Christmas 1983, and the blue box with the yellow cursive print that says ‘Trivial Pursuit’ is the big family present of the year. Games would last for hours. If it got too late, the board and pieces were left in place with orders not to touch so it could be resumed the next day. My … Continue reading Playing Trivial Pursuit
“Once I feel myself observed by the lens, everything changes.” Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida. I’m headed for McDonald Road Library to pick up Camera Lucida. Although I can barely remember ordering it, I must have, as they have emailed to tell me it’s ready for collection. I reckon it was a year and a half ago (more?) that … Continue reading Coffee with Roland Barthes
Life is confusing, demanding, complicated – or so I think, most of the time. Then I have the occasional thought otherwise, smoky thoughts that I can never quite pin down. I’ve tried to explain it here in fourteen lines. Simple We make a meal of this life thing With four pots on the boil at … Continue reading Simple
I had a secret sleep on the sofa yesterday afternoon. It snuck up on me. One moment I was sitting upright, reading, next moment, my head was melting into my shoulders like wax down a lit candle. I was subsiding and I did not resist the slide. I leaned into it, lay myself and the … Continue reading Day Bed
There ought to be aversion therapy for tears; a programme targeted at those people who squirm when faced with someone else’s crying. If controlled exposure to spiders for people with arachnophobia is a proven means of slowly dissolving their fear of eight legs, then surely the same should work for people who are mortified by … Continue reading Crying Over You
Why we should keep old letters...
On the fun to be had in falling into water.
I have become accustomed to the online life; even those things I thought I would hate to attend virtually – like an online book festival – it turns out I rather like. Last month, I joined some talks by writers organised by Liverpool’s Writing on the Wall annual festival. One speaker was Ben Okri. There … Continue reading Doubt
‘You make a great cup of tea.’ I know it doesn’t sound like the most fulsome praise to give someone, but it’s a decent start. The small things matter, in fact, people are more likely to believe and remember the small compliments, the droplets of praise; they become the mortar holding our days together, they … Continue reading You Did Good
What difference would it have made to Tarry Flynn had he got himself onto a dating app? That is the question I keep turning over in my mind. Tarry is the main character of the eponymously titled Patrick Kavanagh novel that I am re-reading after twenty-five years. Published in 1948, it was banned for fourteen … Continue reading Meet Me at the Crossroads