The book stalker

I stalk books. I usually spot my quarry in a library. I take it home – mine, all mine.  The library wants it back; I reluctantly return it. Next I do the equivalent of “the end of a relationship drive-by”: I stalk between the library shelves, pick up the book and stroke it a bit. If…
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The art of slimming

Are you in a wintry rut? Sitting in your little corner: fat, demotivated and glum. If you’ve given exercise its chance, and it’s too cold to diet, try Art. That is correct, Art can make you slim. Here’s how: Ease into this gently. First establish Art as a pleasurable activity. What makes you happy? Food. There is…
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Not my circus. Not my monkeys.

If you indulge in the odd spot of social networking on Facebook, you may have seen the lashings of “likes” for a post with the cheeky Polish saying: Not my circus. Not my monkeys. First I smiled. Then I panicked. What if my plumber, dentist, bank manager, underwear sales assistant, even (though this would never happen!) my library…
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Great galloping grannies

The writing is on the wall for restful retirements and going gently into that good night. It’s just not enough now to hand out sweeties to the grandkiddies and have a monthly perm. And no one is expecting any words of wisdom from you either. Instead pensioners are required to recreate themselves. Nowadays, you must become more interesting, eccentric even. And don’t…
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Recessive jeans

My parents shaped my way beyond my DNA. Hard as it is to believe, those two humble Scots forged my fashion destiny. To this day, my clothing choices hark back to them. Thanks Mom and Dad. My father (normally a mild-mannered man) got in first when he forbade the wearing of denim jeans from under his roof. This…
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There’s a kākāpō at a library near you!

You can imagine the joy at Central Manchester when a kākāpō  emerged from the returns bin. Not the real McCoy, you understand, but a beautifully sewn replica – one of several kākāpō that have been hidden around Christchurch as part of  Sayraphim Lothian’s Guerrilla Kindness for Christchurch project. Described as “a Persian cat with feathers“, the kākāpō is one…
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Book Rage

Everyone knows about Road Rage – where all other drivers are idiots, your blood pressure soars, you discover swear words you weren’t aware you knew and, when you glance in the rear view mirror to glare at another driver, you don’t recognise the face looking back at you. But you may be less familiar with…
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Morticians in love

Morticians also fall in love. This must have been happening since the beginning of time, but only now (to the best of my knowledge) has there been a such a rush of material on the love life of those who deal with the dead. The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price, Purveyor of Superior Funerals is a 2012…
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Been there, done that

“Never go back,” they say, “it’ll be completely different.” Nobody told that to Ellis Hock (the main character in Paul Theroux‘s latest fiction offering The Lower River.) Actually, at the time he decided to return to Malawi, hardly anyone alive was still speaking to Ellis. So back he went, to the place where he had once…
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