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
The Best We Can Do Is Move On
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
Have you ever had your tea leaves read, or the lines upon your palm scrutinized, or been ushered through a heavy curtain made from crushed velvet and fringed with gold, behind which a woman with smoky kohl eyes gazed into a crystal ball to tell you what lay in store for you? Two things have … Continue reading Crystal Ball
Wasn’t it awful watching television footage of Notre Dame Cathedral burning furiously earlier this week? That it is a monument so ancient, recognisable, and steadfast made it all the more shocking. It stirred a deep unease in my heart, its partial destruction acting as a powerful reminder about what is precious yet precarious: everything. I was reminded … Continue reading Tumbling Down
“Basically you’ve run away.” The words slipped out, loosened by the Burns Night whisky; I called it Talisker-tongue. I immediately feared that branding her a runaway may not have been the most sensitive thing to say, but S. didn’t seem to mind. On the contrary, she giggled delightedly. “Yes, I suppose you could say that, … Continue reading Runaway
Where Have All The Good People Gone?
Only the good die young; it’s an idea that has been around forever, or since about 445 BC, when dying young must have been a lot more common than it is today. The origins of the saying go way back to a proverb by Herodotus, who, all those millennia ago, wrote: ‘Whom the Gods love … Continue reading Where Have All The Good People Gone?
To pursue whatever you set your mind to with the joy of a six year-old child: that’s said to be how we should seek to live. This supposes that every six-year old child embraces all of life joyfully, which they probably don’t, as personality and nature come into play. Largely, though, small children do seem … Continue reading Innocence
There’s a Hole in my Bucket
He had a coffee; I had Earl Grey. His was frothy and a bit cold, he told me; mine was too hot, so I blew on it, not that it made a whit of difference. “From England? You’re walking the whole way from the North of England to Santiago?” “Yes. The one in Spain, … Continue reading There’s a Hole in my Bucket
I May, I Might, I Must
Choice: it is, perhaps, the single, most important determinant in how our lives turn out; in how we plough a furrow through this world. Yes, some people, often through fate of birth, are born to a life of enhanced opportunity with an array of choices before them, whilst others are born into a ready-made obstacle … Continue reading I May, I Might, I Must