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Friday, 28 February 2014


Wordsworth wrote one of my favourite poems about March - a month he really loved. As the new month approaches I thought it might be interesting to compare what was happening then and now.

"The cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter,
The green field sleeps in the sun;
The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one! 
Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The Plowboy is whooping-anon-anon:
There's joy in the mountains;
There's life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,
The rain is over and gone!"
-   William Wordsworth, March
Events on Saturday March 1, 2014 - What's On in London from All In London


Monday, 24 February 2014

The pleasure of reading - three times over...

These three books from one of my favourite authors arrived in the post today. I admit I've read two of them already, but nothing beats the pleasure of turning over the pages of a real novel... And won't they look good on my book shelf?

Thanks, Rachel Hore.

Thursday, 13 February 2014


Why not take a look at my


Baggy Pants and Bootees

Marilyn Chapman
Out now

When Sophie lands her dream job as a reporter on a Yorkshire newspaper, nothing is going to get in the way of her success. But this is the nineteen sixties and she has reckoned without the attentions of office Romeo Steve and a frantic phone call from her mother after eight years’ silence.  

Before they can meet, Frances has a serious accident leaving Sophie to discover for herself the truth about the past. Was her father the all-American officer she dreamt of when she was a child, or someone far more sinister?  Her search leads to the mysterious David who uncovers a shocking scandal from before she was born.
Torn between her secret love for Steve and her desire to know who she really is, Sophie follows David to find her father.
Only when faced with the startling truth can she finally accept the tragedy that blew her life apart and begin a different kind of future.

Sunday, 9 February 2014


Set of punctuation marks

Could we be we in danger of losing our comma forever?  And would you miss it if it disappeared?

 The humble comma could  be abolished 'without doing much damage,' according to an American professor of English talking in The Times newspaper today.

John McWhorter  from Columbia University argues that 'as internet users and even some authors become increasingly idiosyncratic .... in their use of this punctuation mark, it may have outstayed its welcome.' 

Commas, he says, could be taken  out of  modern American text citing the Oxford comma, inserted after the penultimate item in a list, as an example.   'There could even be a case made for not using commas at all'. 

I disagree. In England our language changes all the time, with new words being added and others falling into disuse, but  we can't  afford to let  punctuation go out of fashion.

Take this example from The Times article:  'Rachel Ray finds inspiration in cooking her family and her dog.'  In a world without commas, what sort of mother would Rachel be?

Today's generation has  dispensed of the letter 't' as in compu'er, wa'er and par'y. So, come on,  do we care enough to keep the comma? What do you think?