I often reflect on how grey most of the stuff of life and living is, and I certainly have tried to impress on my teenage daughter that life is less black and white that we think it is, or need it to be.

I just came across a poem, Black and White by Jean Bleakney, which has prompted me to reconsider my stance:

‘Facing up to the truth of shooting stars

– that the earth is a whirling medieval flail,

making fire and dust of tiny remnant worlds –

is a terrible flicker

of how the black-and-white of things

can sometimes leave us inconsolable.’

Perhaps the need for a world that is grey, and softer in its muted tones, is merely my own personal desire, rather than the actuality of how things really are…