The poorest I’ve ever been

642 Things to write about #5 Goodness me, the poorest I’ve ever been… I grew up in poverty. My father worked on farms. Ploughman was his job title, but he did far more. Animal husbandry. Crops. Managed staff. He was paid a pittance, his poverty wages supplemented by bags of potatoes and coal and the […]

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I’m a Jack of all trades, we’ll be all right

642 Things to write about #4 Write a song…no chance. I can’t sing, so writing a song is a mysterious process that I have never attempted. And never will. I have never been tempted, not even when I was in the depths of despair over some failed romance (many, many years ago) and would relentlessly […]

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My favourite recipe

Writing prompt #3 I don’t have a favourite recipe. I have favourite cook books. And my new favourite is Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. I always turn to Ottolenghi’s weekly recipe in the Guardian’s Saturday magazine, but had never really understood his magic until buying this book. He and his partner Tamimi put […]

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Things I have learned about life

Today’s writing prompt from 642 Things To Write About is: Write an anonymous letter to a stranger detailing the things you’ve learned about life… Things I’ve learned about life…mmm, let me think…in no particular order: Don’t swear as much as I do. People often find it offensive. Money is over-rated, except when you don’t have […]

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How my cat sees the world

I have no idea how Dusty, our cat, sees the world. She was re-homed three years ago, at the age of eight. Which is pretty old for a cat to be plucked from her favourite lap (my husband’s) and plonked down on a stranger’s knee. We thought long and hard before giving her up for […]

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Things to write about

I have always written. I composed my first (and my last) poem when I was six. It was about a stone with a hole. I was very proud of it, but quickly bored of poetry. I then began filling red Silvine notebooks with stories of rabbits, princesses and other fairy tales to amuse my younger […]

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A little piece of Stoke in Philly

It is amazing what you find when you are not looking for it. My husband Nigel is a Stoke boy, born and brought up in Tunstall. The city was once the centre of working class creativity in the UK, a place where men and women created things of great beauty from the clay beneath their […]

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President Obama’s narrative is our story

President Obama’s victory on Tuesday will no doubt inspire commentators from the left, the right and the very big middle for weeks and months to come. I have nothing original to say that hasn’t been said elsewhere, so I will be brief. President Obama has big ears He does get stuff wrong, and no doubt […]

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Let’s hope America leans forward tomorrow

In a few hours time US citizens will decide choose their next President. The polls are very close, but the momentum, I hope and believe, is with Barack Obama. There has been a lot of nonsense spoken about President Obama’s record in his first term, and not just by the right. But let’s remember for […]

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Even Scots can help get out the vote in the USA

Four days to go and we will spend them helping to get the vote out for Barack Obama in Hellertown, PA. I was asked the other day by @PeatWarrior whether people reacted adversely to a Scot canvassing in a US election. I can truly say that both in 2008 and now I have been greeted […]

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