The chocolate question

The chocolate question

A boy is presented with a new aspect of chocolate when he meets a rare species: a child who may at some point have been permitted to eat as much of it as they wanted.  He is duly impressed. “It’s got every sort of chocolate you can think of,” I went on: “soft...
Prize life and enjoy it

Prize life and enjoy it

Caroline goes through a period of malaise and fear for her future, with illness en route. I believe in my heart we were intended to prize life and enjoy it, so long as we retain it.  Existence never was originally meant to be that useless, blank, pale, slow-trailing...
Go and look at flowers

Go and look at flowers

A wonderful story of a woman who decides her grandchildren need to spend more time looking at nature and talking to people.  I loved her humorous and decisive course of action and the fact that she was so loved by her family that they forgave her technological...
Life as miracle

Life as miracle

Attributed to Einstein, this gives us two clear-cut approaches to life.  Babies and small children seem more alive to the miraculous but a challenge for adults is that of both seeing the world as it is, tragedy and all, while maintaining that miraculous sense. Or, to...
The history of human folly

The history of human folly

A wonderful statement, not to mention breakfast.  First, the decadent breakfast, and then the inspired allocation of truffles to the world history of folly, and that delightful conflation of folly with art.  The truffles must have gone to his head.  Good for him. ...
Ode to an orange

Ode to an orange

Elizabeth Bowen’s mouth-watering description of eating a Sicilian orange in Rome deserves a place at the Nuannaarpoq table.  And I read it a few weeks after moving to Italy and beginning to find red, sweet oranges of a quality I’ve rarely encountered...
In praise of delight

In praise of delight

We tend to think of piety as being about prayer or action – addressing God or doing good. We know there are many things we should be doing to Save the Earth or Protect the Planet.  Here, in the mid-19th century, is another view, which has a surprisingly modern...
Love of the earth

Love of the earth

If ever we needed to remember our love of the earth, it is now. I like George Eliot’s hypothesis that our love of it is anchored in our childhood experience of it. Get your kids – or yourselves – down to the park or into the country, and start...
Lightening hours

Lightening hours

Isn’t this a signal of perfect companionship, whether as friends, family or lovers? That hours pass like lightening? ‘We started off in the direction of the village. The hours among the rocks had passed as time passes between lovers, like...
Everything good in this world

Everything good in this world

Zorba lived life to the hilt long before the advent of political correctness.  He wouldn’t have had much time for it even if he had lived to see it.But this comment made me laugh, particularly the relegation of chamomile tea to the unpleasant aspects of life. I...

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