The Red Dress

Being forced to clear out old clothes from my attic I am reminded of this little poem that has been stored in my poem cellar. The Undoing  The girl wears a red dress that has the texture of coiled wire It has a colour between crushed strawberry and papaya Her eyes say beware She shows […]

If It Was Quiet

My muse at the moment is a masonry 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. Plumber’s materials and boxes of new sanitaryware promise the bathroom of my dreams. If I dreamed of bathrooms, which I do not. […]

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 […]