Question 1, for two points: Where is the headquarters of the Dyslexia Research Trust? Question 2, one point for each part of your answer: How many arms and how many hearts does an octopus have? Question 3: Which is further west, Edinburgh or Bristol? I don’t know about you, but I’ve become quietly obsessed with questions like this over the last few weeks. An awful lot of us have been passing our evenings Zooming in to quizzes organised by friends or family or outside organisations. And some of the biggest events have attracted huge numbers of people. A Virtual Pub
With the UK, and most of the world, to a lesser or greater extent, in lockdown, much of the business community has understandably suffered as the coronavirus takes a wrecking ball to society. Collectively, we hope, of course, that some form of recognisable order returns sooner rather than later; though the Prime Minister’s roadmap to easing lockdown will have done little to clarify what may lie ahead. Not knowing how long we are to be largely confined to our homes can be terribly unnerving, though many of us will thankfully be able to work from wherever we are based, in
As we continue with the lockdown that sometimes seems – despite glimpses of the light ahead – to be going on for ever, we must continue to find ways to cope and adapt. I’ve been reading Amor Towles wonderful ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’. In it he quotes from the Essays of Michel de Montaigne, ‘If a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them’. It’s a similar sentiment to the one that Victor Frankl expresses in ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ (a book that begs to be read in lockdown) when he says, ‘When we are no longer able
“ Oxen and wain-ropes would not bring me back again to that accursed island …” These are almost the last words that Jim Hawkins writes in Treasure Island. So, why is every sequel to Treasure Island a return to Treasure Island? Sometimes it’s blatant, as in the several TV series called Return to Treasure Island. Sometimes it’s subtler: Andrew Motion’s Silver has Jim’s son and Long John Silver’s daughter returning to … guess where? (Although, as it’s their first time there, I suppose they don’t really return …) But even so, there has to be more to Jim’s life story
It’s time to write your novel! You’ve had it at the back of your head for years, maybe decades. It’s based upon a bit of trivia that only you know. Maybe when you stayed at that hotel in Dubrovnik back in the late 80s, two of your fellow guests would go on to become respectively a notorious war criminal and an Australian soap star. In real life, they never met – but you thought, hmm, what if … ? And from that came the idea for a sizzling tale of love and passion set in a country tearing itself apart.