'Trieste, new city That preserves a boyish adolescence.' Umberto Saba In July last year, around the time of my birthday, I visited Trieste with my daughter and my partner. It was the first real holiday we had taken together: a strange experience for us all, I think. Two halves of my life had been joined. … Continue reading Trieste: Saba, Morris, and Harwood
'This isn't a mental institute, it's a dog kennel.' Adolfo Bioy Casares I'm a recent convert to the aimless joys of dog walking. I borrow a dog so the pleasures are more acute. Face it: a man walking alone in the woods looks like a potential suicide or a sexual predator. Bring a dog and you prove … Continue reading Dog With A Bone
These cool spaces, always light and airy, retaining their silence through a fragile, communally agreed sense of order. The smell of paper, and plastic wrapping, which, for me, still remains an evocative association, almost painful in its intensity. My first library was a travelling yellow bus which stopped off every week in the village where … Continue reading Libraries
'I stopped my bicycle under a street lamp near Riddervolds Square and spread out the map to see where I was going.' Over the last years, loyal to the time in my life when I eschewed travel for reading, when the word edged out the world, I've taken to choosing a novel or book of … Continue reading Trapped In Oslo – The Blue Room by Hanne Ørstavik
'They dream only of America To be lost among the thirteen million pillars of grass' John Ashbery I first read On the Road at the age of sixteen, during a family holiday in Anglesey, where I burrowed down in a caravan sleeping bag, taking secret nips from a bottle of White Horse whisky while my … Continue reading Why America?
'There is always that element of surprise when, while walking down streets one expects to be ugly, marred and disfigured by the most degrading forms of manual labour, we suddenly see them transfigured by a ray of sunshine- like a moment of fleeting happiness.' I'll probably never get over the relationship between writing and setting. … Continue reading The Shape of A City by Julien Gracq