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Lessons from Brontosaurus

“This is a brontosaurus,” said Miss Collinson. “Now, who can tell me what this is?” Jasmin stuck her hand up. This was easy. “Yes, Jasmin?” “That’s a tyrannosaurus, Miss.” “That’s right, Jasmin. They’re both di-no-saurs.” Miss Collinson pronounced the word

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Greater Minds: Hilary Mantel on the life and project

Shortly before her death, Susan Sontag said ‘that somewhere along the line, one has to choose between the Life and the Project’. Hilary Mantel quoted her in the third of this year’s Reith lectures, while she was talking about the

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Posted in Greater minds, Wednesday Pontification

Cold Freedom

You want to know why I was waving a knife around in that shop? It’s a fair question, constable, so I’ll give you a fair answer. It was because there wouldn’t be no kids in a booze shop. They might’ve

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A Kentishman in Spain

“It’s a right scorcher, today is,” said Jonty. “I know,” said Maggie. “I can’t do anything. I can’t even think straight.” “Should’ve stayed at home,” said Jonty. “What? You’ve been moaning about rain and cold all winter,” said Margaret. “That’s

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Greater Minds: Hilary Mantel on adapting the past

The Reith Lectures are an annual pleasure from the BBC to the world. Every year, a prominent speaker gives a series of lectures on a subject close to their heart, followed by questions from an audience that usually includes some

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Posted in Greater minds, Wednesday Pontification

Billboard in the Desert

It was the mirage that led him to the town. He knew what it was. He’d have died weeks ago if he hadn’t known how to distinguish the desert’s illusions from its reality. But it was as good a direction

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Byron Close

Carys was watching Peppa Pig with Jamie when they kicked the door down. Adrenaline took over. She didn’t remember leaping to her feet, she didn’t remember scooping Jamie into her arms but she was already dashing for the stairs when

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Fiction Review: Blindsight by Peter Watts

A laser is asked to find darkness in a dark room. This will be easy, thinks the laser, how hard can it be to find what I’m surrounded by? Yet wherever the laser looks, all it sees is light. The

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Posted in Book review: fiction, Wednesday Pontification

Coldwater Cottage – 18: The Ascent

Previous instalments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Ian shot through the door and blinked at the grey light bathing the boulders below him. He grabbed his air gauge

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Posted in Coldwater Cottage, Uncategorized

House Share

The morning after our housewarming party, Caroline was in an exuberant mood. “I know! Let’s go on a picnic!” “Not so loud,” groaned Ron from the sofa. He’d been on that sofa when I went to bed at two in

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle
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