Wet Paint By Chloё Ashby

Wet Paint By Chloё Ashby

Wet Paint By Chloё Ashby

    ‘I edge closer until I’m standing directly in front of the painting, the largest in the room…Eyes gliding across the canvas, I fiddle with the beads again, slipping one into my mouth. Hail Mary.’  Even if you do not know the artist’s name or title of the painting, Manet’s A Bar at Folies – Bergѐs is likely to have crossed your path at some point. It may have been whilst flicking through a book or maybe your art teacher at school flashed it once before your eyes when you were studying impressionism or maybe you simply glanced at

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THE INSTANT BY AMY LIPTROT

THE INSTANT BY AMY LIPTROT

  Amy Liptrot once said in an interview that she had always harboured an ambition to write her diaries for a living.  This may be the driving force for her successful ability to take a subject and delve deep into its bone. In Liptrot’s The Instant, it is the moon that lurks above and throughout. Its presence can be felt no matter where you are and for Liptrot, it is Berlin where she follows its waxing and waning movements, she writes ‘I’ve run away  but I find the moon everywhere I go.’  But the moon app is not the only

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The Cure For Sleep Memoir of a Late-Waking Life by Tanya Shadrick

The Cure For Sleep Memoir of a Late-Waking Life by Tanya Shadrick

  Birth and death sit firmly together in the palm of life, something Shadrick knows all too well as she nearly bleeds to death not long after giving birth to her first child. She had been afraid of shedding the skin of a woman just forming and taking on the shape of becoming a mother. Maybe she wouldn’t have ever been ready to set aside the pain she had been cloaked in childhood where she had been abandoned by her own father who still lived in the same town, driving by her without acknowledgement. Maybe it was the childhood in

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Earthed by Rebecca Schiller

Earthed by Rebecca Schiller

For a long time, I was obsessed and convinced that the answer to all of my problems would be a change of scenery; the exchange of city for country. My blog, as it was called back then was rife with city claustrophobia. Too many people pounding the pavement, too much traffic, excessive noise in every aspect as we lived on top of each other in terraced houses, I no longer wanted to be able to hear my neighbour sliding her wardrobe open or sexual endeavours. I longed for nature. For roads to be exchanged for fields, for simplicity. To be

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In The Garden Essays on Nature and Growing

In The Garden Essays on Nature and Growing

  It is a dark grey day here; the wind freezes my extremities as I plant on my carefully loved and tended to “Love- In – A Mist” also known as Nigella Damascena but my five year old loves calling it by its more amusing name. I even have a video of him singing a song he had made up in homage to it. Returning to this morning where the sun was brief and passed rapidly, I walked up and down the swerving stone garden path to the compost, filling my pots and placing a dibber gently in to retrieve

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Thin Places by Kerri nÍ Dochartaigh

Thin Places by Kerri nÍ Dochartaigh

Here is a story of darkness which holds a web of cracks that light their way through. You may envision Leonard Cohen singing this clearly in ‘Anthem’, or picture a Japanese vase held together by golden threads of glue or you may say it belongs to Kerri NÍ Docharteigh’s Thin Places and it is not a story, it is her life. What permeates through this life of political division, of broken people, of death and hatred, is that of nature. The beautiful and the sublime- the sublime which holds danger in its palm of beauty with all of its wildness

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The Best Most Awful Job: Twenty Writers Talk Honestly About Motherhood

The Best Most Awful Job: Twenty Writers Talk Honestly About Motherhood

The Best Most Awful Job: Twenty Writers Talk Honestly About Motherhood Edited by Katherine May A note to the reader.  I read this book and wrote this piece before the world entered a new age and way of life. Before the word pandemic reached our ears and most of the problems were far away enough not to worry. But here we are, separated from our older parents; grandparents, immunity compromised friends and loved ones and now without school, a great weight has been placed on us for how long we do not know. If you are a mother whether you

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Wintering : How I Learned to Flourish When Life Became Frozen by Katherine May

Wintering : How I Learned to Flourish When  Life Became Frozen by Katherine May

Book Review Wintering : How I Learned to Flourish When  Life Became Frozen by Katherine May Losing hope and entering a well of darkness is an emotion that is common to all of us. It is not something we experience once or twice but on numerous occasions throughout our lives.  For some the depth of despair is deeper than it is for others. The frequency too varies but it exists and is mostly unavoidable; this is the human condition and in a way can hold the function of righting a wrong. This is what May calls “wintering.” Our complexity knows

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Wild Woman Swimming A Journal Of West Country Swimming

Wild Woman Swimming A Journal Of West Country Swimming

Wild Woman Swimming A Journal of West Country Waters by Lynne Roper Tanya Shadrick a former hospice scribe made a promise to Lynne Roper after a single meeting which was to published Roper’s wild swim diaries upon her death. The diaries cover the time between her survival of breast cancer and her death from a brain tumour. This however is not a book about death. This is a book about life; it is about taking note of its beauty, its sublime and the people one encounters on a daily exploration through water. Roper’s wit, sarcasm and humour pull you along

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BIRTHING LITERATURE : HOW TO GROW A BABY AND PUSH IT OUT BY CLEMMIE HOOPER

BIRTHING LITERATURE : HOW TO GROW A BABY AND PUSH IT OUT BY CLEMMIE HOOPER

Once you overcome the initial shock of finding out you are pregnant whether planned or not, there is much excitement.  Intermingling with this excitement soon after is anxiety and fear. There is worry over whether you will hear that heartbeat at each scan, whether your baby has formed healthily and then the worry over what kind of parent you will be. Whether you will be able to cope with one of the biggest changes in your life whilst envisaging the magnitude of the responsibility ahead. For most even through the all day nausea; heartburn, sciatica, carpel tunnel syndrome (yes, I

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