Miracles and games

Some hours ago I went for a walk. I put on a podcast about pilgrimage (a subject pertinent to the project I was avoiding) and played a childish game: if I took the long route to the two-shelved mini-library three roads away, I might discover a book that would help. Stories of pilgrims filled my … More Miracles and games

A Lesson with Fitta

Again I begin a post with Fitta Chipeta. Otherwise known as ‘Fitta the Fixer’. When in Malawi, if there’s a glitch with a gadget, Fitta will get F Man to sort it. If you’d like a live chicken, Fitta knows someone who knows someone whose father’s sister’s neigbour can supply you with a bird. If … More A Lesson with Fitta

12th May

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

(Bewitched by) Nuns

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

A Love Story

I didn’t think I was writing a love story. I didn’t think I was writing a sad story. Nor one with uncomfortable truths. I thought I was writing a sunny story set in a Spanish Sierra, and I started with someone very similar to Elena, the Tortilla Maker. A story intended to be life-affirming and … More A Love Story