Posted on 13 January 2013 by Sue Williams
A retailer’s delight or the right moment to make that meaningful statement to someone you love? It’s certainly true that retailers will take 14th February as an opportunity to introduce and promote almost anything that could possibly be regarded as a “love token” and shops abound with re-packaged articles, elaborate cards and numerous items carrying a heart design.
Most of us find it difficult to articulate passion, love and desire; the inability to communicate strong emotion is a universal problem and it is in order to find the answer to this – to find the right words – that we look for gifts that express, through image or association, the feelings that we want, so badly, to convey. The marketing slogan for a gift of flowers suggests that they can stand in the place of words but why not use words themselves to speak for you?Literature and poetry abound with hauntingly beautiful messages of love for those you love, miss, desire – there are eloquent words available for any and every type of relationship. In poetry Romeo and Juliet offers “My bounty is as boundless as the sea/My love as deep” and Elizabeth Barrett Browning ““How do I love thee? Let me count the ways/I love thee to the depth and breadth and height/My soul can reach”. From literature “You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope” (Persuasion); “To love or have loved, that is enough.
Posted on 23 September 2012 by Sue Williams
Of course they do. On a coffee table, a bookcase, a wall of bookshelves, a library. For me, a room bereft of books is a sterile and empty space. Do they betray our innermost selves? Maybe. Who hasn’t had a quick peer at a friend’s shelf? Self-help manuals, travel guides, cookery books, enticing ‘coffee-table’ books on art or architecture, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, the latest Man Booker/Costa winner? And are they randomly displayed or arranged by author, by title, by colour? Fascinating.
And interior designers certainly seem to believe that books are a necessary element to complete furnishing any room.
Posted on 26 February 2012 by Marie Stevens
The shocking news today about Marie Colvin’s death will have affected everyone who values accurate news reporting and admires the selfless bravery of those who bring it to us. If it is not too trite to say it, hers was a useful life in the broadest sense and we all gained knowledge and perspective from her unbiased, truthful and fearless articles.
Today I received an email from a respected political commentator, a giant in her field and friend and colleague of the famous. A recent brush with the medical profession caused her to comment that she wished she could do something “really useful” with her life, commending, as one so often hears, the kindness and empathy of the medical profession. And that from someone whose wisdom, intelligence and insightful writing have certainly been more than useful in shaping political strategy.
So being useful is perhaps what we all strive to be? And such a difficult concept of course.
Posted on 14 January 2012 by Sue Williams
As we close in on the bicentenary of Charles Dickens’ birth on February 7th we do really have to thank the BBC for helping to bring it to the public’s awareness. Of course there are countless groups dedicated to keeping his memory alive and he has always been read widely, but it is so encouraging to see several of his books in the bestseller lists, which is not usually the case. The rather wonderful adaption of ‘Great Expectations’ was enthralling, with the added bonus of a very beautiful Pip, Burberry model no less, who would surely have attracted a younger viewer who may not have encountered Dickens before. I have my reservations about ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’ adaption, but, hey, it still pulled in lots of viewers . Being on the TV sells books, we only have to look at the enormous popularity and massive subsequent sales from any cookery series to see that. And what is more, people buy the physical book , hurrah, – is there word for this now? Paper book? 3D book?
Also, as I am sure is being repeated all over the country, indeed the world, my book club decided we should start 2012 by reading another Dickens.
Posted on 18 September 2011 by Marie Stevens
A really gratifying response to our new PB Couture Covers has made me look critically at the horrendous state of my own bookcases – I am not suggesting that I am the latest word in interior style but it would be very nice to have my sets colour coded (reveal as it would my obsession to read authors in their entirety in turn). For example – Richmal Crompton 31, E.M.Delafield 38, Noel Streatfeild 11, Elizabeth Taylor 13. There is a tremendous similarity in these authors of course – middle class domestic early 20th century – so to prove (to my children who find my focus somewhat odd) that I am not welded to second hand books I am taking time out from received English, Church attendance and nursery puddings to read Caitlin Moran’s brilliant new book, How to Be a Woman. I am only half way through it but can already highly recommend it for the stellar writing and wonderful, self deprecating humour.