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Saving Pages: A selection of vintage bookmarks

During a recent spot of tidying at home, I came across a box containing my childhood collection of bookmarks. When I was growing up my parents were second-hand booksellers in Bristol. One exciting perk, or by-product of this for me as a kid, was finding all kinds of bookmarks that previous readers had left behind in many…

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A futile list of sounds (with an explanation of sorts)

  SFX: A gentle thud, as one door closes. Rubber soled trainers hitting concrete, mix with general South East London ambience (heard throughout alongside all other sounds below) Creak of metal gate swinging open, gentle snick of iron on wooden post Goldfinches’ mewing/tinkling unexpectedly in ash trees on railway embankment Bus engine idles Before white…

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No one should mourn a coffee shop

No one should mourn a coffee shop. We have enough. Round my way, in West Norwood and uphill in Crystal Palace, news of another one turning up can be greeted with suspicion – another chain killing off the locals, more gentrification, another pointless hipsterish place in which to consume frothy beverages, whilst staring meaningfully out of the window in…

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A time for shelf analysis: New Year reading resolutions

It’s dark. It’s raining. January is upon us and the season of reflection, projection and resolve is underway. For voracious readers, this means that the perennial question: what to read next will be nagging at their shoulders more urgently than ever. This matter doesn’t simply concern the next book, but the next year of books.…

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The Impossibility of Worthington lakes

Let’s say I was there. For work. In a hotel near three reservoirs for Wigan. Let’s say I slipped out back on an unexpected walk, on a circular path, all I saw were three men – two old, one young (ish) Walking widdershins counter to my clockwise, just them and the grey heron, winging twice, some ducks, some…