Category Archives: Odds & Ends

A Writers’ Social

The Scene: A bar. The Players: Novelists, children’s writers, academics, translators, journalists, biographers, and other assorted literary intellectuals. * “Hi! Nice to see you! Which way did you come?” “Oh, it was bloody awful.  I drove down the [name of … Continue reading

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A New Focus for the New Year?

I am just wondering if a shift of focus might help. Practice makes perfect, so the more you repeat an action or even a thought, the more likely is that action or thought to become consolidated.  After all, wherever we … Continue reading

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Qi Gong

It’s the same every morning.  I negotiate my way out of bed and, eventually, brave the steep Munchkin stairs and stagger into the kitchen.  I put the kettle on, wait for the first crackling sound and switch it off.  I … Continue reading

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Yellow

I need yellow in my life. Its unadulterated joy.  Its sunshine.  For me, joy is most definitely yellow.  Not lemony, with a green undertone.  Not a darker shade with a injection of mustard.  Not the distinguished, pale, almost ivory variety.  … Continue reading

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A Piece of Italy – I Mean Naples – in Notting Hill

Pasquale places cutlery next to my sfogliatella.  Pointedly.  “You Northerners probably eat it with a knife and fork,” he says, deadpan, and strolls to look out of the front door, his hands behind his back. He says Northerner to me, … Continue reading

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Idle Thoughts about Bank Holidays

I love Bank Holiday Mondays.  Even though I now work from home, so weekends and Bank Holidays are of little consequence to my timetable, I nevertheless get out of bed with a sense of anticipation, of mild excitement, at the … Continue reading

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Midnight Cha-Cha-Cha and Tabasco

I am about sixteen.  I wake up in the middle of night.  The sound of distant crunching, faint music and the light spilling into the corridor lure me like the tune of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.  I get out … Continue reading

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