Tag Archives: life

In the Bleakness, a Bright Green Shoot

Seedless oranges, seedless clementines, seedless grapes.  The words are displayed in large letters on the glossy supermarket shelf labels, or squares of brown cardboard on the stalls of street vendors.  Seedless.  As an incentive for buying.  I shrink in horror … Continue reading

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Odds & Ends: London – Can’t live in it, can’t live out of it.

Ask me if I like London. No, I don’t, would be a frequent answer. Architecturally, I don’t think it’s beautiful.  Not as ugly as some other places (no names mentioned) but not a city where you can walk down the … Continue reading

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Odds & Ends: A Mother-in-Law to Smash all Stereotypes

When I was getting a divorce, twelve years ago, my mother-in-law said, “I want you and I to remain friends.” I muttered some polite platitude in return. Friends with the mother of the man with whom I was engaged in … Continue reading

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Odds & Ends: Showbiz Party*

The Scene: a bar Props: nibbles and alcoholic drinks (white wine with a soupçon of ammonia, red wine with a bouquet of vinaigre, or champagne à la bicarbonate) . Sound Effects: Near hysterical laughter and raised, sometimes high-pitched voices with … Continue reading

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Words and Civilisation: “I don’t want to get involved”

A friend and I were walking down the street and saw a woman sitting on a doorstep, crying her eyes out.  “Don’t get involved,” said my friend, picking up the pace.  A few steps further, I let my friend go … Continue reading

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Yekaterina Gregoryán – My Grandmother

My grandmother had nerves of steel.  My mother and I used to joke that if anyone were ever to tell her there was an imminent nuclear attack, she would purse her lips in that way she did when considering various … Continue reading

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Odds & Ends: ‘Hushabye Mountain’

As many of you will have heard, Robert B. Sherman passed away, last week, aged 86.  With his brother Richard M. Sherman, he wrote songs for films many of us will remember from their childhood, such as – among others – … Continue reading

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Words and Civilisation: Coffee Language (Part 2)

For Part 1, please click here. It had been a long day and a late night awaited so, at about five, I ventured into a Central London Starbucks. “Tall, half-shot, wet latte,” I ordered, using the company’s recognised terminology with … Continue reading

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Words and Civilisation: “Laid-Back”

“Oh, don’t worry,” my friends say about someone I have yet to meet, “he’s very laid-back.” Little do they know that that is when I start worrying. Describe somebody as “laid-back” and I have an inner reaction of tension, irritability … Continue reading

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Pet Hates: Mean-Spirited Favours

There are favours for which you are sincerely grateful.  Favours which come as rain upon the desert, or a hot salt bath when all your muscles are aching.  Then there are favours which are a pain in the far South … Continue reading

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