Last September

So I wrote this piece for a travel writing competition. The task was to describe a local connection in seven hundred words. My essay didn’t win, and after reading the choices of the judges, I’m reluctantly minded to agree. It doesn’t distill a moment: it’s more of a jumble of thoughts, as my writing tends to be. Having said that, it was a jumble I enjoyed writing, and it peoples a quiet moment in last summer’s travelogue. So I thought I’d share it with y’all instead. Continue reading “Last September”


Infinite Beaches and the End of the Road (Britain in Lockdown, Part 1)

We got sadder as the weekend wore on. Partly it was the sadness of the shuttered shops and empty streets, partly it was the vague sense of guilt that hemmed in our actions, as we tried to work out what we could do without being risk magnifiers for the NHS. Mostly it was the realisation that we were in this for the long haul, that soon we would be bunkered down in different towns, with no plans for summer. The cold wind off the Scottish coast ate into us, and left us lost for words. Continue reading “Infinite Beaches and the End of the Road (Britain in Lockdown, Part 1)”

Bossed in Translation

Iridescent and beautiful, with an eye for the smallest detail, Your Name is justifiably the best-known anime movie of the decade1. It takes place in a world of fated meetings, time travel and body-switching magic, but it never loses sight of the commonplace, humdrum stuff of life. It’s been translated into English, Korean, Hindi, Spanish and a number of other languages, but there’s one scene in particular that gives translators endless trouble. Continue reading “Bossed in Translation”