#KeepTheBan on fox-hunting, for foxes’ sake!

To follow my previous blog on fox hunting, firstly, I'd like to thank all the people who sent me lovely responses. Hope and compassion are alive and people are active against the ban, and that is very reassuring. I have tried over the years to calm my passionate nature over this issue and I now …

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Two poems for Holocaust Memorial Day

For those whom we remember and those we will never know.   Spring prayer after winter These months have been brick cold and here Threadbare blankets hold ice, soft from our mouths’ sucking Two were taken out this morning, stiff As dawn frost and blue white Their coughing clogged in the night with their breath. …

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‘The Homesman’, a ‘homely’ woman and why I was bored with it all

Picture the scene: I invite round some friends, we order a nice take- away and watch a movie. Expectations run high as we choose the 2014 film 'The Homesman', starring and directed by Tommy Lee Jones, and also starring Hilary Swank and Meryl Streep. There's a good cast, a promising film, and critics are calling it the best …

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Snow Cake – Alan Rickman’s best film?

As the plaudits and praise rightly pile up about the late and impressive actor, Alan Rickman, people will ponder his best films. Of course, the blockbusting and memorable films such as 'Die Hard', 'Harry Potter', 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves' and 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' will be high on most people's ratings. But I have seen …

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Iain Banks, Petina Gappah, Saul Bellow and me: a writing lesson

Most writers read a lot. I remember one of my brilliant tutors on my Master's course telling me I have an 'ear' for writing and I replied that I read all the time. She suggested the two weren't always connected, but I believe that good writers inspire good writers. To that end, I have just finished …

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