In praise of praise (or how I mended the toaster)

The builder was round today – Bill.  I’ve known him as long as I’ve been in St Albans, which is 23 years, and every piece of work I’ve ever had done, he’s the one that’s done it.  He’s built extensions, improved bathrooms, put in kitchens, constructed garden offices, made emergency repairs to leaking cold storage tanks, replaced windows,painted walls, doors and floors, plus tons of the small jobs I save up till he’s over. [...]


How to make ringing the insurance company really fun

I have been meaning to ring the insurance company for weeks.  I know, that's possibly the least inspiring first line in the history of writing, let along blogging, but there's no other way to start. It kept reappearing on my list, moving up and down it, never getting crossed out, never not needing to be done.  Why was I delaying?  Because of the tedium of it, because of the time it would take, because [...]


Bouncing on a Concrete Airbed

I popped into the Rachel Whiteread exhibition at Tate Britain yesterday morning.  I'm fascinated by her stuff - the back to front of a fireplace, the inside of a school desk, the wrong side of a window, the invisible middle of a hot water bottle made out of concrete and resin.  I'm no art critic but what happens to me when I see these sculptures is not unlike the fascination I feel at miniature [...]