I Want to Live in a Big House

I've been guiding my students through the postmodern maze that is Atonement for a solid six weeks now. It's great watching their reactions to the complicated narrative and the little tricks, which tend to fall on either extreme of the spectrum: faces fall, groans erupt and books slam shut as disheartened students realise they'll have to … Continue reading I Want to Live in a Big House

There’s Magic in the End of Things

  That final word is a godsend. A note of relief or release, Of grief, a new lease, Or different, of life, The will to survive Beyond and behind Something solid, A word so squalid, Meteoric and metaphoric. A moment of liquid magic From that final shot glass For a taste of metaphoria, And as … Continue reading There’s Magic in the End of Things

Kill your Darlings

So this weekend I saw Dawn French talking to Sue Perkins about Perky's new book Spectacles. In case you missed that or simply think I'm a despicable liar, I did indeed say Dawn French and Sue Perkins. I met Sue Perkins. She signed my book. I talked at her face.   What made it even more … Continue reading Kill your Darlings

Asparagus Wee

Did you know there are some people on this fine earth who don't get asparagus wee? I don't mean they claim not to or they don't understand it, they actually don't get it at all. According to http://www.british-asparagus.co.uk (yes, it is real) about half the population of Britain just don't experience the highs and lows … Continue reading Asparagus Wee

BBC Feedback

I suppose I should sleep, since tomorrow means work and waking and expectation, but the TV has stopped blaring for a moment and there is quiet. Quiet, but not peace, quiet, but not darkness. The colour is blue and the face is familiar. Quiet, but not comfort; the silence is unnerving, awkward. This is a … Continue reading BBC Feedback

Mountains of Macaroni Cheese

I wonder whether my sardonic way of writing is well-suited to a blog. Then again, I have loads of work to do so I'd rather do this instead. I've always loved the idea of writing an advice column. Not least due to the fact that I, of anyone, have so little life experience and absolutely … Continue reading Mountains of Macaroni Cheese

Reflections on a Pub Quiz

The first one is without doubt the most difficult, correct? I should point out that I mean the first blog post, not the first pub quiz, although that too is a daunting test. With a blank page and an empty mind, what do you talk about? I finished that particular sentence a full 10 minutes … Continue reading Reflections on a Pub Quiz