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    A Question of Privilege

    My university-aged daughter is always telling me about the “privilege” that people like me have and how it makes it impossible for me to understand and empathise with those whose lives are without such privilege. I do see her point. I’ve never been black or…

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    Do We Defend Pornography As Freedom Of Speech?

    So…Stephen Fry. He’s made a regrettable set of remarks about “growing up” and not feeling sorry for oneself after abuse, which I can imagine he doesn’t even believe (or does he? Good god…). However, I can’t help but think his real issue isn’t with the…

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    Just a reminder not to be sidetracked by romanticised notions about writing, by long discourses on process, by all sorts of fascinating, seductive notions about what it is to be a writer.   Writing makes the writer. I do it curled up at one end of…

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    Three More Traits of Successful Writers

      In the past twenty five years of publishing, I’ve seen a lot of people drop out even though they are truly talented, capable, even world-class writers.  It wasn’t because they didn’t have success (some did, some did not). I don’t think it was even…

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    Better Than Sex…

    The marble table is heated and wet so when you lie on it there is almost no friction. To move a limb, you slip right, left, up, down, as though you are skating on hot ice. The young Spaniard, my masseur, has a heavy beard…

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    One Is Never Alone In The Hammam….

      I had a massage twenty-five years ago at an aromatherapy centre in London. I went because some girlfriends wanted to go and because aromatherapy was relatively new then and I was curious.   I hated it. Inside the freshly painted walls of a Kensington…