Blog Archives

29th January 2015: Everything alive and dead to weep as one

There’s a family anecdote about me that I’m not sure whether I actually remember or whether I just remember being told about it lots and lots of times. I was four or five, and we went to St David’s Cathedral,

Posted in Books, Human culture, Life as it blossoms out in a jar or a face

1st December 2014: Best birthday present ever

So Marissa Lingen gave me a book. And lots of people have given me books before, and sometimes books I really really wanted, like the time my aunt gave me The Silmarillion when I was fourteen, and I had wanted it

Posted in Books, Life as it blossoms out in a jar or a face

1st December 2014: Half a century

I am fifty, except that, like Neil Gaiman, I still feel twelve. AM is here, Marissa Lingen and family are in town, we have plans with Z tonight and a party next weekend. Fifty is an odd age, awfully old, but

Posted in Life as it blossoms out in a jar or a face, My Books

30th September 2014: A Kind of Rissole

One of the things I am reading is Boccaccio’s Decameron. It’s a fascinating collection of medieval stories, comparable to the Canterbury Tales but more Italian and with more sex. The frame story is that seven young ladies and three young

Posted in Books, Human culture

17th July 2014: Things you didn’t know about Heraclitus

I was re-reading Popper’s The Open Society and its Enemies before falling asleep, and indeed, as you will see, after falling asleep. I think I may have mentioned that I read until I am asleep, and then after I am

Posted in Thessaly, Whimsy

28th May 2014: Vorfreude

That’s word of the week — it’s pronounced vor-FROY-dah and it means the intense anticipatory joy of looking forward to future joys. It’s German, and it seems weird to me that English has borrowed schadenfreude and not vorfreude — so

Posted in Life as it blossoms out in a jar or a face

5th May 2014: When you’re happy and you know it…

When I was four years old and went to school, they put me in Mrs Caulfield’s class with older kids because I could read. Everyone else had been in school for a year already, and they knew how school worked.

Posted in Human culture, Life as it blossoms out in a jar or a face

8th April 2014: Culture, or how I discovered Bach

I think it was 1994, and I was twenty-nine. I was in a charity shop in Lancaster, one of the smaller ones, down at the bottom of Penny Street. Ken and I wanted some more music both of us could write

Posted in Human culture

12th December 2013: Going to Italy, Going to Italy, Going to Italy tomorrow!

Actually, that may deserve more than one exclamation point. I think the last time I went somewhere in December was 1996, and then it was Cambridge from Lancaster. It’s a time of year when everything gets darker and colder as

Posted in Life as it blossoms out in a jar or a face

1st December 2013: 49 Today

Great birthday so far, AM is here, Z and A are coming over at 10.30 and we’re going out for brunch and then to see the Treasures of Venice exhibition in the Beaux Arts. This will save me time when

Posted in Life as it blossoms out in a jar or a face, My Books