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

9 Quirks of Everyday Language

How many times a day do we come out with a sentence like this: ‘It was, like, a sort of profound experience, d’you know what I mean?’ About 50% of that was filler that adds nothing to the content of the sentence, and there are good arguments for expunging it from the lexicon. Yet the numerous verbal tics, tags and fillers that litter our everyday … Continue reading 9 Quirks of Everyday Language

How to actually make great life choices

I once took a personality test that marked me as ‘extremely passive’. I huffed and puffed about it and then went about my day. Years later, I can confirm that this was true at the time. Do you feel stuck, trapped, stagnant, bored, or a combination of the above? Here is some actual millennial wisdom about breaking free, starting over, shaking things up, derived from … Continue reading How to actually make great life choices

Beauty and the beastly patriarchy

‘I want so much more than they’ve got planned’ – quoth Belle as she almost skipped off into the book-filled sunset before, erm, being imprisoned for like no reason at all and then marrying her gaoler. This won’t be news to many people, but having recently re-watched Beauty and the Beast, the colossal sexism of the thing has only just struck me. Commonly discussed issues … Continue reading Beauty and the beastly patriarchy

16 fairytale encounters

I never thought I’d blog about fashion, but really this is more about aesthetically pleasing and fantastical forms of personal adornment (or rather art!) crafted with incredible creativity and handiwork. The sort of thing I would wear if I ever made it to Narnia. Accompanied by vignettes of the fairytale great and good. But darling, of course it had to be so large! Remember I … Continue reading 16 fairytale encounters

10 worst signoffs to avoid like the plague

If you’ve ever used any of the below, you’re doing it wrong: The claim to possession Yours, Bob Comment: If I may just refer to the prohibition of slavery, it’s a well-established fact that no one person belongs to another. The false claim to truth Yours sincerely, Bob Comment: You’re not mine, which means you’re not being sincere. What a proliferation of lies is contained … Continue reading 10 worst signoffs to avoid like the plague