There was another life that I might have had

“There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.” — Kazuo Ishiguro One of my favourite authors, Never Let Me Go crept up me, and its central idea and character will I am sure indeed never let me go. His latest novel, The Buried Giant,  is for me, his greatest…

The French Lieutenant’s Woman

The Cobb has invited what familiarity breeds for at least seven hundred years, and the real Lymers will never see much more to it than a long claw of old grey wall that flexes itself against the sea. — John Fowles, opening lines to the French Lieutenant’s Woman. The Cobb, is the name given to the…

Yesterday when I was young

Yesterday when I was young The taste of life was sweet as rain upon my tongue I teased at life as if it were a foolish game The way the evening breeze may tease a candle flame… — Charles Aznavour I first heard this song sung by Dusty Springfield, and as is so often the case,…

It’s at times like this, when I’m trapped in a Vogon airlock…

“You know,” said Arthur, “it’s at times like this, when I’m trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I’d listened to what my mother told me when I was young.” “Why, what did she tell you?” “I don’t know,…

You are extremely offensive, young man.

“You are extremely offensive, young man.” — Judge Willis “As a matter of fact, we both are, and the only difference between us is that I am trying to be, and you can’t help it.”— F.E. Smith As a young man, FE Smith was a lawyer famed for his wit. He went on to become Solicitor-General…

Relax

We’re making the same mistakes we made 1,000 years ago.
So they must be the right ones. So relax.

Pythagoras the philosopher, and feminist

Most men and women, by birth or nature, lack of the means to advance in wealth and power, but all have the ability to advance in knowledge. Pythagoras is inextricably linked to right angled triangles in my mind. However, he was also a philosopher who founded a school where woman enjoyed the same rights as…

Winning without fighting

The supreme Art of War is to subdue the enemy without fighting. Sun Tzu, The Art of War, c. 500 BCE The Art of War is one of those books that I’ve known about for decades: and for decades have been intending to read. I am sure I even have a copy somewhere. But I…