Giving up News for Lent

So, it turns out giving up News is harder than giving up chocolate. Harder even, than giving up the internet. It’s not as hard as giving up cafés; that year I failed at Lent and failed early. But giving up news is tricksy because news is everywhere. It’s not just the internet. It’s radio and newspaper […]

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Me and Patrick O’Brian

The first, ‘Master and Commander’ was a gift, the second ‘Post Captain’ I bought in a secondhand shop, the third ‘HMS Surprise’ I clicked-on in the middle of the night. The next day I went back to the secondhand bookshop and bought the next four books because I was worried someone else might buy them […]

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Barter Books and Ladybirds

Barter Books is a bit of bibliophile heaven. I picked up a good-as-new hardback of Philip Hensher’s ‘The Missing Ink – the lost art of handwriting’, and four lovely old Ladybird books, including ‘Julius Caesar and Roman Britain’ still with the dust-jacket. It’s just like the copy I had as a child. (What happened to […]

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Pink Roses, Chinese Vase

I love this painting by Scottish Colourist, Samuel Peploe. It’s in the Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh where it also features on menus in the café. It’s a picture that’s easy to love but it’s the lemon that really makes it work. Without the lemon, it just wouldn’t do it for me.

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