I know a woman who sprays herself with perfume each time she goes for a run. Afterwards, she takes a shower and washes both sweat and fragrance away. I know a man whose right hand clenches into a fist when he finds his running rhythm. His left hand always remains relaxed, even when he tries … More On ‘Being young until you get old’.
I was taking photos of shadows, cats, bricks and steps in the city of Cuenca in Spain. Everything that I could see right in front of me. It was sunny and mild and even the grafitti seemed to have had a spring clean. I thought I had the old town all to myself, but someone … More Los Ojos
On watching The Humans with my humans. (A movie by Stephen Karam that centres on the gathering of what some have called a ‘dysfunctional family’ was likely to contain elements that would hit home.) Six members of a multi-generational family gather together in Chinatown, Manhattan, at the newly acquired duplex of the youngest (adult) daughter, … More The Humans
Happy New Year.
Here are days, weeks and years of travel. From Orkney to Australia, and from Malawi to Berlin. I know some of these places, and once I must have imagined I would visit them all.
… More Boxing up books (a working title)
A year ago, I wrote that the curators of the Mass Observation Archive were making their annual appeal for our 12th May diaries. Here we are again, twelve long yet quick months later, and the Project is keen to know how we have fared. Its aim remains to collect glimpses of our lives on one … More 12th May
(A short walk through a Sevenoaks churchyard) Hestor was a wife. She was remembered with love by her husband, after she died in 1802. Her gravestone still stands and her name is still legible, despite the threat of a colony of white spots. Other names are invisible, swept away by the elements. Or have dates … More Memories and Daffodils
Perhaps it started with Sister Laurie at St Joseph’s School in North Battleford, right in the middle of the Canadian prairies. Sister Laurie was petite and neat and the gentlest soul. When I was six and the new girl from the Old World, she was my teacher. She welcomed me into her classroom and nobody … More (Bewitched by) Nuns
It’s hard to socially distance with a stranger on a narrowboat, but we cannot resist the invitation. These are real Oxford Gyptians on a real canal that curves into a backwater of the real River Thames. … More Real Gyptians
A love story from Andalucía (adapted from Lorenzo Valla’s 15th century version of the Legend of La Peña de los Enamorados). A young man once served as a slave in the house of a Moorish leader in the Kingdom of Granada. The man’s name was Tello, and he was a Christian soldier who had been … More Tello y Tazgona