On Guard

I spend a great deal of time telling myself what not to write about. Or, to be more precise, what I feel I shouldn’t write about. I’m pretty sure it was Krzysztof Kieslowski – still my favourite director, in case anyone’s interested – who said that he abandoned documentaries in favour of fictional features because the latter allowed him to be more truthful. I believe he was referring to the very specific issue of exposing intimacies and personal situations that one simply couldn’t film in a fly-on-the-wall, documentary format. But I think his statement also hints at the notion that fiction is a kind of shield. A layer of protection. For the author.

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2019 Film Reviews – 9: Three Colours: White [dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski; 1994]

Forgive me, but this post is going to be a bit of a cheat. Instead of offering a new review of Three Colours: White, I’m going to direct you to the latest issue of Sight & Sound (digital version out now; print edition in shops from 7th Feb) which contains an article on Kieślowski‘s movie by none other than yours truly. I am beyond delighted … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 9: Three Colours: White [dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski; 1994]

Time To Start Again?

In 2011, I successfully met my self-imposed challenge of posting one-paragraph reviews of every movie I watched during the year. Since then, my online writing has moved in a different direction (see here) and I’ve published next to nothing on this blog. However, some instinct in me is growing more persistent and telling me to revive my little film review project, and – somewhat uncharacteristically? … Continue reading Time To Start Again?

Guess What… I’ve Got A Book Coming Out!

Okay people, I’ve got a scented cat that’s itching to get out of its bag. For the last two years, I have been writing an anonymous perfume blog (www.Persolaise.com), the success of which led to my being commissioned to write a perfume guide. It’s called Le Snob: Perfume and it’s due to be published in October… so if you’d like to find out more about … Continue reading Guess What… I’ve Got A Book Coming Out!

Volcano People – Chapter 1

Okay, here we go folks. I’ve been working on my volcano memoir for a few weeks and I’d very much like to share the first chapter with you. If you’ve got the time to read it, I’d love to know what you think. — Sirkeci Station, Istanbul, Sunday 18/4/10 2130 “Babe, I don’t think the lights are working.” I’m sure Linda’s words didn’t quite register … Continue reading Volcano People – Chapter 1


Here’s a question for you: is it all right to give money as a gift? If your answer is an immediate, unqualified Yes, then don’t read on. You’ll probably find the rest of this post needlessly convoluted and pedantic. But if your gut tells you that there’s something wrong with handing over cash on someone’s birthday or at Christmas, then join the club. A book I … Continue reading Green


A few weeks ago the Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, made a speech which generated a fair bit of controversy. Here’s why: “Parenthood,” he said, “involves massive sacrifice: of money, attention, time and emotional energy. Where today, in European culture with its consumerism and its instant gratification – ‘because you’re worth it’ – in that culture, where will you find space for the concept of sacrifice for … Continue reading Orange


The other day, A S Byatt popped up on the radio and said this: “I think it’s true that if anybody in a house is living inside a book, this is impoverishing for the other people in the house.” My immediate response was to agree: ‘Yes, Antonia, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Writers are terrible people to be around. We suck the life … Continue reading Mauve