Mr happy


We are very lucky to have a gaggle of nieces and nephews, and friends who have kids ranging from newborn to at Uni and beyond.  So, even though we don’t have children of our own, it’s not as though we don’t ever get to experience just how hilarious (and exasperating) they can be.

Generally, this is in the context of large social gatherings, where everyone is jumping in to have their say. So, until recently, it was unusual for me to have any ‘quiet’ time with children.  But this year, I’ve been doing a bit of regular babysitting for friends who have an evening course commitment.  Continue reading

This year, some friends and I are planning to read the twelve volume novel sequence, A Dance to the Music of Time. I am writing this in the fervent hope that you might be persuaded to join us. You might well ask, why bother with a reading plan, at all? And, more to the point, […]

There were several books which had a profound impact on me this year. I was utterly swept along by how much wisdom and pleasure there is to be found within the pages of The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you were ever a literature student, or were […]

I was looking for inspiration on this cold, wet, October afternoon, when along came the ever astonishing Edna O’Brien. At 82 she is girlish, exuberant, edgy and wise. Her hands dance as she speaks, creating the impression she is using them to help rake up exactly the right word. She leaves the impression that for […]

Two random thoughts collided today to result in a revelation which I hope may bring you some fleeting joy. Having never read any JK Rowling, I decided it was high time I took a look at The Casual Vacancy. This was how I discovered that, not only has the stupendously wonderful Tom Hollander done the […]

This time last year, I resolved to keep faithful track of what I read, using Goodreads, so that I would be able to look back and reflect on what my reading had been like in the past twelve months. Cutting to the chase, while I did read, I failed on the keeping records part. In […]