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Howards End

HOWARDS END by E M Forster It’s corny to say a book changed your life and also, perhaps, a little hard to believe when the book concerned is not at first glance an epic firework of a thing, but a gentle, humorous, beautifully told story of two middle class families in England shortly after the turn of the century. I nonetheless lay this claim at the foot of E M Forster’s Howards End, recognised as…

Saturday 10th August, 2019 | undefined min read

Keeping Up-to-Date

I love my desktop computer. (I am typing at it now, so very happily, click click click). It has facilitated the birth of three novels and a memoir. It has a wide screen and a sleek shiny look as good as the day I bought it. Indeed, I still think of it as 'new'. The sad truth is that it is eight years old, which would not matter at all had I not recently started receiving messages from Sony, kindly…

Saturday 27th April, 2019 | undefined min read

Writing 'Good Girls'

The best thing about writing novels is that the starting point for a story is invariably many miles away from where it ends up taking you. In the case of ‘Good Girls’ my initial intention was to write about two sisters who had fallen out over a man. Kat and Eleanor popped into my head, the younger one – Kat – is all instinct and charisma, while the elder – Eleanor – is all brain and awkwardness…

Monday 7th October, 2019 | undefined min read

For the Love of a Dog

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING FOR THE LOVE OF A DOG Every life has its peaks and troughs, but I have always been an optimist. Ms Look-On-The-Bright-Side. Ms Tomorrow-Is-Another-Day. Even when my marriage imploded after a quarter of a century, I managed to count my blessings, which were many – two wonderful sons, loyal friends, good health, a strong career, lots of hobbies – and ploughed on. I threw myself…

Saturday 10th August, 2019 | undefined min read

Guardian Angel

Love at first sight. It’s supposed to exist isn’t it? Eyes locking across a crowded room, wafting invisible chemicals, instant soul-mates and all that twaddle. When Brian and I decided to get married it was because we had lived together pretty amicably for four years and with me in my thirties we reckoned it was probably a good time to have a shot at kids. Not that we didn’t love each other…we did…

Friday 17th May, 2019 | undefined min read

The Crossing

It was blowy on deck but Bella was in the mood for it. She held the railings and watched the chop of the water, the tears arriving, as they had every day for five weeks. Susie and Rick. Her Rick. She tried not to think about it. She was on the ferry in order not to think about it. A weekend in St Malo with her Mum and Dad – not an ideal pick-me-up for a jilted thirty year old, but it was a start…

Saturday 10th August, 2019 | undefined min read

Physics and Chemistry

The restaurant looked busy. Tanya hovered at the entrance, recalling the details of Mike Halford’s profile. Fair-hair, blue eyes, athletic build. Aged thirty. A teacher. Shy. Steady. Single. In search of the Right Person. Just like her. Everything, in other words, that she had asked for. She glanced nervously down at her mini-skirt, regretting the reckless exposure of her wide thighs. She had…

Saturday 10th August, 2019 | undefined min read

The Treat

Celine wore a coat of her mother’s for her walk to the park that day, a classic purple one of which she had always been rather fond, with large gold buttons and wide velvet lapels. The velvet was dull and scuffed with age and there was no ignoring the faint, slightly acrid smell of moth-killer rising of the thick meshed wool, but it felt good nonetheless, to be out in the blowy April sunshine…

Saturday 10th August, 2019 | undefined min read

The Stranger

It began on the train. The sudden extraordinary intimacy of eye contact. His eye-lashes were a feathery brown, the irises they guarded greeny-blue pools. Eyes you could dive into. Oh-oh, Maggie thought, and looked the other way, studying the flakes of dandruff dotting the collar of the man standing on her other side. At the station he made a point of letting her step off first, then strode ahead…

Saturday 10th August, 2019 | undefined min read

The Lunch

The kite hung in the air, wings hunched, head down, its beak a dagger aimed for the plunge. Connie let her gaze linger, too numb to care about the potential peril of keeping her focus off the road. The stillness of the bird suspended above the streaming motorway seemed to hold some promise of comfort, if only she could think how to extract it. Her brain was jumpy from lack of sleep. Hour after…

Saturday 10th August, 2019 | undefined min read