Not Quite a Story a Day



So… how is it going? #StoryADayMay, I mean…

I must say that…well. I suppose you could say that technically speaking, having completed my fifteenth story last night,  I’m still on my chosen course of at least three stories a week.

And that’s good.

But… but. Continue reading

Shakespeare Day


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The Bard, you know – and the present times, and all this uncertainty… it brought back to mind an old post, about something that happened a few years ago, when times felt uncertain as well – although in a very different manner.

Anyway, it’s a small story about the power of words in dark times – and you can find it here: Reciting Poetry in the Dark.

A Story of Storied Pinochle


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Apart from or the Erasmus Year in Cardiff, my University years were spent in one of the smaller colleges in Pavia, the good old Gandini, housed in a wonderful 15th century palace right in the town centre. It was a pleasant place to stay, and I made a number of good friends there – and I played cards more than I ever had before or have since.

Now please don’t go imagining things: we didn’t gamble or anything… the place was, after all, run by nuns. The College’s game of choice was, for some reason, Pinochle, and we could spend whole evenings at it, playing in two, three or two pairs… Continue reading

The Raven’s Seal, by Andrei Baltakmens


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The 18th century is lazily going by in the fictional English town of Airenchester, when we meet hour hero, Thaddeus Grainger, the type of young gentleman of means and taste. A bright, clever, careless boy in the words of his doting housekeeper, Thaddeus is in equal parts bored and disillusioned when it comes to the fine society he confidently belongs to, but that is the way of things, and what is a fellow to do – except navigate the currents, and keep apart from the worst of it? In fact, Thaddeus’s only rebellion is to cultivate the close friendship of reasonably genteel but penniless William Quilby, a vicar’s son and journalist… Continue reading

Bernard Malamud and the Lost Quote


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I confess: I’ve never read anything by Bernard Malamud. It’s very possible that I’ll correct this state of things in a near future – but let me tell you a story first.

Years ago – possibly a dozen – I wrote down a quote that said “Stories, stories, stories – to me there is nothing else but stories.” Or something to that effect. I’m quoting from memory, and I’m not sure about the details – but you get the gist. I like the notion very much, and rather share it, and more than once, through the years, I’ve tried to locate the source – but, believe it or not, even the all-encompassing Web was no help… Continue reading

Mother and the Reverse-Julia


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I think I told you how, back in December, at the dress rehearsal for A Christmas Carol, we had the benefit of a row of rows, complete with screaming match in the green room between Nina the Director and Mrs. Cratchit. It was explosive enough to scare children, upset dressers, and perplex casual viewers – but, as is the case with most of these things, it evaporated quite quickly, and with little or no visible damage. Continue reading