As my friends in Sydney would say, this week’s been ‘a shocker’. It was one hit after another but the biggest shock was the vet diagnosing my dog with diabetes. She already has cancer and I was hoping that would be it. Today was my first day of injecting her with insulin, rising at 5am to […]

Introducing Desmond!  This little pottery dragon has sat on every desk I’ve ever worked at from my GCSEs to my PhD and continues to occupy a small corner, overseeing matters.  I can’t remember how I ended up with a dragon.  I’m not Welsh. I don’t have a particular propensity for the mythical animal and I […]

Last weekend was Mum’s birthday, so family descended on the house we grew up in for train trips and dinners and walks. I left on Tuesday having collected, among other things, five of the six books shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize that my sister gave me for Christmas (well trained girl!).  Jhumpa Lahiri’s The […]

Other than those by Günter Grass (Even bad books are books and therefore sacred) and Groucho Marx (Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read), I’m useless at remembering quotes.  So I can’t tell you who once remarked that having more books on a […]

I don’t usually make public my ambitions for the year,  I rarely inform my family, allowing me to wimp out or rescind on promises to myself.  However, a double bout of some virus carried by my gorgeous nieces had me half dead and reading other blogs, including Emily Henderson’s.  But this year feels different and hopefully […]

With the new year comes the professional/personal stocktake.  Assessment of those elements of your life you’re not happy with and the construction of hopeful solutions.  My bugbear is location.  If I could live anywhere tomorrow it would be Sydney, Washington DC or San Francisco, in that order, but I can’t. So London it is. My […]

Weekend Bookshelf Having had two weeks of a sick dog, being ill myself and prepping to move house, this weekend is about catching up on work. That might sound a miserable option but after not being able to do much I’m excited to get back to it. 1. Thomas Hardy – Two on a Tower 2. […]

Weekend Bookshelf It was an impromptu long weekend with my sister and her family and so the usual reading material, and the weekend papers, were replaced with picture books and creative tasks (and I didn’t switch my laptop on once!!). 1. Geoff Waring – Oscar and the Bat. A Book about Sound 2. Geoff Waring – Oscar and […]

The Weekend Bookshelf With an impending house move comes a reassessment of everything I have accumulated.  So with recycling day on Tuesday next week, my first edit is paper based.  As a researcher and writer, establishing a substantial personal library is the perfect excuse for collecting masses of irrelevant documents ‘just in case’! Outdated editions […]

I had been warned before visiting Washington DC for the first time in 2003 that it was a dangerous city.  That couldn’t have been further from the truth.  This might be part of the post 9/11 world of CCTV and vigilance but of all the cities I’ve visited, DC has always felt safe. In light of the tragic […]