“In praise of younger women…”  If you ever wanted to understand the depth of the studio’s ambivalence towards promoting the late great Judy Garland , you have only to see her in blackface singing …

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ed5d7a8518597a59d0dfb12fd5038262“The price of like”  Suzanne O’Sullivan’s book is called It’s All In Your Head and recent events have made me think friendship is a lot like that.   There’s Jack and Elizabeth (all the names are changed) with…

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silver-fox3f8cccd706961c753572f12e6d713d7“It comes to us all”  I am developing a full scale phobia about the term “anti ageing”.   First of all, it brings to mind not dewy skinned eternal youth but the cold glance of so many women…

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images (11) “There’s a word for it…”  Blame it on Yuval Noah Harari.   Knocking around in my head this weekend was the phrase reading with understanding. When you look it up, most of the references are…

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 “The face of summer…”AL1003769fter years as director of physical education for the North Riding of Yorkshire, my father retired. He spent a year as stockman for a wine and …

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102791058_Theresa_May-large_trans++ZgEkZX3M936N5BQK4Va8RWtT0gK_6EfZT336f62EI5U“Dear Mrs.  May…”  Are the systems of screening now so advanced, so fearful of letter bombs, anthrax or other nasties, that the possibility of communicating…

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stuck-in-a-rut (1)“Rut bust”  Habits sustain you, to a certain level, and then the balance tips over and you’re in a rut.  I try to anticipate when the comforting reins of my trotting existence begin …

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 90b0f4c46d7520c136876e806a40d364“M is for maintenance”  Every so often, life spins away from you, like a ball of wool unrolling across the floor.  It is quite probable that, until that moment, you’d always thought of yourself …

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19_6128_Scrltt_on_Log__Ta“Next time round”  Sometimes you think “if I only had (whatever it is) I’d be fine.” I spent years wishing for a waist.  I managed perfectly well without one but every so often…

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for-bread“Like”  I like bread.  In the farmers’ market where I go most Saturdays, there are two stalls with several different kinds of bread between them and I am … 

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royal-symbol“Star Followers”  Maybe the reason I was caught by the idea of the Three Wise Men is because it is an inclusive one.  In the first image I remember…

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ancient money“No pot of gold”  In my experience, the people who tell you about losing money are always the ones who have some.  Shares down, devalued…

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"Painful???"

“Planful???”

“The right decision”  This is one of the best things I was ever told: ”there is a decision to decide “yes”: there is a decision to decide “no”: and there is a decision not to decide” (which means you get what you get and …

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"Chinese symbol of fire"

“Chinese symbol of fire”

“Playing with fire”  The only time I have ever met a film producer, I asked for her email to send her the details of an undervalued Norwegian novel by Gaute Heivoll called …

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Lunch-at-the-Ritz-jewellery.-Brooch-glamorous-cat-in-sunglasses“Snob sister”  Whether terrestrial television is dying or trying to kill itself, there is now nothing to watch for whole evenings or even whole days at a time, while BBC and ITV compete as …

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1468679918-075-joan-crawford-theredlist“Dorian Gray Depp”   In her later years the great star shared an elevator with a man who asked “Didn’t you used to be Joan Crawford?”  Whatever she was or wasn’t, I feel for her…

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Frozen Planet“Sympathetic magic”  Beyond the windows, the plants are green, the sun is shining, the air is soft.  And beyond that looms the referendum on whether …

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Plubmer“Round the corner”   A free newspaper used to be delivered. I am afraid I never took much notice of it after I tried when I first moved here (16 years ago) to find a plumber through it …

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thornsownload (5)“Bitter”  Never any good at committees, I became the chair of a drug rehabilitation project because the head honchos of the two most powerful…

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"Wren tail fly"

“Wren tail fly”

“Magic”  Magic is very extreme – whoever heard of middling magic?  Magic is transformative. As in, you look like hell until along with all the care of wardrobe, hair and makeup…

 

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un-suicide-prevention“What’s it for?”  Scrolling through the free on-line compilation called NextDraft, I spend a lot of time saying “no” but it is invaluable for the days you…

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apple-core-in-mirror-anorexia-body-image-issues“Soul ache”  There are four of them I see often – two sisters, wrapped as if for a snowstorm on the sunniest day, strangely knobbly and terrifying thin: a sweetfaced woman who smiles …

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spanking-670x814“A little of what you fancy…” * What is an “expert tip on erotic spanking “? (See Sex Box, Channel 4) Is there an inexpert way to sexually spank, so that person who is supposed to be excited falls off …

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v_train_platform“Pecked and stung”  AC/DC, a clever play by Heathcote Williams suggested that there was very little new under the sun. And when …

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upload-0c622830-ceb5-11e5-97d4-571722a01aed“Tinsel” After 34 years together, Leon’s second wife left him.  (The first question you want to ask is “why”?) 40 years later, Leon (not his real name) came looking for…

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rodin2“Off  switch” Have you heard the idea that everybody has a book in them? Just one book.  The second one and/or others is a different thing entirely. This is why…

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Logo_(transparent_background)“Paid help”  I have been having a round of specialised medical advice – but the specialist I most wanted to see about the strange mark under my left breast was cancelled for me …

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Electric-Blue-Work-dresses“Spring blues”  It is unfortunate that my spring blues coincided with Mothers Day. Champagne doesn’t like me – …

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Illustration of real and fake written on black chalkboard

Illustration of real and fake written on black chalkboard

“Is life deaf?”  Long ago and far away a woman wrote to me and described me and what I did on air as “echt”.  I guessed the meaning contextually in my reply for which she rapped me …

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SECURITY-EEC-HOME-IMPROVEMENTS-2“Overcast”  It was a slow weekend, not much sleep and there was enough going on to murder sleep anyway. So first of all …

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faith“Mother moment”  My mother was a very self sufficient confident woman and like a lot of people like that she had her moments of self doubt.  When my …

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jaguar huntingdownload (4)“Happy-do-nothing”  This morning I stole up on the day.  Usually I look at the clock but this morning, after the first peaceful sleep for two weeks in spite …

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Matt-Damon“Kneejerk” You know where it comes from ie the doctor hits just below your knee with a surgical tool and the reflex jerks the leg out below in a kind of kick. (Please don’t try this at …

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shark and sealrticle-2449505-1899C1BB00000578-188_964x483“What it’s worth?”  Ginny (not her real name) left her job and wrote to me “Am I worried about not being employed ? Yes. Am I …

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Epstein - jacob and the angel“Hail and farewell” Unless you know somebody personally, their death is in some way symbolic. You like what they did or the sound of them.  Even …

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medieval colours“Week” When I was at junior school, we had a double art lesson all of Wednesday afternoon with the dashing …

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vintage women's mag“Honours & Shame” When I first had a job with a salary I couldn’t spend no matter how many books, Tshirts, trips to the cinema and gifts I bought, I worked for a women’s magazine. There were always people…

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"as pretty as my grand daughter"

“as pretty as my grand daughter”

“Crossover” Christmas was lovely.  I had it on Christmas Eve when my son , his wife and their daughter came to see me. We spoiled each other and shouted with laughter and had a wonderful…

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reindeer specs44789_1“Beyond the stocking…” There were two kinds of Christmas presents when I was growing up, one was the big thing you had to have like a coat or new spectacle frames and then there…

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"sung every Anzac Day"

“sung every Anzac Day”

“Abide with me” We’d been talking about the world in general and our small bit of it in particular, when my friend said thoughtfully “Change and decay in all around I see…” “Where did that …

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elephant-festival-jaipur-india_31779_990x742“Three wise men”  There was a Christmas Fair at the Town Hall. Sponsored by a magazine called Selvedge, it filled the old rooms with colour and light, pleasant …

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black fridaymages (6)“Three weeks and a bit”  The backwash of Black Friday (apparently a week’s plasticfest, not a day) – plus roads up everywhere while the Mayor throws…

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"Squirrel's drey"

“Squirrel’s drey”

“Old rocking chair got me”  Most of us have two homes, the one we came from and the one we make.  I have a friend whose parents parted shortly after her birth, whose mother felt her …

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solidarity_mjz44u_1024x682_1412627221“Little things” On Saturday I received an email from my local policeman, the second paragraph of which reads“The Metropolitan Police Service has …

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images (4)“Shhh – very quietly… “ Shall I start to try and write before I get the papers ?I woke at 6.00 and thought – don’t read, it will only clutter whatever passes for …

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computer smoking“A puff of smoke”  Tobacco is a killer
If it were grown and cured organically, used occasionally, it might be ok.  But (like meat) once it was produced industrially, marketed and targeted …

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sleepless1“What might be…” The ties of friendship between Pam and me are reinforced by worldclass worriting.
She whose domain is dominated by…

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delep;hant in th room“Jumbo corner…”  as in “the elephant in the room”.  We used to ask “And how do you know there is an elephant in the room?” to which the answer was …

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54ff6ab0a871b-ghk-01-history-of-the-bra-14th-century-xln-31244196“The marketing of the cup” Not the tea cup – I mean bra size.
The bra is a sort of temporary restructuring agent which appears…

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IP_Prof_Architect_Haim_Dotan_Zhangjiajie_Glass_Bridge-2__18052015-1024x768“Good” Thirty five years ago, I sat in a Salvation Army Citadel to shoot the last of a series of six programmes about programmes about faith and belief and how those ideas …

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Faction_logo_paradox“Time” Time is strange, very fast and very slow, a perfect example of the law of paradox.  Time flies when you are having fun, drags when you are bored or scared, where you have entered another’s time scale and lost …

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LM_spontaneous-109-702x336 (1)“Spontlack” Years ago I had a boyfriend who was a medical student (the charm of the devil and a major alcohol problem ) who …

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growing up662265279_8526ec5e4d_b“Not always a rest*” I really began to grow up (late but seriously) at the hands of the retired health visitor who took care of my son when I was working. She was salaried but she was in effect chief cook and bottle washer…

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20120604_600“What to believe (and what to do about it)” A story is offered to you one way, for example: Her Majesty’s long reign and sense of duty featured in a story about how every penny spent on her reign has been a good …

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chrissie hynde” Full of it” The curse of the four letter word rides again!  The word is “full” and when rock star Chrissie Hynde gave an interview to promote her book…

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jloange--z“Same old same old… except very little is.  How depressing is the uniformity of today’s clothes, shoes, habits, appearance (though I cherish the man who remarked on looking a row of upcoming…

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osborne-embarrassed“Speak to survive” Years ago a woman told me on air how embarrassed she found seeing advertisements for sanitary …

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Silly-season“Sumer is icumen in” * The other day I looked through the papers and wondered where was “the silly season”– that period of the year when most people have …

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_seagull“Wings waste and wonderful” I have never liked gulls.  They have that cold eye and they are always bigger than we expect and while …

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common-skin-conditions-at-a-glance-2“Thinskinned”  Years ago my skin broke out.There’s nothing particular about my skin, but the occasional spot is one thing and a rash is something …

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books-650_1“Gimme a break” I went to meet a friend on Sunday and I was early – we laugh at each other about being early, we are always early – but this was time …

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7820619140_a7ad8c1f3b_h“Cackhanded” Long ago my former husband who could tell a great story and had a natural narrative gift was persuaded to try and write it all down.
Off we went on holiday with a computer…

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cornet“This is an update” The proverb says “It is a poor workman who blames his tools”
so here’s the truth..

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orange dustpan“Truant” I am tidy.  I bet I am the only person you know who used to enter her place of work (radio newsroom) and clear up before she began to work… 

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Lookout-Lifebelt-e1297330053637“Getting through it” Nobody walks around with a notice saying “Help!” though most of us have felt like that at some time or another.  And often, human nature being the unpredictable thing…

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ef5tornado“Half a story” “All the news that’s fit to print” is a brave sentiment. But who decides what’s fit to print? Does that include images or just words…

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Unbroken circle - quilt

Unbroken circle – quilt

“Circle” When Michelangelo was trying to persuade Pope Julius II to let him have the Sistine Chapel to decorate (against considerable competition), it is said that everybody else sent examples of their finest work…

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common sense“Common Sense” Don’t be put off by the title: my common sense is your hardheartedness: your commonsense is my incredulity.  It varies a lot…

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reading“Bank holiday treasure” My mother and father had a running battle over how much you should tell me about a …

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dragon“How to train your dragon” (lesson 342) Everybody has a dragon, some of us have more than one.  Setting aside its flaws, I loved the animation How To Train Your Dragon, partly because …

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greenman3 (2)“Spring” Here is the good news: it’s a bit warmer and a bit lighter and the election is over which means that once we get past the reassessment (should he. shouldn’t she, why didn’t they…

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Maya Plisetskaya

Maya Plisetskaya

“Inspiration” When a couple of newspaper paragraphs announced the death of Russian dance great Maya Plisetskaya, my mind whipped back a lifetime to a black and white portrait …

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images“Apologies” What again! Sadly, yes.
The computer is undergoing major surgery and has post operative shock
So too the blogger …

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$_35“Boxed” In the obituary column of The Times last week was the story of an actor who had had a long and rewarding career, mostly as an industry secret…

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HILLARY-CLINTON-SCRUNCHIE“The other half of the sky” I don’t know what I think about Hillary Clinton and it doesn’t matter much because I don’t have a vote in her country…

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Wild pine marten in Scotland“Birthdays” When you were a kid, birthdays were very exciting though, thinking about it the other day, I don’t remember more than one or two things I was given as gifts…

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american-sniper-image06[1]“War” Last week I stumbled on a phrase that haunted me, knocking at the back of my eyelids till I went …

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graphic007-jpg“Good news” What is good news? Years ago a BBC presenter – who is still around so he might have got it right – suggested that the news was co-opted to doom and gloom and every so often…

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italiantextilesinrussia_posted101309“Pink is…*” My painter friend, the Kandinsky Kid, is a colour drunk. The house is a riot of strange pinks and reds, darker blues juxtaposed with terracotta, duller greens with crimson and ochre…

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628x471“Lower orders” It’s no secret I am a dog lover.  Of course there are dogs I love more and dogs I love less and some I really don’t like, just like people…

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sheep“Baa” No disrespect to the families of those he has murdered but I am fed up with hearing about the murderous Mr. Emwazi. You may call him…

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unknown-artist-mc-escher-three-worlds-i-80752“Fear” There is a drawing by the Dutch graphic artist Escher, of a fish looking up through water bounded by trees, leaves floating on the surface.  But in my recall, the water is ice and the fish is trapped…

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helpless1“Catsick” When my father died, my mother was 70 or so and Britain was fighting the IRA.  One evening, my mother sat looking at the television news, and I thought I saw a tear so leapt forward … 

 

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article-2426815-1BEA7C43000005DC-9_634x671“The art of conversation” Some of us talk so easily that we never stop to consider that it might be a problem for somebody else.   And of course if you’re talking to someone who likes to …

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5550726_f1024 “What it’s worth” How do beggars choose whom they approach?Is it scattergun ie try everybody and hope somebody responds?  Is it…

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"Blog with teeth"

“Blog with teeth”

“Paid to think” It’s a wonderful thing to have a column in a newspaper. And if you can’t have a column for pay, a blog is close.  Because a columnist (and a reviewer who is another kind of columnist) is paid to opine…

 

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tough-times-newspaper-640x480“Home thoughts from a broad” These are the two things that hit me like sledgehammers this week – apart from my own friends, three of whom are…

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scapegoat“Big Guns” 17 people were shot dead in France – you know this unless you have spent last week locked in the loo.
Now, as the French Prime Minister …

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Leslie and Edna Elliot. Romany Gypsies in England.“Signs and Portents” The excuse was that we were didycoy, of gipsy family, and the saying is “as superstitious as a gipsy”… ________________________________

Afghanistan_little-girl The Buggy Bus” When my mother was asked if she liked children, she used to say carefully ”Well, I like mine …

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493x335_sleep_rmq“The Good Morning Gang” I never thought about sleep until it became evasive, though sleep patterns apparently change as you get older and now …

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78d5f4071438751aaad86357e37cbf9a“Never forgotten” The programme went out live for 2 hours, rehearsed for transmission from the regional television station in Newcastle. The studio … 

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air-pollution-illustration“Joined Up” Recently through the door came a luxuriously printed and coloured publication, endorsed if not underwritten by local estate agents, to show what is happening about us and as …

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Bargains_MAIN_crop380w“Bargain basement” A bargain is something you want at a price you can afford, right?  A bargain is not something you didn’t …

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Rows of vegetables on an allotment“Shopping” My mother hated shopping. We’re talking about a long time ago.
The supermarket was yet to take hold, the butcher, the baker and the … _________________________________

Wide-Ties“Uniform” Recently the head teacher of a once floundering, now successful secondary school …

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papaver_rhoea “Young Skipper” The poppies we bought from the trays in the street were once silken if not silk. Now they are plastic. When you see poppies growing…

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Simone Veil

Simone Veil

“This is what a feminist looks like” This is what a feminist looks like (if you have managed to escape the furore) is the slogan on a T-shirt which several major politicians were …

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Hallowen_Cometh“Haunted” 30 years ago (well, nearly – 1985) I put my name in the front of a book at the radio station where I then worked. The idea was that, whether the book…

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874DBD32F73755C2AC493DCCAF5CB3BA“Faking it” According to the paper, women who have overplucked their eyebrows to follow an earlier fashion trend can now by brush on fake eyebrows for a thicker Paloma Faith/Elizabeth McGovern look.

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hygiene_poster-r695adbe3ba314bd0a389b9a5fbafba38_wvg_8byvr_324“Leather flappers”  Sitting in a French garden in the skin-strokingly warm dark of an early summer evening, something swooped over my head and I yelped. It was a bat…

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clip_art_illustration_of_a_stick_figurefemale_painter_0515-0911-0317-5030_SMU“Weekend” People work very long hours. Work has been extended through demand, insecurity and various bits of technology. And I was brought up very short in an interview the other …

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abstract2“You Don’t Know Who To Believe” ! No more milk in glass bottles, says Dairy Crest. 260 jobs will go, plastic is preferred and cheaper…

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images“Worrywort” A young man, his dreads flying above a singing orange sweater rode his bike down the road…

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common_raven_calling_nps “Duvet days” The raven was making a hell of a noise and you don’t want to wake to a bird of ill omen.  But maybe he was a crow, spooked by a cat,…

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path-in-the-woods-1329993069LfF“Memory” When I woke up I had been dreaming about a wood.
It’s the wood I ran away into when I was five or so, from which…

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tumblr_ljv80yjnmx1qe2divo1_500“Receiving loud and clear” Both my parents loved words and so do I.This doesn’t mean that I spend my life trying to use three syllables where …

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200_coming_of_age“Age” Richard Attenborough’s death at 91 is in the news but. I remember him bustling down the corridor, one of several sets of listening ears…

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SteamEngine“Time” Years ago I decided that I wanted to do a radio programme about ubiquitous four letter words, often of much greater impact and meaning than their size suggests, and no, it wasn’t about …

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200424617-001“Holidays” Annalog won’t be posted next week because the magic hands that make it happen are going on a well deserved holiday!  We may be a bit later but …

 


dog with pencil and eraser“Invisible writing” I wanted to be a writer.   I don’t know what I thought a writer was,or how writing was done – I mean writing aside from agents … 


images“No end in sight” My friend David has a friend called Nina (neither of these are their real names).They met on a cruise of northern cities…


gentle“Take it where you find it” I mean joy, take joy where you find it. Enjoy every little joy
For example …
Germane means literally…

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m9vkiE5bZeNFfiIU0IVRMyw“Knocked out” We take sleep for granted.  Or, if you have always had problems with sleep, slept lightly or were prone to broken sleep, over time you develop ways of managing it so it isn’t a big deal…

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stress“Pain” Pain is humbling. I sound like a martyr. Not so.
But however we experience it, pain changes the way we look at things. The idea that pain ennobles is not …

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Shyness-hypnotherapy-300x225“Terms of reference”  Are you shy? Or is it nervous? (I am leaving lonely for another day). There are those who are victim to their shyness. They don’t meet… 

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tell-me-a-story1“Words as music”  Poetry is as personal as perfume.
I once sat through dinner with a voice coach from the Royal Shakespeare Company who (not surprisingly) …

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images-1“Wren”  Birds are a bonus like feathered lilies of the field. They exist, small miracles of engineering, parallel with but independent of humankind, often wonderful – literally, full of wonder … 

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shaman“Hymn to him” Harry is one of the few heterosexual men I have ever known who is emotionally rich and realised – loves his life, his wife, his kids, thinks, feels, claims the pain of loss …

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shock1” Shocked” Forty years of people – in the face, down the phone, over the radio – means I have seen and felt and thought a lot about humans…

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Pink-Dogwood_1“More blessed to…” Somewhere in the radio years, a listener taught me “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today is a gift – that’s why we call it the present.”

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545357904815955317_1390488247“Doglove” The first dog in my life was a black Labrador cross called Scamp, rescued by my father from being tied up at a playing field…

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His_Girl_Friday_1298_Medium“Men are men and women are women…” I have a confession to make: I didn’t watch Kirsty Wark’s “polemic” about men being more violent…

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s_w15_08541683“Can’t…” As in “there’s no such word as can’t” which is what school teachers used to say to ham-fisted girls like me when…

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broken_laptop1I’d like to apologise but the blog won’t be posted this week due to technical difficulties. Please come back and visit me next week. Feel free to send me your own personal stories on your ‘frustration with technology’!

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king-vulture_595_600x450“Let’s hear it for the uglies!” May be this is a reaction to a week of mankind behaving more buffoonishly than usual from maritime disasters …

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image[1]“Hope” Hope is one of those little often-used four letter words which encompasses a working example of ambivalence.  And when I first…

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62773d1345264460-stoner-sprays-rossi-shrek_donkey“Birthday”  “It will be just like all the others “ said my son cheerily “ won’t it ? I mean, the figure doesn’t change anything ? “ “Yes” I agreed “ all just figures except for 40. At 40 I loved your father, I had you, a dog…

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Cornel_Large Camera“Print and Pictures” How’s this for a double standard?
The Times carried a piece about “a lesson in love” (their headline) that the famously priapic film star Warren Beatty taught …

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2493112504_84efbcc11b_o“History, herstory” Apparently history isn’t popular at school. Is that because of the remoteness of the details of a long ago and very different world…

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s_m05_68954329“Mind the Gap” There is a new drama on television about a man who killed the women he was close to, described by the estimable David Chater …

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honey“What did you call me?” We used to laugh when the late great Claire Rayner called someone “lovey”.Perhaps we laughed in sympathy because we feared it put the person to whom it was …

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backsketchdet“I spy” When I was younger I used to think that the short sight (plus astigmatism) with which I was born …

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“Lucille’s lesson”  bb_king_epiphone_lucille_black_and_whiteWhen “everybody” tells me that I must see this film/play/exhibit, I run the other way, react against the prevailing opinion. …

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Unknown“The smell of it” You can miss the smallest or most mundane thing about yourself if it is out of action for any period of time… _____________________________________

I_am_the_bogeyman_by_calicobird“Smoke and Mirrors” There is a lot of it about, both smoke and mirrors – sleight of hand, deception great and small, some connived at, some glaringly obvious.  Take Putin – oh do, do take Putin .  Away… 

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sheep-elephant_1114433i“What are friends for?” And the following morning I went briskly to check the telephone which sat, lights blazing, nobody home.  It was dead.   So… _____________________________________

property-graphics-_1092763a“Appletreewick” It’s odd to bring up a child born in that place saying “we are not from here” but by the time I was born in Yorkshire, my parents (both…

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sofia-vergara-i-was-nervous-about-working-with-sharon-stone-02“Foot Note” Sharon Stone has ugly feet. Before you dismiss Ms. Stone as The Blonde or The Body or That Shot in Basic Instinct, see The Mighty directed by Peter Chelsom (1998). She’s…

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Daniel Barenboim conducts Beethoven’s Choral Symphony“New Ears” We had a choir at school, first led by Mrs. Quinn and when she retired, Miss Pringle.  We sang…

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3307788-group-of-young-people-dancing-and-enjoying-inside-a-night-club“Party” Putting the American use of the word to one side – implying all kinds of wildness, drink, drugs and sex…

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Adoration_of_the_Magi_Tapestry_detail“The 25th” If you don’t like Christmas, don’t subscribe.  You can choose. Is that why so many people …

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20090716-073150-pic-196065332_t607“In Praise of Radio” The Times Magazine (8.12.2013) ran a piece entitled How to Have Sex on the Radio, featuring those artists who arrange sound effects for radio…

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kismet“Kismet/busmet” Kismet was the gloriously over the top Hollywood musical my mother took me to see…

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“Fear Equals Hate” Every so often London comes to a halt. Sometimes, this is because of a demonstration or a...

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Under one coat of primer“The Door” The lacquer red of the front door was scraped when an infuriated neighbour had a go at it with a brick.  The red was…

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Stunning Sprout Fields“Dowdiness” I am not very good at going back.  When friends tells me about reunions – for work, school, college – I shy away.  Memory may not be…

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???????????????????????????????????????????????????“Diamond Jubilee A&E” Derek (his real name) and I a year younger when we climbed up on a car trailer which tipped with our weight and we…

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Refusal is not“Addo Annie Rules?”  I spoke to the builder working across the street about the small job of repainting needed on the front wall of my building after …

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end“Jane Taylor” My mother inspired me to feminism said I on Radio 4′s Reunion to Sue McGregor.  “She went back to work when I was nine (and she…

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1“A Day of Meetings” A day of meetings sounds very professional and business-like.  My meetings were purely pleasurable…

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Heart-Broken-Bowl-Shadow“The Bowl as Witness” As I lingered over an elm salad bowl 35 years ago – and it wasn’t cheap then – my mother offered “I’ll buy it for you ” and, as I…

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Dead_trees_at_Mammoth_Hot_Springs_1“The Tree” Perry (not his real name) was a lonely awkward gay with a good heart: adopted by punitively religious…

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James Gandolfini in his role as Tony Soprano“More Than Pizza” However uncomfortable it is, I can never feel badly about sunshine in …

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historical-electric-large“Dirty Clothes” Although the notion may not appeal, clothes soil.   Whatever the cleaning arrangements for public transport in London…

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big-green-snake-500x395“The Snake” There is a lot of building (redevelopment?  refurbishment??) going on round me, probably because I live in one of those areas in…

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43rd Anniversary of The National Apple Harvest Festival“The Lost Apple” Millions of us are going to be affected by varying degrees and forms of dementia. The sufferers…

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turkish-rugs-n-tree.jpg“A Magic Carpet” When I moved from family house into small flat (not that small said my son) I thought I would work again but regretfully… 

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smallguardian“Shopped” The email read, What is she wearing? She looks like a failed pot noodle….

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800px-Iraqi_girl_smiles“Smile” I was late leaving, I pushed my hair off my face, up in a big clip.  It was colder than expected so I put on a raincoat and a scarf over…

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Korean_hat-Jeonnip-01“Top Note” Time was when men and women customarily wore hats.   My father used to get very fond of his dark brown trilby and evade buying…

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“Speccy Foureyes” Halfway back from shopping, the snow came.  I stopped in a doorway, noticed I was carrying two bags as …

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16618046-pine-cones-burning-in-a-fire“Wood Woe” It pains me to think that I should agree with George Osborne about anything – he’s…

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if1“Not a Word” When you have sat and talked to people about their lives – over telephones, down microphones…

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mask_pair4“Facing It” I first heard the word “prosthesis” when I was secretary to a plastic surgeon 40 years ago…

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“Doctor: from the Latin” After a positive experience in a small department of St. George’s Tooting where they…

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the ravages of time“Now” If you spend the front half of your life looking forward, you spend the latter half looking back…

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“What You See Versus What You Get” Searching for somewhere to put my savings after a “this year something, next year not much” agreement…

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african-funeral-burial-tribute“End in Sight Must go, emailed a friend, running to a funeral… I can identify with that. Sometimes, that’s just how it feels…

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2085951153_42dfcf6b07“Fowl Play” Once upon a time, we might have chicken for Christmas. A generous bird with lovely browned skin…

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“Food For Thought” Unusually today, I had lunch at a pavement cafe, alone, and enjoyed every mouthful…

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george-christakis01“I Saw” I have never been a fan surrounded by the chosen image embellished on record sleeves…

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nail-biting“Bad Habits” We cannot see ourselves.  Even the mirror only shows a reflection, you could say a perception…

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dew

“Waterworks” We didn’t have floods in London, but we did have a great deal of rain..

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Landfill-site-in-Mucking--001“Age, Rage and Other Distractions”   I try not to rant. It’s very aging.  We all have things we take for granted….

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01-novice-shaman-mongolia-670“Time to Talk” A fashion article recently claimed that ballerina pumps (i.e. dead flat shoes) had stopped being anything to do with fashion…

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aral-sea4“Bad Day” There are days when you feel some latent anger leaching out into the street, it pulls stickily at your shoes..

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hokusai-katsushika-old-tiger-in-the-snow“Images” First, there were photographs.   I remember appreciatively the last editions of the magazines that featured…

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“What you spend your money on”   I just bought a pair of tights, dark brown fishnet; the best there is…

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2 giant fish made of recycled botttles in rio

“Think of all the marvelous ways”   From the time I could register it, I knew 21 Briarvale Avenue as home….

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bear_eating_fish“Guess who’s coming to dinner” When my second marriage broke up, I was in my fifties, in the very place I had encouraged others to avoid….

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“Nordic Noir” I came late to the Nordic Noir craze. In the first place, I have to be really keen to watch subtitles on TV.

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3“Noise & Music” Increasingly music has been used in film and television programming as it is in shops, as white sound, to lull us into unthinking acceptance…

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LK_penz_kialakulasa“Uncle” She is the daughter of a grand Prussian house … her great love was a man I had a crush on when I was 17.

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Television“Daytime TV” Most of it you wouldn’t want to watch, let alone save to watch…

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Untitled“Talismanic” Not to forget is only part of the idea – the rest of it is that you remember when you need to…
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yaphet kotto“Black and White”   The Post Office still puts a note through the door when they can’t deliver, a red and white form telling you where you can collect whatever it is and asking you to bring identification…

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sun masksCh-ch-changes (with thanks to David Bowie)”  What is a job for life? 

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treeScreen/Print”  I like to think of myself as a child of the book…

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half house“Almost Cut My Hair …”  My first response to a telly appearance has long been “must get my hair cut, must buy a bra”…

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