Pause for breath

After nearly seven years of continuous weekly posting, A Few Kind Words is taking a short sabbatical. I’ll be back  in the autumn – by which time the United Kingdom might be slightly less of a madhouse …

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Imagine better

Last week I went to the launch of this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival programme. It was the first official book festival event I’d been to since coming off the board last October, after 14 years. I felt oddly anxious … Continue reading

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The Gutenbergs

No one would deny that Gutenberg is a name with which to conjure. Johannes Gutenberg transformed society with his invention of mechanical printing in the 1440s. Half a millenium later, in 1971, Michael Hart, an American student, wangled himself time … Continue reading

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Spanish tales

I watch my 88-year-old mother’s gradual decline and see her reaching for memories sometimes as if they’re a glimmer on some distant horizon. My mother has Alzheimer’s, although it has been kinder to her than to many. She exists mainly … Continue reading

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Fair wabbit

Had I posted last week it would have been the 301st post since I started writing this blog, nearly seven years ago. As it was I was undone by a trip south, via a monastery in Yorkshire, to run a … Continue reading

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Tread softly

This story is just one of a trillion reasons why Tim Berners-Lee deserves to stand alongside William Caxton and James Watt in the history of human connectivity. A little over five years ago, on 9 March 2011, an email arrived … Continue reading

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In concert

On Easter Monday I took part in a concert in Dunkeld Cathedral to raise money for Syrian refugees. If that sounds grand, it wasn’t. It was very much a community event, conceived by the cathedral organist, Michael Anderson, and local … Continue reading

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