Skip to main content

General


I'm in Starbucks, partaking of the free wifi until I set off to Kingston to have dinner with my former phd supervisor. I'm still waiting to collect my iPhone back from being repaired, which has meant much less procrastination throughout the week.

Yesterday I went to the London Library and after a couple of hours of writing I borrowed a couple of books. The first one was the new 'Nine Lives of Shakespeare' by Graham Holderness, which received a very good review in the current issue of the TLS. I loved the first chapter, or life, as Shakespeare as writer. It could have been more academically rigorous but the series to which the book belongs aims to be wisely accessible. But many of the other lives were fictional, which I wasn't so much interested in. I shall be returning it tomorrow. I also got an old copy of Kathryn Anne Porter's Pale Horse, Pale Rider. I remember reading an article on this book a good while ago and thinking it must be one of those gems that gets forgotten about. I'm disappointed to relay that I found it to be a bit of a drag and put it down after about thirty pages, which must surely be a sufficient way in to decide whether a book is worth sticking with.

I was going to post on writers who suffer with migraines, spurred on by a piece in The Guardian by Naomi Alderman and the by now well known piece by Joan Didion, which I strongly identified with, but having to go and see my own doctor on Friday evening and talking about migraine management and rebound headaches caused by painkillers, I found myself doing yet more research. As a result I went out yesterday morning to stock up on the expensive high strength coenzyme Q10 and magnesium. I'm happy to report that yesterday and today have been ok. Of course, it may be placebo, as these types of supplements take a while to work, but if these wretched migraines and headaches are reduced then its worth it.



Location:Kew

Popular posts from this blog

Who was Mary Burns?

On 7th January 1863 Mary Burns was found dead from a suspected heart attack. She was 43 years old. Since her death Mary has received barely any attention despite the fact that she spent over twenty years as the common-law wife of Friedrich Engels, one of the world’s most influential thinkers and the co-founder of Marxism.

Born in 1822, Mary was the oldest surviving child of textile dyer and factory operative, Michael Burns, and Mary Conroy, Irish immigrants from Tipperary. Mary’s parents had married at St. Patrick’s in an area known casually as Irish Town, one of few Catholic churches in Manchester at that time. The year of Mary’s birth and her infancy were significant in that Manchester was still dealing with the aftermath of the event that became known as the 1819 Peterloo Massacre, a peaceful protest of the working-classes on the site of St. Peter’s Fields in which several people were killed and hundreds injured. The Massacre occurred when magistrates, alarmed at the size of t…

Booker Shortlist announced

It's been a while... I know. Dog walking on the Downs, a bit of theatre, a bit of baking, a bit of writing etcetera etcetera. I also managed to read two complete books in the past month, which I was so pleased about. I had not read a whole book for about a year. The first was A Lie About My Father by Scottish poet/writer, John Burnside; a very well written memoir about father and son, but like all memoirs, some unreliability I felt. Poignant and tragic in equal measure. Then my husband returned from Cyprus (too hot for me this time of year, I can barely cope with England!) with Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong. He loved it. And then I read it and also loved it. I had originally picked it up several years ago but didn't get beyond Amiens, where the first section is set, but was really glad I did this time around. Another incredibly well written book in the style of a good Victorian! I felt a bit unsure about bits of Elizabeth, in the later section, but I have never learnt so muc…

Days Without End and Mosul's Avengers

So fed up am I of buying books that I don't finish, that I decided I would go to the local library for a copy of Sebastian Barry's latest novel, Days Without End, which has just been awarded the Costa Prize. Unfortunately, I could only borrow it on the proviso that it was return by 1 February. I returned it the day after, without having finished it. I was about three quarters through, and will now have to go out and buy it for the final quarter. I loved Barry's The Secret Scripture, and on every publication of a new work, his star rises. Days Without End follows two boys, one descended from native Americans, and the other having arrived on one of the notorious coffin ships from famine struck Sligo. The tale is brave, funny, touching, but most of all Barry has achieved the perfect pitch. It is quite remarkable.

Another remarkable work comes in the form of reportage in the New Yorker (February 6, 2017) The Avengers of Mosul, by Luke Mogelson 'A Reporter at Large'.

Mo…