On my computer is a file named 'Interesting Writing Articles' in which I have saved snippets, essays, and interviews that I have read and liked. I knew there was one in there with Joan Didion, an interview with The Paris Review, which, following her death in December, I went back to read. The article is … Continue reading The Nightmare of Dreams
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
What Am I Doing?
I’ve not been feeling well lately and so I’ve been moping around, achieving little. At least that’s what I tell myself, whilst successfully discounting those bits and bobs I am getting done between bouts of inactivity. Yet all I can focus on is the inactivity, which is very unfashionable these days, to be slothful, unless … Continue reading What Am I Doing?
Oh, Edinburgh! Dearest city mother with too many children; lady of grace with so much to do; cherished nursemaid laden with contracts of responsibility. Yet you tend to it uncomplaining. You raise your progeny consistently, watchful over everyone who lives here and passes through as you sleep lightly, keeping one eye half open. I know … Continue reading Edinburgh Resting
This happens to me every year: I sleep my head off in January. I wake up and it has rolled off during the night, usually under the bed, and I am so heavy with the remnants of lassitude that it takes me half an hour to reach down, scoop it up and screw it back … Continue reading Slumber Number
December seems to be a month crammed with responsibility and obligation, assignments and commitments causing us to accelerate as we approach year end. This runs contrary to instinct, which would have us slow down, recline into the depths of the year and let ourselves ape nature in coming to rest like the dried-out teasel heads … Continue reading Stillness
I’m staying in the Scottish Highlands this week, in the middle of nowhere. On Monday, I drove four hours north until I had reached absolutely nowhere, threw a left up a hill, further into nowhere, and finally I turned right down a dirt track until I reached the very heart of nowhere. Trundling the last … Continue reading Caterpillar
Fit For Nothing
Friday’s vigorous washing and mopping of the stairs in my tenement resulted in me having an exercise hangover. It’s one of my quirks. Some years ago the doctor’s diagnosed me with chronic fatigue syndrome but it has since improved such that episodes like this are, thankfully, a rarity. I’m mildly fit, but fit for certain … Continue reading Fit For Nothing
My Secret Place
I bumped into S. on my morning walk to Life of Pie (Canadian salute to the wonderful Yann Martel) where I go for my morning coffee and to get online. “Of course,” S. nodded when I told her about my routine, “there’s no wifi where you’re staying.” No, there isn’t. And after the initial jitteriness of feeling … Continue reading My Secret Place
Keep Her Lit
My friend’s parents live in rural North Yorkshire with a garden the size of a small holding. They are an older version of ‘The Good Life’ – do you remember it? The sitcom from the Seventies with an idealistic couple - Felicity Kendall (Barbara) and Richard Briers (Tom) - who dropped out of modern, commercial … Continue reading Keep Her Lit