Recent Posts

leftovers, leftouts and leftins… with samphire

If I hadn’t been kneeling on the ground fumbling for my lost earring, I wouldn’t have noticed the low, drystone wall made of leftovers. Parsimonious builders, restoring a fourteenth-century chateau in Provence, had scooped up all the spare bits and turned them into something else. The elegant arch, which once graced the front door, is […]

Dried Pea Masala: split infinitives and infinite splits

This is a split post: it’s split between India and Manchester, has split and unsplit peas, and argues the case for the split infinitive. There are rules about writing that I’m strict about: the incorrect use of apostrophes, pairing a plural subject with a singular verb (and vice versa), using too many adverbs, and reaching […]

The Vision of Piers Plowman’s Lunch – otherwise known as tartiflette

  It’s nearly three decades since I studied medieval literature at university. This afternoon I searched out my copies of The Vision of Piers Plowman, Le Morte Arthur and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to give to my son who’s about to go to university to study English literature himself. It’s a sobering reminder of […]