Close encounters

I spent last night with a friend in Edinburgh. This morning, boarding a bus into the west end, I spotted a vacant seat next to an attractive young black woman with a cloud of hair. As I sat down I … Continue reading

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A hard rain

Although he was a prominent part of the soundtrack to my student days, I was never a huge Bob Dylan fan. I found the nasal voice, the rudimentary guitar-strumming and harmonica-playing, grating; and the apparent stream-of-consciousness of the lyrics confusing. … Continue reading

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On purpose

Extraordinary as it seems today, my first job was as an articled clerk with a firm of London chartered accountants. I can distinctly hear my lawyer father and banker stepfather saying, almost as one, ‘My boy, with a law degree … Continue reading

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Spanish Crossings

A couple of years ago, on our advanced course in Spain, my Dark Angels partner John Simmons woke up one morning with a line in his head. It stayed with him and today, in summer 2017, it’s the opening sentence … Continue reading

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The stories we tell

In the past month I’ve spent a week in Spain with a group of eight people on a The Stories We Tell course, and a week in the Northwest Highlands with a friend I’ve known for 45 years. At the … Continue reading

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A trip to Serendip

Serendipity, once voted the nation’s favourite word, is an increasingly frequent visitor in my life. It means a happy accident, or a pleasantly unexpected turn of events. The word was coined by Horace Walpole in the mid-18th century, after reading … Continue reading

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Long division

A woman got onto the train the other day and sat down opposite me. She was fifty-ish, tanned and smartly dressed. She had come from the airport and was breathless. We chatted and I learned that she had been to … Continue reading

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