The Dress Argument

There is a milestone in a girl’s growing-up when her mother asks ‘Surely you’re not going out in that…‘ It’s not a question, but a realisation that the paths of mother and daughter no longer run along the same track. The wardrobe doors of perception of each party overlook different prospects. Here is a poem […]

If It Was Quiet

My muse at the moment is a pneumatic drill, interlaced with the robust soundtrack from the bathroom fitter’s radio and power tools. My house is festooned with dustsheets and off-shelf books piled high. Oddments of plumber’s materials and boxes of sanitaryware promise the bathroom of my dreams. If I dreamed of bathrooms, which I do […]

Good coffee, bad coffee

This is not the first mention of coffee in my blog. There seems to me a natural connection between writing and coffee. Coffee and coffee houses originated in the Ottoman Empire, with the first coffee house appearing in the 16th century in Istanbul. Coffee and coffee house culture migrated through Europe during the 17th century and cafés of diverse kinds are now firmly established […]

Women’s Tea

If anyone asks about recurring themes in my writing, I put tea at the top of the list. Tea seems to spill into my writing as a motif or metaphor. It could be a lonely and exhausted tea bag, a biscuitty slurry, slimy chamomile or in this case an exotic blend that only women may […]

Dead languages, useless knowledge and rocks from outer space

This little ramble is inspired by a memory: my mother once said that she couldn’t understand why Latin – a ‘dead language’- was taught in schools, and why anyone would want to learn anything so useless. Latin is embedded in English grammar along with other linguistic influences, and is our ancient language of prayer and […]

Reading the 21st Century

Born in the mid 20th century, in a not very bookish household, my earliest  literary influences were Enid Blyton and comics. Especially comics, which I could buy for myself at pocket money prices from the corner shop, long  before I was old enough to take myself off to a library. The comic format seems an obvious […]