Mother teresa

I’m glad Anthony Powell didn’t take my writing advice

There is general excitement among the legions of fans of A Dance to the Music of Time: next week a plaque to Anthony Powell will be placed on 1 Chester Gate, the house where he started to write the many-volumed work of genius. I have a particular interest in attending, not only because Powell was married to my father’s sister Violet, but also because I took advantage of the relationship to lodge for several years in Chester Gate. This was when my parents chose to live maddeningly in Hampstead Garden Suburb and at the age of about 17 I was beginning to go to parties. Go to them? But how

A podcast that listens to what anti-vaxxers think rather than lecturing them

Work is our new religion. There are people whose primary job is writing listicles of celebrity gossip, illustrated with gifs from the Fast & Furious franchise, who refer to being a writer as a ‘calling’. If I think about this for too long my brain simply shuts down to protect itself. What we used to do for God we now do for our work. In a secular culture, it seems totally normal — admirable, even — to sacrifice the possibility of having a family, to give up all leisure time, to starve yourself or live on insane, totally made-up diets like intermittent fasting or paleo for the sake of your