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The confusing truth about tweedy bottoms with Arturo Perez-Reverte on drugs

One Christmas morning I went to church with my husband and parents-in-law. We all dressed smartly because that’s the tradition of their church. Standpipe had forgotten his suit, or may not then have owned one, so he had borrowed one

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Posted in characters, creativity, criticism, Uncategorized, writing novels

Come back god, all is forgiven – in the third person

The first time I understood that it  is all up to me – life, etc – was the first full day of my first child’s life. On the seventh floor of the hospital I watched her sleeping and fumbled with

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Posted in creativity, criticism, life writing, literature, narration, Uncategorized, Writing, writing novels

Flushing out the truth about telling stories with WG Sebald

Once upon a time many years ago I feared I had a stalker. I was working as a reporter then and would usually get home late and full of white wine. On arrival I would jab at my answer-machine to

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Posted in creativity, literature, narration, Uncategorized, Writing, writing novels

You can’t panfry mackerel from frozen: cooking with Henry James

I am, if I say so myself, known for my cooking. Just not in a good way A few years back a friend begged me to enter the pudding competition at the village summer fete in aid of the church

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Posted in creativity, ethics, literature, reading, Uncategorized, Writing

The self-cleaning loo and the origins of creativity

When we had just one baby, more than a decade ago, a book was published saying – again – that despite the gains of feminism, women were still doing far more cooking and cleaning at home than men. I heard

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Posted in creativity, feminism, life writing, literature, reading, Uncategorized, women, Writing

All mouth – but how’s your wife?

Now he was all mouth. They moved around each other in her midnight kitchen. She filling the kettle, fetching the mugs, milk, sugar and he everywhere she needed to be, blocking the fridge, in front of the china cupboard. He

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Dull and lifeless? How some Dutch verbal can help

We were on holiday and having a drink before supper in a hotel. My friend Amphora and I were discussing our hair. ‘I should have washed mine,’ I said. ‘Stop worrying,’ said Amphora, just as her partner Schmutter joined us.

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Posted in characters, feedback, friendship, life writing, literature, reading, Uncategorized, women, Writing, writing novels

Chocolate literature: is it too good to be true?

I’ve always loved chocolate. I can remember returning from a holiday in Switzerland with a delicious bar of hazlenut fondant. Aged about 10, I ate it all and then went to the sweet shop where I bought a Topic –

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Revenge of the unseen, non-exploding penis

First, a statement. This is all true. Everything, especially the bit about the penis, is fact and it really happened. But you’ll have to direct your gaze downwards for that. Second, an apology. To all women in London’s gymland. Friends

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Posted in confidentiality, feminism, friendship, grooming, Uncategorized, women, Writing, writing novels

The Fanny Files: Part 3

The mons pubis. I put it out there and it keeps coming back with bows on. Truly, the gift that keeps on giving. The latest conversation I’ve had on this was with a man, my friend Vlad, one of the

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