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Photo by Ardian Lumi on Unsplash

An Unexpected Music Lesson

An older friend regularly liked to recite the following: “Never assume. To assume is to make an ‘ass’ of ‘u’ and ‘me’.” She did this for two reasons. Firstly, she was aware that I find such modern homilies twee and irri-tating. Secondly, she...

Kid's tricycle

The First Cut is the Deepest

A friend of mine once ruined his parents’ Christmas morning by throwing a blue strop because the tricycle they’d saved for months to buy him didn’t have the boot that he’d so clearly explained to them was essential. The boot was the bit where he was...

Police on the street

Matching the Description

The second time I was stopped in the street for questioning by the police, was not an ordeal. It was a bright spring morning. I was walking away from Bolton town centre, on my way to teach a class at the Chadwick campus of Bolton Institute of Higher...

Stars in the Night Sky

A Bedroom with a View

The first place we lived in after I was born was an ancient stone cottage, with walls four feet thick, property of the printing and dyeing factory in Bradshaw, where my dad worked at the time. I was not quite three-years-old when the factory closed...