Me and My Marbles

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Art in the Attic | No Comments

In the last few months of my PhD, when I was finding it hard to see the wood for all the trees the thesis was printed on, I used to keep a handful of marbles in my bag so that when people asked me how it was going I could say, ‘at least I haven’t […]

Midsummer Madness

Posted by on Jun 20, 2017 in Art in the Attic | No Comments

It feels ironic that I ceased blogging right after my post on the virtues of not sharing, but in this case the silence wasn’t intentional; it’s just been a struggle to find the time. Highlights of the last few months included a trip to Chicago and Bloomington for a friend’s wedding, hosting my annual Shakespeare […]

Secret Histories

Posted by on Mar 27, 2017 in Art in the Attic | 2 Comments

I’ve been thinking about Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation (2003), not an easy film to categorise but mostly it’s about the relationship between two strangers: Bob, a middle-aged actor temporarily stationed in Japan for a commercial shoot, and Charlotte, a younger, recently married woman also living there for a time with her husband. Mitchell and […]

Blake’s Angels

Posted by on Jan 26, 2017 in Art in the Attic | 2 Comments

It’s been a while since I last wrote but in December the best of blogging intentions got overtaken by Christmas festivities and January’s been full of other projects till now. Without really planning or doing anything much to deserve it, I ended up having such a kind and magical Christmas that when Twelfth Night came […]

Cat and Dog, or Writer versus Editor

Posted by on Nov 4, 2016 in Art in the Attic | 6 Comments

Some years ago I went for an interview for a job at a university press. It wasn’t a very exciting job and the pay was barely enough to live on, but I had enough experience to apply for it and I thought it might lead to Other Things. An HR person took me up to […]

Keats’ Fireplace

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Art in the Attic | No Comments

‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ is the line people always quote from Keats’ ‘Ode to Autumn’. It’s a great poem, although on reading it again I can’t help feeling he might have overstated quite how friendly she was with the maturing sun. Still, those vibrantly crisp, clear days of October and November have their […]

The Stratford Hours

Posted by on Oct 1, 2016 in Art in the Attic | 2 Comments

I took a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon last weekend. It was meant to be a theatre trip with my friend A. but she was forced to cancel at the last minute and as I was unsuccessful in finding anyone to go in her place, I decided to go alone. It feels a little odd holidaying by […]

Earthly Paradises

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in Art in the Attic | No Comments

Earlier this year I came down with an unexpected case of pre-Raphaelitis. It all started with a trip to William Morris’s Red House, helped on by a reading of Penelope Fitzgerald’s biography of Burne-Jones. I’d studied Morris years ago as an undergrad, and as I wasn’t burning effigies of Rubens or papering the attic with […]

A Mouse called Wellington

Posted by on Jul 25, 2016 in Art in the Attic | 4 Comments

Back in 2012, when I was struggling – and largely failing – to make ends meet as a freelance writer, we had an unwanted guest. There could well have been more than one mouse, but as we only ever saw one we preferred to think of it as a lone operator. Its first mistake was to […]

Words, words, words and Brexit.

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 in Art in the Attic | 3 Comments

Strange how events can bisect our lives into before and after. I didn’t plan to comment on the EU referendum in this blog, but not to do so at the moment feels like ignoring the elephant in the room. (Indeed, given the scale of the turmoil at present, there are times when it’s felt more […]