Book Review- Picnic in the Storm by Yukiko Motoya

Book Review- Picnic in the Storm by Yukiko Motoya

* Contains no plot spoilers Japanese author Yukiko Motoya’s collection of short stories have a definitive style and are matched with substance. It’s obvious that she gets a bit of inspiration from Murakami’s magic realism style, although seen through Yukiko’s lens, the world is from a woman’s perspective. Her stories seem to feature unremarkable everyday…

Book Review – Men without women by Haruki Murakami

Book Review – Men without women by Haruki Murakami

* Contains no plot spoilers Short fiction can be a fickle thing and sometimes difficult to love with some not so polished or ridiculous moments. Yet Murakami’s short fiction is an exception.  He can weave magic better than anyone about the intricacies of human relationships, the vagaries and oddities of the human heart and dark…

So long, Marianne: Leonard Cohen and his muse Marianne Ihlen

So long, Marianne: Leonard Cohen and his muse Marianne Ihlen

In November 2016, the singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, renowned for his melancholic and romantic ballads, died a few months after the woman who inspired many of his famous songs - his Norwegian lover and muse, Marianne Ihlen. On the summery idyll of Hydra, Greece in 1960, there was a bohemian community of artists and musicians living…

Film Review: Cornershop (Kjötborg)

Film Review: Cornershop (Kjötborg)

This feel-good documentary is set in Reykjavík, Iceland on corner of Ásvallagata and Blómvallagata streets. Where there is a little unassuming grocery store called simply Kjötborg or Corner Shop. Two brothers own and run the local shop, which they inherited from their parents. This is the last bastion of stores like this, as many others…

Every Picture Tells a Story: Lucky's 18th Birthday

Lucky’s 18th Birthday

Lucky sadly left this planet in recent months. Here he is a year ago on his 18th birthday. I just love this look of absolute and unfettered delight at eating the ice-cream cake. He was a good boy. My parents got him when he was only a puppy from the animal shelter. He was sentenced…

Book Review: Tiger Tiger by Margaux Fragoso

Book Review: Tiger Tiger by Margaux Fragoso

This memoir and first book by American author Margaux Fragoso was veritable literary dynamite when it came out in 2011. Or you could call it literary vegemite, in that you will either love the book or hate it. Tiger Tiger charts the complex sexual relationship of the author Margaux with Peter Curran, which began when…

Adventures on the Isle of Skye

Travel: Roaming in the gloaming in the land of melancholy, with the Polish bear by my side

A personal note Around six years ago, I had the most romantic trip of my life when I went to the Isle of Skye, Scotland with the Polish bear. We cozied up in the most comfortable little croft in all of the Scottish isles. Located in Borreraig, the farthest point of the Isle of Skye…

Book Review: A Man Called Ove

Book Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman

Another book from Scandinavia this time from debut novelist Fredrick Backman. Originally in Swedish, A Man Called Ove is a universally appealing narrative about a curmudgeonly old man who seems to encounter infuriating people and annoying situations at every turn, when all he wants is to be left in peace. Since being published, A Man…

Book Review: Boyhood Island by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Book Review: A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Book Two of the Min Kemp (My Struggle) in the series of six autobiographical volumes is possibly the least adventurous of his stories although still no less compelling and compulsively readable as the other ones. If you are unfamiliar with Karl Ove Knausgaard then you must have been living under a rock. He has been…

Knitting with Dog’s Wool (1966)

Instead of allowing your pesky pooch to malt all over your sofa, put your pet to work in a novel way. The most luxuriant of dog breeds can be put to practical use as producers of dog wool for your next knitting expedition. Some of the best breeds for yarn include the Collie, Old English…

Book Review: The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

Book Review: The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

Peter and Beatrice Leigh are a childless 30-something British couple who are devoutly evangelical Christians and are living in a Britain of an imagined near future. In this imaginary Britain things look largely similar to how they are right now, except that there's a colony of humans living on a faraway planet called Oasis. These…

Dr Helen Sharman

Space dreams by astronaut Helen Sharman

Helen Sharman was the first Briton in space. Now that she's back down on Earth, she recounts a beautiful, evocative space dream and how she longs to be back up there orbiting around the pale blue dot. It turns out that astronauts looking at the vastness of continents from space see where the people they love reside,…

Book Review: The Tao of Winnie the Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

Book Review: The Tao of Winnie the Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

The cultural phenomenon of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne (1926) crosses generations and time. Winnie the Pooh still speaks to me as an adult within the adult world. It speaks to the child within and her curiosity and wonder at life. The characters are each archetypes of human desires and fears. Pooh: a certified glutton…

Happy 30th Birthday Darling

Happy 30th Birthday My Darling

I've been with you for more than 4 years now and on this day you've finally hit the big 3-oh. I would like you to know (and the rest of the world) that I love you and always will. You've made me incredibly happy and we've had some really fun adventures together. I hope for…

The USA along with 23 other countries say “Yes” to Love

Today is a monumental day for people in the USA, with the supreme court ruling in favour of same sex marriage. The battle was long and at times filled with frustrations. But with the world such an overall shitty place lately, I think it's so important that we embrace events like this that give a…