Cruelty to Books

I’m not sure what Tik Tok is and my grandchildren assure me I needn’t worry my grey head about it, but I did read an interesting story about a Canadian woman who scandalised Tik Tok users with her attitude to books. She, an avid reader, cracks open the spines, writes notes in the margins and…

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Not Missing in Action

A brief post, just to reassure the concerned reader who feared I’d disappeared down a deep hole. I’ve been in London for the past three weeks, attempting to organise the next phase of my life, of which, more anon. This has been a tough year, though heaven knows, not just for me. I’ve been getting…

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Whither and Whence?

My late, lamented mother-in-law was a woman who skated lightly over the surface of her far from untroubled life. She raised her children on TV dinners and optimism and dished out home truths and advice to anyone within earshot. One of her favourites was, ‘don’t let little things bother you.’ Today I have utterly failed…

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On Turning Up for Work

‘If you don’t sit at your desk every day, come the day your writing could go well, you might not be sitting there.’ So said Flannery O’Connor, who would have been 96 this past week, only lupus carried her off aged 39. I don’t agree with all her views  –  she had a low opinion…

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Days of Whine and Protest

A friend asked me what my plans were for the weekend. My first response was, ‘Is it weekend?’ I know I’m not alone in losing track. With lockdown, the days of the week are barely distinguishable. On Mondays, weather permitting, I meet friends for illicit outdoor coffees and sometimes the exchange of craft materials. It’s…

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The Eyes Have It

This week I have an appointment to get my cataracts checked so I thought I’d prepare for one inevitable question: how much time do I spend looking at a screen? I was horrified by the answer. What used to be five or six hours a day has grown, thanks to lockdown, to nine hours. Work…

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View from a Carousel

First, thank you for all the great Characters Revisited suggestions. Some of them I’d quite forgotten I created. Tsk, tsk. I wouldn’t do very well on Mastermind, specialised subject, My Own Books. The world of publishing has changed so much, even in the 35 years I’ve known it. It used to be a gentlemen’s business,…

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Absolutely Nothing to See

I have nothing to report, apart from blessedly continuing, good physical health. I can’t vouch for my state of mind. In County Dublin we’re restricted to movement within 5 km of home, the weather is filthy, the shops are shut and online get-togethers are truly no substitute for real encounters. I am working, nudging Dr…

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Tools of the Trade

There was a time when all I needed to be sure of managing a day’s work were a spare typewriter ribbon, a bottle of Snopake and a pack of A4 paper. Oh, and running shoes, so I could make it to the post office before the final collection. That’s how I used to file copy…

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WWDDS?

After a long, long, much longer than intended break, today I start work in earnest in the next Dr Dan book. The past two weeks were spent in a lockdown limbo, forbidden from any contact with my children and grandchildren and prevented from flying home. Hopes were raised and then dashed with depressing regularity. Flights…

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