I’m your Venus (in blurs)

Did you ever have a dream that was so great, you not only woke up annoyed that it wasn’t finished, but sincerely hoped you could pick it up where you left off the following night? And did you then rack your brain trying to remember exactly what made it so great, only to find that […]

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O would some Power the gift to give us To see ourselves as others see us! It would from many a blunder free us, And foolish notion: What airs in dress and gait would leave us, And even devotion! Robert Burns

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Judging the book by its cover

My eldest is making her way through her first Secret Seven book.  So far, very little has happened; three chapters in and they still haven’t come across the “spooky old house in the snow” the jacket blurb promised.  We get the impression she’s not enjoying it much but upwards and onwards.  She might be a […]

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Strange phenomena

It’s quarter of a century since Kate Bush released her landmark single, ‘Running Up That Hill’.  That’s scary.  I can’t quite believe it’s been that long, but it’s true.  I was 16 when it came out, and listening to it today, it still sounds box-fresh.  In 1985, Kate Bush was a solid fixture in my […]

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Gallows humour

“It was now the representation of an object that I shudder to name –and for this, above all, I loathed, and dreaded, and would have rid myself of the monster had I dared –it was now, I say, the image of a hideous–of a ghastly thing –of the GALLOWS!–oh, mournful and terrible engine of Horror […]

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Snark by David Denby

Nastiness Is A Thing Called Snark Sunday Business Post, 11th October 2009 What is the lowest form of wit? What has replaced the golden age of satire, spoof, burlesque and ingeniously dark comedy? According to David Denby, it’s something known as ‘snark’ -a phenomenon he ominously calls the ‘‘angry fanfare attending journalism’s decline’’. Denby is […]

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Poe Little Puddy Tat

“I had walled the monster up within the tomb!” I couldn’t help but shudder at the story of Richard Parsons, a funeral director from Ugborough, near Plymouth in Devon, whose builders uncovered a 400-year-old mummified cat in the wall of his cottage’s bathroom.   It immediately evokes the terrifying climactic twist of Edgar Allan Poe’s tale, The Black […]

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The Idle Parent by Tom Hodgkinson

How to bring up children without lifting a finger Sunday Business Post, 29 March 2009 In your darkest moments, raising children can feel like a thankless task. You work your fingers to the bone to feed, clothe and shelter them. You spend the remainder of your waking hours ‘interacting’ with them. Then, by the time […]

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