Sunday, 15 December 2013


When we lived in Central Europe, we always took the children to the Christmas markets that would spring up just around now in front of churches or in town squares. Their wooden stalls offered colourful decorations and heart-shaped biscuits, children's toys and traditional pottery. Others sold mulled wine, hot sausages, deep fried, garlicky dough and huge salty pretzels.

These markets are very pretty places. Despite that, for me they are also very faintly menacing. Where do they come from? Where do they vanish to at the end of the season? They sparkle and glitter, but they are mysterious. One day when I was thinking about them, I wrote this.


  1. I am now reading your book “Holding On” and (not finished, but just simply surprised and) pleased by the read thus far, I thought the author deserved a compliment. I was drawn to read it after your “Unto us a story” mentioned in this post – which is quite brilliant. But back to “Holding On”:

    I hope others will get the same pleasure from the veracity of One/8. I hope nobody else notes that buried somewhere in the first couple of chapters is a line ‘absent proof’. And I think the phrase “head hung loose like a flower half snapped at the stem” is as good as “limbs at once quicksilver light and lead heavy” is not. (Not to fulminate, but quicksilver sits snuggled between gold and lead on the periodic table, so is pretty heavy itself; I know what you intended, but this did not work.)

    Anyway, deciding in future to maybe take the iron with her made me nod/smile, and I always try to thank people who make me smile – so thank you! But be warned: I think from what I’ve read thus far there may be further thanks due.


    1. Your comment is immensely generous and helpful and I appreciate your thoughtfulness and the time you've taken. It is very kind. I will rethink quicksilver; bad inaccuracy. I suppose I'll have to drag my eyes through the first two chapters to find that 'absent proof'. Thank you again and any more editorial suggestions gratefully received.