Posts in Living

We could take a train, be miles away by morning…

There was a song that Genie and I used to listen to in our early days together, as we drove around America getting to know both the country and each other. The lyrics went: We could take a train, be miles away by morning, And forget about those things we’re supposed to do. At the time, we never could just take a train. We always had to be back in the office on Monday morning, doing those things we were supposed to do. But we always dreamed of doing it… Read More

Giveaway: Crow by Ted Hughes

Happy Friday! Today I’m giving away a free copy of Crow, a beautiful collection of poems by Ted Hughes. How to enter Just leave a comment on this post. The winner will be drawn randomly, with tweets and other social media mentions counting as extra entries. So hit the Tweet button to the left of the screen if you want to increase your chances. I’ll let it run over the weekend, and announce the winner on Monday. Why the giveaway? Well, I’m trying to simplify my life and get rid… Read More

A Very British Blog Tour 2013

I was tagged recently by Maria Savva as part of ‘A Very British Blog Tour’. The idea is to introduce readers to more British writers. I don’t really define myself by nationality that much, but I like Maria and some of the questions are interesting, so I thought I’d take part. Q. Where were you born and where do you live at the moment? A. I was born in London and I’m back in London again now, although I’ve been away for a while in-between. Q. Have you always lived… Read More

Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2013!

Just a quick post to wish you all a very happy Christmas. For those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas, I wish you happy holidays. For those of you who don’t celebrate any holidays, be well 🙂 It’s been a busy few weeks of packing in Barbados, unpacking in London, dashing around seeing family and friends, and quite a bit else. I’ve hardly been online at all, and I apologise for not replying to comments on here recently, or visiting other blogs. I’ll be back in the New Year with… Read More

There’s no such place as paradise

When I tell people I’m living in Barbados, the reactions are interesting. Words that come up a lot are “exotic”, “paradise”, “idyllic” and “jealous”. It’s understandable, of course, from people struggling through a grimy London winter, and I’m not criticising the people who say those things. I just wanted to point out that they have little relation to my experience of living here. Yes, Barbados is a beautiful place. Yes, it really does have bright sunshine almost every day, temperatures that vary between 29 and 30ºC year-round, beaches of fine… Read More

What we did before Google

Whatever did we do before the internet? How did we manage before Google? I’m hearing these questions more often these days, usually after someone’s discovered some snippet of astonishing information in just a few seconds. The questions are rhetorical  of course, but it occurs to me that one day people might really want to know. I’m conscious of being a member of the last generation to remember life before the internet, so I want to explain what it was like. How did we manage without Google at our fingertips? The short answer:… Read More

Liebster Award reloaded

It was great to be nominated for the Liebster Award by Caroline of Beauty is a Sleeping Cat. Thanks, Caroline! In the spirit of her original post, I have taken the liberty of adapting the rules of the award a little. So I’m answering only seven of her original questions… 2. If you could stay in another city for a year, which one would it be? Having spent most of my life in London and New York, I think I’d like to live outside cities for a while. But I… Read More

Let’s confirm nearer the time

Technology was supposed to simplify our lives, wasn’t it? In so many ways it does, of course, but then we seem to feel the need to complicate things again, as if to compensate. Here’s an example: arranging to meet up with a friend. What used to be accomplished in a single phone call now takes five calls, seventeen texts and a barrage of emails. Because we have the tools in our hands, we feel the need to use them. I’ll illustrate what I mean with a quick case study. Let… Read More

How not to return from vacation

Coming back from vacation is always hard. If you’re working for someone else, you don’t really have a choice – you just have to turn up to work, and gradually you accustom yourself to the work routine again. But if you’re doing something like writing, which requires motivation from within rather than outside, it’s more complicated. The funny thing is, I know what works. I just don’t always do it. Update: this post has been featured at the Third Sunday Blog Carnival I recently took a month off from writing… Read More