SUDDENLY I am delving into my memory bank, reliving how it was to take that nerve-racking walk from West to East across Berlin’s no-man’s-land of Checkpoint Charlie. An instant recall sparked after inexplicably waiting two decades to open a book fully intended to be read when it made its spectacular debut in 2003. That’s how it was with me and  Anna Funder’s Stasiland. Launched to an avalanche of plaudits at the start of the century, it stayed on the best-seller list for close to two years. But only recently has it made its way to my bedside pile, the result… Continue reading

Receive my ‘Read. Write. Run. Repeat.’ newsletter

Regular updates of my reviews and commentary direct to your inbox.

Mullion Cove, Cornwall (courtesy Geograph UK/Wikiwand) TRACING one’s ancestors is akin to joining Poirot as he unravels the threads of an Agatha Christie mystery. Except that the little Belgian detective eventually provides acceptable answers. Not so with family history. So many detours and distractions. So many loose ends. So much… Continue reading
A CLICHE it maybe, but the saying that “everything old is new again” is one that has stood the test of time. As reliable as ever as each generation “discovers” something that was commonplace to their parents or grandparents. It rushed to mind as today’s papers splashed on the “innovative” ways public houses were coping with the Covid-19 lockdown of their businesses. With patrons no longer able to enter their premises, and certainly not cluster along the bar, these lateral thinkers are following the lead set by cafes and restaurants and venturing into takeaway sales. Just like the old days. Continue reading