This week, as the year reaches its halfway point, I’m taking stock of how I spend my time.
There’s never a good time to get Covid, but I was surprised to catch it for the first time just as the NHS tracking app expired.
With reduced immunity due to rheumatoid arthritis and asthma, I’m clinically vulnerable and have had every vaccine offered. When I phoned 111 for advice, they told me I qualified for anti-viral medication, which was only on my radar as something President Trump had been prescribed early in the pandemic. He’s not my usual role model, but given the alternative was “high risk of serious complications and death”, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
In anticipation of the Coronation of King Charles III, a post originally written for the Tetbury Advertiser, the magazine serving the community that includes Highgrove, the King’s country house in rural Gloucestershire
Decades ago, when I worked for a PR firm in an old banana warehouse in the shadow of Southwark Cathedral (but that’s another story), my colleague Rob was keen to improve his vocabulary.
Perhaps he was hooked on the old Readers’ Digest column, “It Pays to Increase Your Word Power”, a motto I’ve always admired. He designated a new word to learn every day, which he shared with us all. I worked alongside him for only a few months, but if I’d shared his office for the rest of my career, I reckon he’d have increased my word power too by around 10,000 words.
This final post of 2022 was originally written for the December 2022/January 2023 edition of the Tetbury Advertiser, which was published in the run-up to Christmas
This month my to-do list includes a much-needed weeding of my groaning bookshelves, in the hope that Father Christmas, who knows me well after all these years, will bring me a pile of lovely new books.
Every room in my house contains bookshelves, except the utility room and the larder. (I’ve slipped up there.) Each shelf is jam-packed with rows of books, with more laid on top horizontally to fill all available airspace. It’s clearly time to declutter. But which books should I keep and which jettison? Continue reading “Off the Hook for Books”