There’s no better way to spend ninety minutes than with an episode of Inspector Morse. The protagonist may not be the most precise among fictional detectives, but he is someone with a taste for fine and lovely things. That is, in itself, a source of quiet inspiration. With the classical music, allusions to cruciverbalism and the deliciously languid pace, one is enchanted to such an extent than one almost forgets about all the murder.


Thirteen wrecks lay fathoms deep
Thirteen days of broken sleep
Thirteen stairs descending still
Thirteen hollow hours to kill
Thirteen sorries left unsaid
Thirteen husks of rotten bread
Thirteen doors are closed and locked
Thirteen ticks to go untocked
Thirteen harvests turned to dust
Thirteen trinkets lost to rust
Thirteen voices in despair
Thirteen saints to hear their prayer
Another slice of humble pie?
Thirteen ways to say goodbye
Thirteen echoes in the well
Listen, then, to what they tell
Thirteen devils, thirteen doubts
Thirteen gargoyles, thirteen spouts
Thirteen figures lost in mist
Thirteen broken mirrors kissed
Thirteen bent and broken parts
Thirteen crows eat wasted hearts
Thirteen thirteen, thirteen more
Thirteen’s writ and thirteen’s law
Thirteen where the rivers run
Thirteen till the day is done


It’s not a lovely view. Nothing special. I gaze across at a small office block. Before it, a small garden square, mostly paved. Unlovely, unloved. Turning my head to the left, the canal. Traffic, its counterflow. More office buildings loom behind, the Luas bridge bisecting them. I stand in my alcove, open the window and feel the cold rain, the cool air. My space. My music playing. My home. It is special – it is my view.

The walk to Greenstead Green

We skipped breakfast and headed out for Greenstead Green. First along the river, through seventies suburbia, and finally into the fields.

A pair hikers made us feel underdressed and underprepared — a feeling only enhanced by the March wind. Their smallish dog turned out to be large-ish cat, and not theirs at all.

Next, pathway-spotting in fallow fields — telltale flattened Earth and grass, or a possible signpost on the far edge of a field.

The occasional misstep — some due to outdated ordnance survey, others self-inflicted (why walk one side of a field when you can walk three?) — a private garden all small trees and daffodils — perfect picniclands.

Before long, Greenstead Green for lunch before the return leg — a different, more direct route back to our lodgings, though not before a diversion of hungry goats eager for unreachable grass.

The wind bit all the more before the shelter of the suburbs. Finally, a shower of blossom.

Things seen:

  • One rabbit
  • One cat (as mentioned)
  • One stile
  • Three churches
  • A curious tower (so far uninvestigated)
  • More field than strictly necessary