tiger and morning gloryWhat can I say? Every desk should have a tiger. He isn’t strictly on my desk. He hovers over it in a benign sort of way. I bought him from a wonderful shop, sadly no longer in existence, that was called Neal Street East, in Covent Garden. Oh, how I loved it! It has now been replaced by an Italian shoe shop. I like the way the tiger moves around in the breeze. I like the way he watches over my writing. He has a small sticker on his back that says he was made in Thailand. I have him there to remind me to have courage. I mean a tiger isn’t frightened of anything much, is it? I particularly like the fact he has articulated paws and jaw. When I’m feeling particularly stressed I open his jaws wide. Andy Murray used to do that during his matches and I presume it reduces tension.

I’m not quite sure how this morning glory thing is going to pan out though. I should have started these seeds off much earlier. I found an old packet and was feeling a little stuck and threw them in a pot and thought nothing would happen. But then it did!  They all germinated which was exciting but they like to climb and we have no outside space so I thought I’d see if they’ll climb up my tiger. I’m not sure how he feels about it though. When I was a very small child my mother grew morning glories one summer and each morning there’d be a competition between me and my sisters to guess the number of flowers that had bloomed. The winner got a sixpence. It was very hard to guess accurately.

geraniums and tigerI work by a window which looks out onto the street. When I want to concentrate I have the blind down but when I don’t I have it up and then I look out onto geraniums, motorbikes, cars and I get to listen to people’s conversations – neighbours bumping into each other, a man explaining how he goes all the way to Kingston for his shopping because it has an Aldi, the number bus he gets, the fact that he had fallen down and everyone had rushed to pick him up. People are very kind, he says. In a city like London where there are so many people and they are often under a great deal of pressure, it is good to hear things like that. We all want to hear that if we fall down we will be picked up.

Basically, it’s all about growth and courage, isn’t it? I’ll let you know how the morning glories pan out.


  1. Neal St East – sadly missed! I used to love whiling away time in there.

    Also, you may have solved a mystery for me. I was saying to someone I had no idea where my nearest Aldi was, that I’d never even seen a branch. Kingston could be it! (I could just google it, I suppose)

    Lovely tiger & good luck with the morning glory 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Madame Bibi. It was wonderful wasn’t it? I bought a huge amount of presents there. There is nowhere like it now in London. Glad to be of help re Aldi – I was surprised as well. My experience of morning glories in the past is that you think nothing is happening and the next thing you know you’ve got a plant from the Little Shop of Horrors!

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  2. My first job in London in 1981 was for Christina, who owned Neal St East and pretty much all of Neal Street. She had the concession for the Great Japan Exhibition at the RA where I was, and when the exhibition closed I pranced about Neal Street doing various things for her, including painting a shop that was going to sell teapots. She was lovely to work for and had (maybe still has) a to-die-for flat overlooking the street. Not sure why I left – lovely people, lovely businesses – but I suppose it was just the restless energy of my 20s, seeking new adventures…There, see what memories you’ve sparked! Good luck with the Morning Glory but don’t let it surreptitiously grab your foot when you’re writing or you’ll be done for…


    • Oooh, you lucky thing! I loved it and bought so many things from it over the years. It was a fab place to get lost in. Since it appeared on the blog the morning glory has had a monumental growth spurt like you wouldn’t or maybe you would believe. The tiger now has three tendrils firmly wrapped round it. I wonder where it will all end. Incidentally there’s still a shop there which sells tea and tea pots maybe the same one you painted back then!

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  3. Lions and tigers and bears? You have quite a menagerie (okay you haven’t mentioned lions yet, but there’s time!) I’m sure the tiger is a good, protective spirit hanging over your writing and I hope the morning glories are a sign of the blooming creativity to come 🙂

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  4. Oh, I love the sleeping tiger! Looking so relaxed up there. Morning glories are a wonder and I first had them when a neighbour gave me some seeds and like you I remembered them much later and scattered them by the shed not expecting much! Wow, what a wonder every morning to rush down and see how many have flowered! What a great idea with the blind down for working, otherwise up to view your pretty geraniums and the world passing by. Courage and growth it is! 😀❤️

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  5. I so enjoyed the view of your writing space … and window, and the inhabitants you invite to inspire you at your sacred space. I think we writers should show each other where we sit and write and create. It’s so much fun to envision each other at our sacred ground. The tiger is a wonderful force of courage and desire for you to use; the morning glory reminds you of the joy and wonder of creation and growth. I have similar talismans in my writing office. A white orchid overlooks my space with open-faced awe. My window overlooks a small forest where birds tweet happily (and in fact, a dove just cooed hello), and a round swirling-purple glass paperweight, next to my keyboard, reminds me of the universality and beauty of all.

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