Coat’. Buy it on Kindle at £2.99 or as a paperback on Amazon at £9.99

Woman in a White Coat

There’s a bird nesting in our window box

Window box in the courtyard
Window box in the courtyard

We’ve had Mallard ducks on our 9th floor balcony and a peregrine and we can hear the blackbirds singing from their nest above us. Once a pair of ducks nested on the roof opposite and raised a family of ducklings there.

Sparrow's eggs?
Sparrow’s eggs?

Now a small bird has made a nest in our courtyard and laid five eggs. It seems amazing. The new gardeners only replanted the window box quite recently.

I caught a glimpse of a little brown bird flying away as I walked past but I’m not sure what type it was.

A neighbour said it was a robin, but surely they have blue eggs?



At last the weather is good enough to sit out on the balcony – and a long time in coming. Within the last couple of weeks we’ve had snow in Scotland and sleet here in Central London.

UV rays not withstanding, I love sitting outside with a book and a cold drink, getting my ‘South of France’ type tan. Luckily,  the set of glass-topped table, four armchairs and a sunshade we bought from Argos years ago are still going strong.