Welcome to Disorderly Jottings
Interesting how second readings reveal so much more than the first. And that goes for the faults that held it back in my regard just as much as for its virtues; some of which lay hidden in the faults. I didn’t much enjoy Dombey when I read it in early middle age but this time … Continue reading Dombey and Son: Charles Dickens
Reflections of a life-long blood donor Every four months, and invariably on a Sunday, I make my way to whichever local venue has been arranged for the session. Partly a sense of civic duty, partly because it makes me feel mildly virtuous, and on one occasion because me and a housemate were out of cash … Continue reading A Case of Give and Take
A best-selling Victorian melodrama that is still worth reading today “my child dead, dead, dead! and he never knew me, never called me mother.” The line is from a theatre adaptation rather than from the novel, but this in itself shows the success of East Lynne. Forget the contrived genre of “sensational” novels of the … Continue reading East Lynne by Ellen Wood
A Lazy Meander through the former coalfields The aim was simple. To find a way of riding to Chesterfield without going on a road. It might have helped if I’d had a map but I don’t know of any maps that include all the new paths and tracks that have been created for walkers and … Continue reading Lost and Found
Not a review. More a Response to Remind Me How Much I Enjoyed It! This piece is largely free of spoilers but, reader be warned, there is a small, signposted, section towards the end that hints at elements of the plot. Blimey! This one caught me by surprise. I was expecting an old Victorian pot-boiler … Continue reading Lady Audley’s Secret: Mary Elizabeth Braddon
I blame Chris Boardman. He was the first one to give Brits the idea that they could actually beat the rest of Europe. It set a pattern. A Briton gets onto a podium and immediately an extra five thousand arrogant fat men buy lycra shorts and take their self-assurance onto the roads. The fact that … Continue reading A Return to the Old (By)Ways?
Cycling, with me, has always been as much a mental thing as a physical. It is a meditation, a philosophy; an attempt to achieve a state of mind. As such I’ve always taken it to be a solitary activity. And one to take one to quiet places. The bicycle used to take me to contemplative … Continue reading Back in the Saddle
A Response to Reading The Unknown Masterpiece by Honoré de Balzac We sat in philosophy classes in Manchester in the early 80s and discussed all matters aesthetic. What makes something beautiful? Can an ugly thing be beautiful? What is the purpose of art and do poets need to be persons of a heightened and unusual … Continue reading “That is All Ye Know On Earth”
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