one blogger in search of a character

January 29, 2014


Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed. — Cavett Robert It’s probably a bit late to say Happy New Year, and a bit early to say Kung Hei Fat Choy, so I’ll say happy beginnings to any new endeavours and renewed vigor for […]

a Christmas break

December 15, 2013


First, apologies for the month long delay between posts.  Without wanting to sound too much like a 1950s Hollywood starlet –  ‘Dahlings, I’ve simply been too busy.’ It’s the run up to Christmas after all, which has meant eating, drinking, being merry, and generally living liverishly.   Second, apologies for remaining out of order and finishing […]


November 13, 2013


A guest who breaks the dishes of his host is not soon forgotten: Djibouti proverb Abdourahman A. Waberi’s Passage des Larmes is one of those books.  You know, the ones you are forced to read in book groups, or pick up because it’s on a ‘recommends’ table in the bookshop and you need makeweight on […]


October 16, 2013


  And so we’ve made it to ‘D’ and Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic. It almost sounds like a skipping rhyme. And ‘D’ is a nice short letter, made shorter by dint of being able to skip Denmark and Dominica. The list of Danish writers, from Hans Christian Andersen to Pia Juul, from Karen Blixen […]

A coffee break

September 25, 2013


He who’s been burnt blows even on yogurt – Cypriot Proverb I was clear in my own mind when approaching the choice of a Cypriot novel that I didn’t want anything political.  I wasn’t wedded to choosing a Greek Cypriot over a Turkish Cypriot book or vice versa, I wanted a neutral narrative (if such […]

Not reading but downing.

September 4, 2013


If the beard were all, the goat might preach: Croatian proverb As a further break from reading novels, I chose Dubravka Ugresic’s book of essays, ‘Thank You for not Reading’, as the Croatian representative.   If I’m honest, and why not, the main reason I chose this collection (having been recommended Ugresic by a friend whose […]

Thou whoreson zed!

August 16, 2013


Two hippopotamuses cannot share the same hole:  Ivory Coast Proverb In an attempt to change the pace a little, this week I chose to read a play, Jaz, by Koffi Kwahulé.   Little did I realise when I chose Kwahulé, the wealth of material available on him, the frequency with which his plays are performed in […]