I recently did a recording on YouTube of the Kate Chopin short story, The Story of an Hour.
It’s a very short story, more flash fiction: it’s a thousand and thirteen words long and took my just short of eight minutes to read out.
The Story of an Hour was originally published in 1894 in Vogue magazine, though its title at that time was The Dream of an Hour.
The Story of an Hour shows how our life is completely transformed by seeing things from different perspectives. …
Long Meg and her daughters is a large stone circle that lies some miles outside Penrith in Cumbria near the village of Little Salkeld. It’s the sixth-largest stone circle in North-West Europe. It has never been formally excavated but what we see today probably dates from the late Stone Age and the early Bronze Age.
Long Meg sits close to the River Eden. There are many neolithic monuments nearby in the Eden Valley, and it seems to have been a cultural focus for Neolithic people.
The most impressive monuments like Long Meg, King Arthur’s Round Table at Eamont Bridge and…
You may be familiar with the movie franchise, Men In Black (I-III), but this article is not about that. If you were hoping it was, stop reading now and go and read “Five Ways I Made $350,000 While Asleep in Bali.”
This story is about real Men In Black, or at least it’s about the Men In Black that people claim are real. So it’s not about the Men In Black who openly admit they are actors such as Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith.
I have to admit that there’s something about the shiny black suits that unnerves me…
Even those who believe that magic works would say it’s not as simple as merely wanting something and then getting it. If that were true, I’d have been happily married to Kate Bush since 1981. We would have met in 1978, but I wouldn’t want to rush things so prolonged the engagement.
No, it’s not so simple. If it was, why did the most competent magician of modern times — by his own admission — the saintly Aleister Crowly die in poverty and ill-health in a boarding house in Hastings?
You all know what enargia is even if you’d never heard the word. Enargia is a Greek word used in the art of rhetoric to describe how an author conjures a picture with all the associated emotions to charm a reader and hook them into a scene.
Let’s look at an example, which was a best-seller in its day and still does pretty well over a hundred years after first publication.
“The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door…
The Exorcist was a horror novel by William Peter Blatty published in 1971 that quickly became a best-seller. In the story, the Mesopotamian demon Pazuzu comes to America and, with the height of bad manners, possesses a young girl.
An exorcism takes place, and all goes rather dreadfully badly. People are hurt, not least their feelings — because the possessed girl says unkind things to them in a guttural voice. You know sometimes it’s not what people say to you, it’s their tone of voice? I think it’s like that.
That’s the book.
But the interesting thing is that William…
Why do people use nootropics anyway? Nootropics are a disparate bunch of substances, some are plant extracts, some are synthesized compounds, and yet others are purely pharmaceuticals and available only on prescription.
Taken together, these substances are called nootropics, on the model of the class of drugs known as psychotropics. Psychotropics are pharmaceuticals used in psychiatry which change your mental state.
The word nootropic comes from the Greek ‘nous’ meaning mind, and ‘trope’ meaning turning, therefore: ‘mind-turning.’
Nootropics are classed differently in different parts of the world, but generally, they are categorized as supplements or foods rather than pharmaceuticals. …
The next nootropic I tried was Rhodiola. It is claimed that Rhodiola promotes strength, endurance, stamina and mental capacity, as well as being helpful on your wedding night.
It is also said to give tolerance to cold weather. I wondered whether this was a sympathetic magical idea: because the Rhodiola grows in the Arctic and withstands cold, if you take it, you will withstand cold better too.
But hey, the claims sounded…
The Lockdown Part One.
“In my forty-three years as a hotelier, I’ve never had to face anything like this before,” Margaret Livingstone-Evans, general manager of the Langley Castle Hotel, said.
We were talking of COVID of course.
Margaret has been a hotelier all her career, seen it all, done it all, but COVID is a new challenge.
Langley Castle Hotel is, as its name suggests, a luxury hotel in a castle. It has the feel of a boutique hotel because its not a chain hotel and it has lots of special, very unique touches that really add to the stay.
Preventing heart attacks by quitting sugar? It all started in Paris, but all the best stories do.
It was June 2017, and I was on the Boulevard St Michel having a whale of a time. We were due to leave Paris that afternoon, but we went to a restaurant and sat outside. I ordered a French cheeseburger. Not massively adventurous, I know, and something I would soon regret.
You see, it was French blue cheese, the kind with mould in it. I can eat English blue cheese and Danish blue cheese, but, it seems, not the French.
I apologise to…