Writing Tips

(from The Bennet College Reference Library of Electricity) LOOK AWAY NOW bibliophiles - I cut up books. It started with junk mail, when I began looking for hidden messages in unsolicited letters sent in the post. I liked the fact that they had signatures. If I changed the messages, they were still signed, sincerely, by... Continue Reading →


Here is a post about my vivid, handsome, irascible, Grandfather

Lulu Allison, contemporary fiction author

handsome gjMy grandfather died of a broken heart six weeks after my grandmother. He had not expected to live without her, instead had meticulously planned for her comfort and security on what seemed to him to be the predictable certainty of his own death from a heart attack. But cancer doesn’t like predictions. Cancer, with its usual arrogant flare for such things, changed the story, rendered his meticulous, patriarchal, loving care unnecessary. A heart attack did kill him, but only after the death of my grandmother from bone cancer and the torture of six weeks of bereft and baffled mourning.

John Wood, we called him Grandjohn, was an imposing and impressive man. He came from a teetotal and dutifully obligated chapel background, as austere and spare as his name. He had no faith himself but was imbued with the characteristics of his family’s church, though he seemed to burst those narrow parameters…

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‘Self-analysis? I could’ve been painting an apple.’ The self-portraits of Pierre Halé

A really insightful article – about my husband’s paintings.

James Innes-Mulraine

Lately I’ve been having an interesting conversation at work about self-portraits with my colleague Pierre Halé.

Pierre has been painting all his life, but only started self-portraits in the last few months. I was amazed when I saw the first of these little canvas panels, each about 12 x 10 inches.


‘Self-portrait as a fisherman’ looks like someone in the background of a Caravaggio. It is superbly observed. The artist works the oil paint lusciously, sculpting his head as a three-dimensional object. The sense that we’re seeing the momentary play of light over a solid form gives the impression that this is a snapshot of time. It creates a real sense of presence, the spark of life in the viewer’s synapses where you can imagine the expression changing.

Self-portraits are often described (frequently by me) as being a self-advertisement, or a form of artistic self-therapy. Rembrandt – 120 self-portraits and counting…

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