Sometimes quoted as, ‘murder your darlings’ other times as, ‘kill your darlings’ -- whatever your preference, the advice amounts to the same thing: don’t scrimp when it comes to editing. Take to your writing with a red pen and the eye of Marie Kondo going through kitchen cupboards that haven’t been reviewed in a decade, … Continue reading Murder Your Darlings
The Bayeux Tapestry is coming to the British Museum in 2020 on loan from the French. It might seem to be too early to be talking about it, but two years is a blink of the eye when you consider that it hasn't left France for 950 years. The museum in Bayeux, Northern France, where … Continue reading May I Borrow It?
Every time I go to the airport and I get as far as security I invariably pick the wrong queue and join the slowest river of moving people. Sometimes there is a man or woman to sift, sort and tell you which little rivulet you may run off into, but often you must choose for … Continue reading Queue
‘Faint heart never won fair lady.’ Remember the old-fashioned saying? Literally or figuratively, it expounds that timidity will prevent you from achieving your objective, be it throwing yourself with gusto at a job interview or with similar gusto at the man or lady of your dreams. It goes hand in hand with its twin saying, … Continue reading Searchlights
K. has a little poster in her room, stuck up above the desk where she does her homework, that reads: “A smooth sea never made a skilful sailor.” She’s only 12, it seems like a hard lesson for one so young to learn. I hope it is many years before she has to leave the … Continue reading Swimming With Sharks
My hair is too long. It’s ridiculous. I can nearly sit on it. It hasn’t been near a pair of scissors in ten months and it needs to be chopped. Nothing dramatic, but I want to be able to look at the floor and see plenty of it down there - two inch lengths. A. … Continue reading Cut!
Remember the dreaded avocado bathroom suite? A rather unattractive colour, close to that of algae bloom on a pond that runs low, then stagnant during a hot summer. It was the colour of bathroom to have in the Seventies, along with salmon pink, maybe sky blue, sometimes oatmeal, or the under-utilised mauve. Used to be … Continue reading Make Do And Mend
I had brunch with my lovely niece on New Year’s Eve and, inevitably, the talk turned to New Year’s resolutions. We composed our lists independently of each other and then shared what we wanted of them. It turned out we had a few that were the same – one being to go to bed earlier … Continue reading Sensible
Views and opinions: we should have plenty of them, formed from our own thoughts, musings and observations. Best not - as Lord Haig witheringly said of one poor fellow - to be, “like a cushion, bearing the impression of the last person who sat on you.” Which gets me thinking about Lord Haig, the celebrated … Continue reading Facts Are Sacred
Cheeses: I’ve been researching all of the different types, in other words, I’ve been tasting them. You see, I’m off the hook for cooking dinner on Christmas Day and I’m in charge of the cheeseboard. I’m happy with my task. I reckoned it would be an easy job: one blue, one hard, one soft - … Continue reading Vacherin