Tag Archives: advice

Isn’t it a little coarse to go and bang on the drums just because the doorbell is ringing?

I acted in a student film once and afterwards, at the wrap party in a fusty house at the top of town, I rode an office chair down the hill, flying across the junction at the bottom, ramming the pavement … Continue reading

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The conundrum of being ourselves

During my second term at drama school, we had to face Shakespeare. All the students were frantic as agents from the RSC would be in the audience, scouting for new talent. There were tears after rehearsals. The toilets stank with … Continue reading

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What’s the problem with being up a mountain with no phone signal or orienteering skills?

It has begun to rain. The wind comes in cycles – building, building – so that at its peak my body wobbles and I contemplate the steepness below me: images of tumbling headfirst down lumps and bumps, through sharp grass. … Continue reading

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Worry – what’s the worst thing you can imagine?

The year I turned eleven, I joined all-girl choir that my music teacher ran. It was called The Julia Singers. We met once a week for rehearsals and, each term, put on a show. There’d be a tea party beforehand … Continue reading

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Playful child and iron teacher: the two halves of the writer

I was nine when a new games mistress arrived at my school. She was a grey-haired woman, although she wasn’t old; I could tell because her eyebrows were black. Her bum was boxlike, giving an impression of very little waist. … Continue reading

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What happens when a character’s skirt gets hitched in her knickers?

Character is arguably the single most important component of the novel…nothing can equal the great tradition of the European novel in the richness, variety and psychological depth of its portrayal of human nature. David Lodge    When I was ten, … 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

Posted in History, Memoir | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments