Tag Archives: storytelling

Curiouser and curiouser

A couple of times most weeks I take the train to Edinburgh. For several miles the line follows the Fife coast. There’s a long view south under huge skies across the Forth Estuary to Edinburgh and its acropolis, the Pentland … Continue reading

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Lingua franca

For the second year running we have been on a walking holiday in the Italian Alps with a couple who are among my wife’s oldest friends. Our relationship is that relative rarity – a foursome in which all members get … Continue reading

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Chinese medicine

Periodically I visit an acupuncturist for aches and pains. He’s a charming Chinese man who finds it a little hard to get his tongue round the English language, but he has a gentle manner, a lovely smile, and he fixes … Continue reading

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Tales from Wales

By odd coincidence I happen to have spent election night in the home of a former British Prime Minister. I am at Ty Newydd, the house to which Lloyd George retired from politics, now the Welsh National Writing Centre. It’s … Continue reading

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Why did Nick Clegg ‘win’ last night’s prime ministerial debate? It may be an over-simplification to say it was because he sounded more human and believable than the other two, though that, I’m sure, was the essence of it. Of … Continue reading

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Writing elsewhere

While we continue to pay daily tribute to International PEN’s 50 imprisoned writers through 26:50, I find myself constantly trying to imagine how they managed to write; where they found and concealed their materials, how they avoided the scrutiny of … Continue reading

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Stories for life

If you’ve never been there, Llandudno is a charming, and at this time of year extremely bracing, Victorian seaside town on the north coast of Wales. It’s also home to Venue Cymru, the national conference centre of North Wales. We … Continue reading

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Sheep and goats

Tomorrow morning early I’m leaving for Geneva to see my 18 year-old son who’s working for the winter season at a French ski resort. I won’t pretend that I don’t envy him. Last time I flew to Geneva I was … Continue reading

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Reading for survival

Last week I learned that my young adult novel, The Reckoning, has made it onto a government-sponsored list of 250 books for teenagers. Every secondary school in England will receive their choice of 15 titles from the list, free, as … Continue reading

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Sob story

‘The sob is in the story. It mustn’t be in the voice.’ So said Antonia Fraser on Radio 4’s Front Row this week. She was speaking of her difficulty in reading aloud the love poem by her late husband, Harold … Continue reading

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