Blog Archives

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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Out of body

I have always thought that the last word in disembodiment was Tenniel’s illustration of the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland. ‘I have often seen a cat without a grin but never a grin without a cat,’ says Alice, watching … Continue reading

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Born storytellers

“We’re a narrative species,” said the scientist on Radio 4 the other day. “We understand the world in terms of stories.” He was talking about the MMR vaccine and how the stories of danger that have grown up around it … Continue reading

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Dreaming spires

Six years ago, in March 2011, we were about to set out for our second ever Dark Angels masterclass at Merton College, Oxford. I had written the previous week in this blog about a strange dream I had had, in … Continue reading

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Secrets and lies

Last autumn I started giving an illustrated talk which, I now realise, has been waiting more than six decades for its moment. The subject is my great-great-uncle, the writer, politician, horseman and adventurer, RB Cunninghame Graham, about whom I’ve written … Continue reading

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Other hearts

I was brought up in the Scottish countryside. Home was a house with a field and a wood, an old stables building and a walled garden. It was a late 18th century manse, elegant though not grand. In earlier times, … Continue reading

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A fine balance

Over the last 20 years I’ve made nearly a dozen trips to India. Each time I find myself re-enchanted by it, and each time by some new or different aspect of the place. I was born two years after Indian … Continue reading

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