Writing prompts from a game of consequences

Soz in advance for quality of post. I have tons of drafts but can’t seem to finish any of them. Hence this sorry attempt at something light. Literary allusion is fun. Jane Austen was catapulted into modern-day Britain with ITV’s Lost in Austen; and War and Peace’s Prince Andrej makes an appearance in Italo Calvino’s Il Barone rampante to great comic effect. Wouldn’t it be fun … Continue reading Writing prompts from a game of consequences

Logical thinking: not all plain sailing

I was thinking about what happens when trying to argue a point… You’re setting out upon an argument. Your idea is located somewhere ahead, but there is an uncertain sea between you and it that your argument needs to breach for you to be able to clasp the idea to your bosom. So you set off, armed with your trusty compass of logic. You feel … Continue reading Logical thinking: not all plain sailing

6 semi-funny philosophy quotes with pictures

Here are some mildly amusing things some philosophers said: You’re all ANIMALS the mass of mankind are evidently quite slavish in their tastes, preferring a life suitable to beasts – Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Salespeople are PATHETIC In well-ordered States they are commonly those who are the weakest in bodily strength, and therefore of little use for any other purpose – Plato, Republic Catholics are BIGOTS … Continue reading 6 semi-funny philosophy quotes with pictures

Aristotle & The Princess Diaries

Mia Thermopolis (or, to cite her full name, Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo) is the reluctant princess and narrator of The Princess Diaries (all 11 of them), the first few of which I read as a teenager. Like any teenager, Mia had many ambitions and hopes for the future. A frequent feature on her to-do lists was the phrase ‘Achieve self-actualization’ – along with things like ‘Go … Continue reading Aristotle & The Princess Diaries

How to party like an introvert

Extroverts take their energy from bouncing off other people, whereas introverts draw strength from their inner lives: this has become commonplace, but I remember feeling profoundly understood when I first came across the idea that feeling drained by loud restaurants and busy parties wasn’t abnormal. It was an important discovery because it often feels like extroverts rule the world, and extroverted characteristics are often extolled … Continue reading How to party like an introvert

800 years in 800 metres

One of my favourite parts of London is Bankside, the riverside route between Blackfriars Bridge and London Bridge. The 800 metres between the Tate Modern and the eastern end of Clink Street hold a quirky mix of buildings in various architectural styles covering 800 years. Listed residential chic 51 Bankside is a terraced house built in the early 1700s. In the 1950s the Southwark Cathedral … Continue reading 800 years in 800 metres

Social justice in Harry Potter

Under the hood of this fantasy series, this Christian allegory, this festival of fun in seven volumes, lies a certain concern for social justice. Besides the ‘strong female leads’ – sporty Ginny handy with a Bat-Bogey Hex, cleverest in her year Hermione, stay-at-home mother and serious destroyer of Dark Witches Mrs Weasley, etc etc – the dispelling of the stigma around blood-transmitted werewolf condition claimed … Continue reading Social justice in Harry Potter

Choices I could do without

How many times a day do you think you exercise your decision-making capabilities? The little choice cogs are constantly whirring, continually re-evaluating whether scratching that itch is worth the energy right now; whether you need the loo badly enough to pause iPlayer now or wait for a natural break; at what point during your friend’s monologue is it polite enough to interject (Now? Now? Now … Continue reading Choices I could do without