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
The weather, the grass, and emerging from lockdown.
C. tells me she is taking her laptop in to be serviced “as its sooooo SLOW”. Reconditioned, she calls it, then, as a quick aside, she adds, “maybe they ought to take me in too, to be reconditioned.” Now there’s a thought. When I was growing up, everything was ‘reconditioned’ with a lick-and-a-spit and a … Continue reading Recondition Me
Without success, I am trying to write an ending. I have selected some novels from my bookshelf to see how they do it. Welsh (Trainspotting, 1993), Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1890) and Woolf (The Waves, 1931) are huddled together at the end of one shelf. I decide that, between the three of them, they should … Continue reading Thinking of Ending It
Gabriel Byrne, the Irish actor, had a book out last year, I heard him talk about it on a radio interview. I didn’t know it was him at first, I just thought, ‘there’s a man with a lovely accent who knows how to tell a story’, and so I kept listening, mostly because of that … Continue reading The Best We Can Do Is Move On
Step 1: Have a cup of tea and two slices of malted sourdough with crunchy peanut butter (not too much, pretend there are only scrapings left in the jar) and thinly sliced banana. I will eat and drink slowly whilst chewing my food for longer than seems necessary, for this not benefits not only my … Continue reading Overcoming Writer’s Block: Four Steps
I recently came across the dictation function on my computer, a find that, initially, gave rise to much excitement. My excitement was dashed, however, when I set about using it and realised it was hard of hearing. What other reason could there be for how appallingly it transcribed my flowing, spoken words? My rolling Northern Irish accent … Continue reading Finding My Way