Ursula Le Guin

I think Ursula Le Guin was the first author who I noticed wrote both for children and adults. Long before JK Rowling was writing children’s fantasy, and schools of magic, there was the wonderful and prolific Diana Wynne Jones. Her first book, “Wilkins’ Tooth”, was published...

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Horatius, Haymon and the Darkest Hour

Last Saturday I watched the film “Darkest Hour”, starring Gary Oldman. It covers a few days in 1940 at the beginning of Winston Churchill’s premiership, when France was about to fall, and many in the Cabinet felt Britain should enter peace negotiations with Hitler. (Spoiler:...

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A prayer for the New Year

Something a bit different. A prayer for 2018 inspired by the story of the Magi in St Matthew chapter 2. Father God, of course we know that 1st January really has no more significance than any other, but it may be a time to stop, to...

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“The Last Jedi” by CR

Happy New Year, everyone! We start 2018 with a guest review of a film still in cinemas, but which many of you will have seen. My friend and co-warden Clint Redwood is an avid watcher and commentator on all things Star Wars. If you want to see...

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December’s songs

I am strongly tempted in the madness that is December, to save energy by recycling my anti-Christmas rant on this blog about seasonal busyness http://www.penelopewallace.com/christmas-busy-ness/, my anti-Santa rant http://www.penelopewallace.com/santa-claus-is-coming-to-town/, and my Advent calendar rant http://www.penelopewallace.com/advent-calendars/. Instead, however, I will write a few words on the subject...

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Apologies to those on Facebook

I really did mean to keep the blog free of book-plugging for a bit, but it's been quite a busy week. As most of you know, "The Tenth Province of Jaryar" comes out officially on Monday, and as all of you know, it's nearly Christmas. My...

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30th November one day late

A belated Happy St Andrew’s Day to you all! St Andrew is of course the patron saint (whatever that means) of Scotland, and also of a few other places, including Russia. For most Scots, this today means a day to celebrate Scottishness, and a rather arresting...

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What doesn’t kill you…

At the end of last week, Windows 10 tried to introduce some updates to our essential family computer which couldn’t cope with them. (Mac users, please don’t gloat.) After two very frustrating days and at least four calls to the helpline, we are almost back running,...

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An unamiable trade

I’ve fairly recently finished reading William Hague’s lengthy biography (500+ pages) of William Wilberforce, the independent MP and evangelical Christian who spent twenty years campaigning in Parliament for the abolition of the slave trade. His efforts eventually led to the Slave Trade Act of 1807. This...

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