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22 April 2012


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Labyrinthitis is really horrible - I wish you well soon. Loving your story of a long and rewarding friendship. My personal and working life involved many architects too. I married one and worked as finance manager to a practice for many years.

I wish you a speedy recovery from your very nasty infection. My mother had it last year and I know that it was absolutely grim. May the sun shine on you soon!

Claudia Roden is one of my favourite cookery writers, although I very rarely actually follow a recipe through from any book: my cooking comes out of my head, or sometimes from my box file of old family recipes/ new inventions that I thought worth noting down. Nonetheless - yes, I adore middle eastern food, and her book 'Arabesque' is a treasure. I was introduced to it by my aunt, whose daughter, my cousin, married a lovely Turkish chap and lives in Ankara. I only have to open 'Arabesque' for my mouth to start watering.

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Thought for life

  • The House of Breath, William Goyen
    We are the carriers of lives and legends - who knows the unseen frescoes on the private walls of the skull?

Thinking about . . .

  • Daniel Klein, Travels with Epicurus
    I too listen to music more and more. Throughout my life, music has stirred me more than any other art form, and now, in old age, I find myself listening to it almost every evening, usually alone, for hours at a time.
  • Julia Blackburn, Thin Paths
    I began writing because I liked to write things down. I learnt foreign languages because they seemed to enter my head by a process of osmosis.
  • Joan Bakewell, Stop the Clocks
    I live contentedly alone. It's better that way and I am often thoughtful about what has been and what might have been. There are many like me.
  • Patti Smith, M Train
    Oh to be reborn within the pages of a book.
  • Patti Smith, M Train
    Why is it that we lose the things we love, and things cavalier cling to us and will be the measure of our worth after we’re gone?
  • Judith Kerr, Observer Magazine, 22 November 2015
    I don't believe in God. I find it much easier to believe in ancestors. I like to imagine they are pointing us in the right direction.

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