Author Archive

A slightly morbid, gothic birthday celebration for Charles Dickens. He’d have approved.

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Happy 203rd birthday, Charles! The first thing I remember seeing related to Charles Dickens was a lock of his hair, at the museum of his birthplace, in Portsmouth, where I was also born… Continue reading

One of the other Tolkien kid’s books (no hobbits, but people do eat and drink a lot)

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Who remembers Mr Bliss? Sure you do. His bike doesn’t have any pedals so he only uses it to go downhill, then he buys a car at the bottom. Don’t think about the… Continue reading

Weighty tomes for both reading and for use as replacement table legs

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War And Peace is just too long. There, I’ve said it. There are enormous chunks I could do without, but I can’t put it down, as very exciting when things suddenly happen, which… Continue reading

Ye Great Olde Dickens Challenge

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‘Get what you’re given and like it’ is a favourite phrase of my mother’s, and one that she used to herald every childhood over-cooked fruit cake of bizarre item of clothing bought in… Continue reading

It’s Chekhov’s birthday! I made him a cake.

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You mean you didn’t? Really? Listen, people. If we’re only going to make birthday cakes for people we know, that will seriously reduce the amount of birthday cake in our lives. Anyway, Anton… Continue reading

I Hope Adam And Eve Had A Nailbrush

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There are some parts of Paradise lost that are quite entertaining, mainly the bits involving the devil. Although, Samuel Johnson didn’t think so. He said “Paradise Lost is a book that, once put… Continue reading

George Eliot knew her onions

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George Eliot knew people. She wrote men and women as deeply and equally well as each other. Not everyone can do that, some men write female shadows, some women write stereotypical men, but… Continue reading

When I die, please scatter my ashes in the Oxfam bookshop.

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As it really is one of my favourite places in Aberdeen. Although, it seems likely I will then just be vacuumed up by a rather put-out staff member, who certainly didn’t volunteer with… Continue reading

Byronic vs Bionic

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It’s Byron’s birthday! He’s 227! I’m quite fond of Byron, I used to live very near to his house at Newstead. I used to wander around the abbey a lot, looking at his… Continue reading

All the single (fictional Russian) ladies! Put your hands up! Oh, oh, oh…

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More than once I’ve thought it very unfair, that I after sixteen years together I discovered I’d married a cheating dead-beat, and it all went down the toilet. And while my relationships since… Continue reading