Category Archives: History

A collage of trees

My father says that he’s going to chop down the pines in the corner of the garden. They have grown beyond the space, their silhouettes distorted from pruning over the years. Still, this has never stopped the pigeons roosting and … Continue reading

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The magical act of returning

The sky is beginning to drop its heavy white. Clumps of fog tumble down from the mountaintops into the valley where the cottage is. I stand by the window with my dad. I’m not sure it’s a good idea to … Continue reading

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Maes Caradoc

For weeks I have been trying to explain to people how I came to be going to an isolated cottage in North Wales for a holiday. It was a friend of my dad’s who told me I had to go … Continue reading

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A place to write

Daphne du Maurier was five when she first discovered Cornwall. That summer, she had watched as the gardener caught a snake in the grass of her Hampstead home. He nailed it to a tree, standing back to watch it writhe. … Continue reading

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The story of a room

Don’t believe anything you see. This is what the curator says as I enter the Whistler Room at Mottisfont Abbey – a line he repeats as more people come and go. I can hear the pleasure in his voice as … Continue reading

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Moments that change us

Something happened last week, which made me refer back to the diary I kept when Dan and I were living in Denmark, WA. It was the end of February, 2011. Dan’s mum was staying. I wrote that I was going … Continue reading

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Exposure

During the rehearsals of a pantomime in a Scottish town, an infant is needed for the Spirit of the Mustard-pot. Ellen Terry’s father offers her services. He has acted both at Edinburgh and Glasgow, throughout the 1820s and 30s, and … Continue reading

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