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I just realised that the things I know about my books before I write them, the thematic image bits, are very like the things I remember about books I have only read once a long time ago and almost forgotten.

Posted in Books, Writing

2nd May 2016: My Goodreads review of Petrarch’s letters

Five hundred and ninety years before I was born, Petrarch died in the middle of writing me a letter. What do you mean it wasn’t to me? It totally was. It was addressed to “Posterity”, and if I’m not his

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

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

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

12th June 2012: Shakespeare, real thing

When I compared Martin’s A Dance With Dragons to Shakespeare’s history plays, some people got all bent out of shape by the comparison, and it took me ages to understand why. I was indeed comparing Martin to Shakespeare, because they

Posted in Books, Theatre

30th April 2012: Home From Jo March’s Europe

I am home, having spent the last week walking my feet off in Florence and Rome. What I said about Florence last time still very much holds. This time I wasn’t alone with Ada but joined by Z and A and

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

27th March 2011: In Dialogue With His Century

I was getting a book off the shelf last night and I came eye to eye with the hardcover of Patterson’s biography of Heinlein Robert A Heinlein: In Dialogue With His Century and I realised what a stupid title it

Posted in Books, Whimsy

4th June 2010: These fragments have I shored against my ruins

I was pegging out clothes on the line this morning, and thinking to myself, the way you do: “Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade, And went on in sunlight,

Posted in Books, Thessaly

22nd December 2006: Bach in Karhide

Listening to my Bach’s Christmas Hits tape while I was wrapping presents this afternoon, it struck me that two songs in a row seem to be about Ehrenrang. Now I don’t understand German, so I don’t know what they were

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