Category Archives: The Stories We Tell

Untold stories

If one is asked the same question often enough, no matter how difficult, one sooner or later comes up with an answer that can be given without too much further thought. It may not be precisely the right one, but … Continue reading

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True stories

Last weekend we ran a The Stories We Tell workshop for a group of people who were returning to us for the third time. Of the many striking things about the weekend, the one that most remains with me now … Continue reading

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Five lessons

We never stop learning. A cliché, but only because it’s true, or at least should be. So I thought it might be instructive to reflect on a few personal highlights of the past year by asking myself what I have … Continue reading

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The Weight

Sometimes you just have to start writing. I’m sorry if there’s a sense of déjà vu about those seven words, but this is another of those increasingly frequent days when as the (self-inflicted) deadline approaches I realise I have not … Continue reading

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Getting tribal

Gutted. This is not a word I often use. As a boy growing up in the country it’s what I did to rabbits and pigeons and occasionally trout. As a young bookworm it’s what I read, in morbid fascination, about … Continue reading

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The stories we tell

Here is a story. Fifteen years ago, Catherine Lockerbie, then the literary editor of The Scotsman, was appointed director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. For several years I had regularly written book reviews for her. We had also sat … Continue reading

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Magic in Bosa

In the narrow alley outside his guest house, Paolo reads the words on my T-shirt. ‘En un lugar de la Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero acordarme…’ It’s the opening paragraph of Don Quixote. I explain that I’m wearing the … Continue reading

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Keeping faith

There’s always much activity in the first couple of days after a course. As well as the usual admin, there’s the electronic bustle of people sharing photos, expressing appreciation, acknowledging achievements and cementing new friendships. This year has been no … Continue reading

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Finish your stuff

Thanks to everyone who responded so thoughtfully to last week’s post and my dilemma. The outcome was roughly two to one in favour of not singing the song at all, and most of those who thought it was still feasible … Continue reading

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Aqua vitae

Every two years we run a Dark Angels masterclass at Merton College, Oxford. I am there now. Three nights in a medieval Oxford college is in many ways a retreat from the world; but it’s also a sojourn in one … Continue reading

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