Bert and Cicero

I was very lucky in my working life. I couldn’t put it better than Mary Poppins’ friend Bert the chimney sweep: ‘I does wot I likes, an’ I likes wot I do’. As a girl I liked books. I liked libraries. No, I loved books and I loved libraries. I volunteered in the school library, in the local public library; I trained as a librarian, I studied, and qualified; I worked in public and university libraries, until one fine day I found a niche where my profession met and matched another passion: poetry.

Noticing nature: asking questions

Yesterday, I listened to the clamour of wintering geese and watched Swallows preen hard-used flight feathers. Sometimes, it’s enough to delight in sound and sight, but often, questions come to mind, unbidden, persuading me to listen more carefully, look a bit longer. Watching birds, I automatically ask, ‘What’s it doing?’ ‘Defending territory? Nest-building? Feeding itself? … Continue reading Noticing nature: asking questions

Quick & Quirky Questions with Mary Irvine

Mary Irvine, aged 76. Mary is one of Autumn Voices’ most regular contributors. Tell us 4 important facts about yourself: I drifted into a career in education rather than planning to. I became Head of Compensatory Education in Senior High and then moved to teach A-Level English and oversee S.E.N. in a Sixth Form College. … Continue reading Quick & Quirky Questions with Mary Irvine