Category Archives: Stories

Alternative realities

(Also available as a podcast here) When I was three or four years old my mother used to get me to sleep by telling me about the animals curled up in their burrows and the birds closing their eyes in … Continue reading

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Wild things

(Also available as a podcast here) Five months ago, at the end of April, I wrote here about my reactions to the early stages of Covid and lockdown. From where we are now, that time seems almost like an age … Continue reading

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Moon journeys

Fifty years ago last Saturday, in the crowded and sweltering public room of a cheap hotel, with an ancient fan creaking and whirring overhead, I watched the televised moon landing. I was in downtown Tehran. The commentary was in Farsi. … Continue reading

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Dark Angels on Writing

Over the years I’ve come to believe that people are sometimes drawn to Dark Angels courses in answer to an unspoken, perhaps even unacknowledged, need. They may not know it but at the moment they hear about our programme there … Continue reading

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Wine dark sea

In my last year at school I discovered that there was a small bursary for anyone studying Greek to travel to Greece. It was one of those things you had to find out for yourself; they didn’t tell you about … Continue reading

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True north?

Who do we trust any longer? Where do we go for truth? The difficulty of finding certainty against a backdrop of spin, counter-spin and outright untruth is fast becoming one of the defining anxieties of our times. Yet in an … Continue reading

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Hawks and angels

Nestled into steep woods on the slopes of a Cotswold valley stands a manor house built of stone the colour of pale honey. It has tall chimneys and gothic windows and a walled garden full of vegetables and fruit trees … Continue reading

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Perfect lives

For the final day of our recent The Stories We Tell course at Cortijo Romero, in Spain, we invited people to write or tell a personal story that had not previously been told. The only rules were that it should … Continue reading

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Keeping secrets

Eighteen months ago my daughter Anna left for Canada on a two-year working visa. She had been living in London since graduating from university, and finding city life less and less to her taste. She wanted freedom, room to breathe, … Continue reading

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Five ferrets

If I ever saw my grandfather in full naval fig, I don’t remember it. He had retired by the time I was old enough to know him and his admiral’s uniform, dripping in what he referred to as scrambled egg, … Continue reading

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