The Life Chronicles: I Don’t Like Cider

I don’t always choose red wine. Red wine sinks, and makes a barrel of my body. It turns my purple eyelids heavy, and my pink tongue, purple. I drink a glass in the garden and watch the cracks in the patio or the pegs on the line: the ones that are so old that opening breaks them, belonging to tenants long-gone.
Sometimes white wine wins. It is strong and acidic, demanding the drinker to stay alert. White wine matches white blossoms, which match dinner in the garden, which matches white wine. Pollen tickles the inside of the nose and bees hum upon a bed of weeds, the one littered with dead bluebells. Continue reading The Life Chronicles: I Don’t Like Cider

Reading Corner: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy

My sister and I gave The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse to our mum for Christmas – a wise present it turns out, seeing as I’ve now read it more times than she has. Looking at it again this past week has been a comforting escape. The book is formed from a collection of beautifully expressive ink illustrations with handwritten words, stitched together by a gently anchoring narrative. We follow four friends: an inquisitive boy who asks questions about the world and ponders his relationships with the others; a mole full of reassuring words, whose thoughts are also largely occupied by cake (which makes for some of my favourite moments); a fox who is reserved and quiet because of their past, yet loved by the others no matter what; and a wise horse who reveals an ability to fly. The story’s subtle linearity stitches the order of the pages together, but you don’t need to read it cover to cover. Each page is an isolated piece of art and storytelling in its own right, so dip in and dip out; you’ll never be lost in the story. Continue reading Reading Corner: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy

Roaring 20s: The Enduring Dream of Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age

It’s been nearly a century since F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was published in 1925 – painting a glossy, wealthy image of the 1920s Jazz era – and now, as we enter that same decade 100 years later, it seems a revival of Fitzgerald’s world is at the height of fashion, with nearly every NYE party on 31st December seemingly featuring flapper dresses and pinstriped suits. Continue reading Roaring 20s: The Enduring Dream of Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age

The Sky Is Not What Changes

I have looked at the sky at different times. It has been bright during the day, and starless dark late at night. I have stared at the sky while the winter wind whipped my cheeks, but I have also gazed at it when the summer sun toasted them tenderly. The truth is there is no special time to stare at the sky, except when the moon and stars are gloriously out for unusual attention. The sky is barely an evidence of change unlike us, the land-dwelling creatures. Continue reading The Sky Is Not What Changes

The Life Chronicles: Charge and Control

Build it. Break it. Build it, break it.

I exercise control in the small mannerisms I have adopted over the years. The minor, domestic cogs of my life, turning in perfect succession. Succinct, and ritually executed. These are the private domains of my psyche, the charts and the crosses, the changing of bed linen and the calculated hoovering of square spaces. Each chart is built of boxes, and each room possesses borders. The hoover head stops at skirting boards. Continue reading The Life Chronicles: Charge and Control

Poisoned

Two days after the Queen died, they sent for me. I was sixteen. Barely more than a child. Father and Mother could do nothing. News of my supposed beauty had reached the capitol, so they came, they saw me, and they took me. Dressed in a great fur coat and a long, velvet dress trimmed with white ermine, I was bundled into a carriage and never saw home again. Mother and Father’s faces grew distant, like clouds, until they were as indistinct as clouds, and then they were gone. Continue reading Poisoned