Where would you go on a shopping spree? My dream shopping spree? Definitely in a book shop. Or better still in several bookshops (it is a fantasy shopping spree after all). One would have to specialise in politics and history, another would have shelves packed with fiction in translation. Perhaps there'd be an author in … Continue reading bookshops, of course… and liberty
the personal and the political
It was shortly after 9.15 on the morning of Friday 4 May, 1979. We were gathered for the first lesson of the day. Our teacher asked us, a class of ten-year-olds, what important event had happened in the news. My hand was one of the first in the air. ‘Britain’s first woman prime minister!’ What … Continue reading the personal and the political
the curious appeal of election posters
Election posters. There’s something fascinating about them. Unlike social media campaigns, they don’t depend on algorithms and echo chambers — they’re for absolutely anyone who happens to pass by. And ahead of any election in Germany, posters adorn every railing and ascend every lamppost (often stacked four or five high). For a few weeks, they … Continue reading the curious appeal of election posters
why did I become a vegetarian?
‘I’ve decided to become a vegetarian. Starting tomorrow.’ This was the announcement I made to my mother one day when I returned from school. I was in the fifth form (as it used to be called), sixteen years old. Although it took my mum by surprise, the decision to become vegetarian had been a while … Continue reading why did I become a vegetarian?
finding the future in the past
Around mid-December last year, I finished reading John le Carré’s Silverview. This was le Carré’s final book, published posthumously, so I’d been drawing out the book as long as possible, rationing the number of pages each night. But of course, too soon, the final page had been turned. So I spent a while reading and … Continue reading finding the future in the past
refreshing and redrawing the space
It’s been a while. The last post on this blog, A tale of loss and forgetting, appeared in late summer 2020. Much has happened since then, none of which needs explaining. But the neglect of the blog as a consequence has always been a regret. Here’s another thing about that most ‘recent’ post: it was … Continue reading refreshing and redrawing the space
a tale of loss and forgetting: ‘the memory police’ by yoko ogawa
This blog is something of a detour. It shares my thoughts on a book I first read late 2019 but continue to mull over today. The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (translated by Stephen Snyder) is a dystopian and allegory-laden story of loss — of expression, freedom and, ultimately, life. It’s also a powerful reminder … Continue reading a tale of loss and forgetting: ‘the memory police’ by yoko ogawa
brexit and my vote for labour
So here we are with just a few days left until the General Election. From the word go, I focussed on a handful of core issues — climate emergency, the NHS, austerity and education and was almost sure I'd vote Labour. But another priority issue in this election has been a real stumbling block — Brexit. … Continue reading brexit and my vote for labour
why I’ve changed my mind about tactical voting (for now)
Let’s get one thing straight. I’m not a fan of tactical voting or electoral pacts. ‘Vote for what you believe in’ is my motto. And stepping aside to endorse another party’s candidate limits voter choice and involves significant risk. What’s more, it makes some big assumptions about how your own voters will respond. An earlier … Continue reading why I’ve changed my mind about tactical voting (for now)
an update — what’s next?
Can it really be a year? The last blogpost was on the Green Party leadership contest. Since then so much has happened — just not on this blog. So why the silence? In a nutshell: work. Mountains of it. Which I’m grateful for, don’t get me wrong, but it’s been such an exhausting time… and … Continue reading an update — what’s next?