Showing posts from December, 2020

Hanging on: N M Browne

 So, this blog was going to be the sad end of year reflection on a year of Covid, of the last year in which all of Europe was still  ours to explore at will. I went to Paris at the end of February as the world woke up to virus and I went to Venice post Covid in the early summer when, briefly, the world opened up again: memories to hold on to.  This year has been about hanging on. I wrote a poem everyday through lockdown - hanging on to creativity and small pleasures: the birdsong in the garden, sunlight striping the floor, walks with a friend and wine -  probably too much wine. This year has been about hanging on to connections, contriving safe ways to meet family and friends. We hung on to Christmas by having it outdoors in November in a festive gazebo. I have decided to hang on to  59, though my transition into young old age was marked memorably and well with a walk in the park and champagne, I think I'll celebrate it again next year - when I may be able to see more than one pers

Goodbye, Enid from the Authors Electric

  Enid Richemont For many years the 28th of each month has been the day when Enid Richemont blogged for Authors Electric -- usually in the form of a diary entry, with news of her books -- which covered a wide field -- or proudly writing of her daughter's theatre career. Sadly, there will be no more diary entries from Enid. In the late months of 2020 Authors Electric learned, first, that Enid had been diagnosed with cancer -- and then, all too quickly, that she was very ill and had died. We feel her loss. Enid was born and grew up in South Wales but spent most of her life in north London. Her marriage to David Richemont was a long and happy one and they raised two children.   Enid and David   Enid won a scholarship to Dublin's College of Art, where she studied painting and design; and she taught in a Rudolf Steiner school. Together with her family, she lived for two years in Paris. She wrote for both adults and children and her work has been translated into Danish, German, Arabi

Becoming a Period Piece in Just 20 Years -- Andrew Crofts

  Time is speeding up. A novel I wrote twenty years ago is being republished by Lume Books. It is called “Pretty Little Packages”, (although it started life as “Maisie’s Amazing Maids”). The main character is a ghostwriter, (no surprise there), and the plot is about modern slavery, which was a subject I was writing about a lot at the time. Re-reading it now, nothing much has changed about the modern slavery business – if anything it has grown worse, but perhaps we are just more aware of it than we were at the turn of the Millennium. A lot of other things, however, have changed.  I n the year 2000 mobile phones still had a certain novelty value for many of us. Most of us certainly didn’t use them for anything other than phoning one another in the age-old manner. Letters still came through the post, we bought street maps when we had to navigate around unfamiliar cities, and fax machines were commonplace.   Full body tattoos were highly unusual and when one of the characters in the

Christmas Day 2020 by Susan Price

"Oh no! No! Not Earth 2020!"   Christmas Day in the Workhouse (A Poem by George R. Sims, 1847-1922)   It is Christmas Day in the workhouse, And the cold, bare walls are bright With garlands of green and holly, And the place is a pleasant sight; For with clean-washed hands and faces, In a long and hungry line The paupers sit at the table, For this is the hour they dine.   And the guardians and their ladies, Although the wind is east, Have come in their furs and wrappers, To watch their charges feast; To smile and be condescending, Put pudding on pauper plates. To be hosts at the workhouse banquet They’ve paid for — with the rates.   Oh, the paupers are meek and lowly With their “Thank’ee kindly, mum’s!’” So long as they fill their stomachs, What matter it whence it comes! But one of the old men mutters, And pushes his plate aside: “Great God!” he cries, “but it chokes me! For this is the day she died!”   The guardia