The monks have long gone, but one of my absolute favourite places to visit in Cambridge is Anglesey Abbey, (previously Anglesey Priory and built in the 12th century by a community of Augustinians). I first visited over thirty years ago and it has long stayed in my memory, not for the priceless objets d’art, but... Continue Reading →
It’s been a long time since I lived in Cambridge (I won’t say precisely how long), but apart from the students looking younger, I’d have to say the distances between places seem shorter, too.
New Orleans is a funny old place. On the face of it, The French Quarter dominates, with continental-styled streets and facades, an array of Creole restaurants, tourist shops and jazz bands on almost every street corner. But even this isn’t what it seems. Destroyed by fire in 1794 , the French Quarter’s buildings are now... Continue Reading →
‘I remember and let’s pretend - I remember is where you start, it’s what gives the story vitality and truth. Let’s pretend is what the imagination does with it, the lies that a story-teller is allowed to tell.’  There are not many people like Berlie: quiet and thoughtful, kind and gentle, extremely articulate, when... Continue Reading →
‘Not all of us receive the ends that we deserve. Many moments that change a life’s course – a conversation with a stranger on a ship, for example, are pure luck. And yet, no one writes you a letter, or chooses you as their confessor, without good reason. This is what she taught me: you... Continue Reading →
I was rather intrigued last week to note that the BBC has an on-line article 100 Inspirational Women. I promise that the idea for this topic came before I read it! Women, it might seem, are held back for various reasons – through circumstances, by gender or size, as a result of upbringing, or even... Continue Reading →
I’ve recently read a couple of articles celebrating inspirational women in Sheffield. This got me thinking about the many inspirational women I have met in my life, some of whom have truly helped me shape it. Most of these women have overcome obstacles in their own lives, often to achieve and succeed against the odds.... Continue Reading →
Or perhaps I should rephrase that as, what makes a book good? I have recently read The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2015. I must admit, that usually anything Man Bookery puts me off reading a book. Too avant garde, too clever, perhaps? When... Continue Reading →