Anglesey Abbey

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 →

From Green Dragons to Ancient Shepherds

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.

Oysters and Alligators

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 →

Inspirational Women – Berlie Doherty, writer

 ‘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.’ [1] There are not many people like Berlie: quiet and thoughtful, kind and gentle, extremely articulate, when... Continue Reading →

The Muse – Jessie Burton

‘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 →

What makes a good book?

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 →

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