Mistaken – a parable

Give her some days to think about this, in the intervals of such diplomatic and social encounters as are the reason for her visit, and make it that she has hatched a plan to satisfy her curiosity. A walk outside the grounds, she says. Unaccompanied insisted on, in spite of raised eyebrows. [Read more]

Fighters

A certain awkwardness about the neck and the wrists, a shakily erect posture as the ghost of what might once have been a military bearing, a jacket bought many years ago from which the shoulders have retreated. [Read more]

Givenchy

A widow is pursued by her murdered husband’s former confederates for booty she does not know she has, but—it turns out—does. This is of course Stanley Donen’s Charade, of 1963. [Read more]

It is not true

The old Danish Christmas carol, repeated endlessly on Christmas Eve, dancing round the tree—or, in a big house, snaking in and out the parlour doors—asks if Christmas will last till Easter. [Read more]

Lent Lily

The experiences of that winter and spring went into the writing of my novel Luggas Wood, including a mention of the daffodils, and many people and situations encountered then, and this I have decided is the problem with that book. [Read more]

Awe and shame

A sturdy stockman’s cane, made of ash, octagonal in cross-section, with a rather large crook, the kind of stick used to prod unwilling cattle into a pen or up a chute. [Read more]