Unsurprisingly for anyone who knows my husband, it’s been a rather collodion sort Christmas for us this year. Among other innovations, the photographer has moved from clear to black glass, with some rather striking results when compared to early images. Here are two shots taken of me, one with ‘normal’ make up on, and one […]

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 […]

Writing A Novel with Ulysses III by David Hewson My rating: 5 of 5 stars I can’t recommend this book enough. I’ve been using Ulysses for a couple of weeks (having already migrated from Scrivener and Storyist) and recently invited to take part in the beta test of the new Ulysses iPad app. Although I […]

This time last year, I sat down to try and work out what my ‘Book of the Year’ was, and realised that, as much as the books themselves, what really dominated my reading landscape in 2011 was the arrival of the Kindle sample in my life. I received a Kindle Paperwhite for Xmas. Getting to […]

All the Little Animals by Walker Hamilton My rating: 5 of 5 stars A tremendous, disturbing little novel about confronting and overcoming fear. In his introduction to this long-overdue rerelease, by Http://www.freightbooks.co.uk, Alan Warner points out that “Roald Dahl, summing up his favourite books of the year, wrote of it: I got more pleasure from […]

This evening, while doing a spot of babysitting, I had the great pleasure of helping a seven year old friend of ours do her Xmas cards. She’s in a big class, so had thirty-one cards to get through. By the time she was halfway through the list, ticking off the names as she went, and […]

Here’s one where the exposure took more than fifteen seconds. That’s a long time to sit still and not blink. I didn’t manage it. Not only did I blink, but I lifted my hand to my left eye because it was itchy. Yet none of this appears in the photo, which strikes me as weird […]

One of the projects I have been given ‘Behind the Scenes’ access to for 2013 is ‘The Mask Series’ – An international, colloborative art project which is being curated by the American conceptual artist Shane Balkowitsch.  My main interest in this project other than the obvious – that it currently involves 100 conceptual artists producing […]

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan My rating: 5 of 5 stars A bravura performance, as ever. If you are remotely interested in literary propaganda during the Cold War, this book was written for you. Ditto if you are even remotely interested in love, sex, the battles of the sexes, or random discussions about literary theory […]

Earlier today, I followed the instructions in the booklet that came with my bread machine for ‘basic white loaf’. I hit the button marked ‘dough setting’ and then walked away. In fact, I even forgot all about it, as I sat back down at my desk to work. Then came the bells and whistles a […]