Mind the (Ferrante) gap

It was Ferrante’s rusted safety pin that did it – the one that could give you tetanus if it pierced your skin while you played with it. The death-dealing prick at the beginning of  My Brilliant Friend, is a Sleeping Beauty curse and the same one my grandmother feared. When Elena Greco, Ferrante’s narrator, saysContinue reading “Mind the (Ferrante) gap”

5 myths about moving

I’ve been living in Donosti for 5 months now and it feels like time to reflect on the difference between what I thought the experience would be and what it actually is. Prior to moving, my ideas were guided by a number of myths about swapping one culture for another. Some of these myths wereContinue reading “5 myths about moving”

Pardon my English

My friend Cristina gets a dreamy look in her eyes when she talks about Luke. Luke is the voice of a podcast targeted at language learners, who want to learn RP (Received Pronunciation) English. Cristina thinks that Luke is a better authority on English than me, because the way I sometimes drop my ts makesContinue reading “Pardon my English”

Castaway

Bella was in a mood that day. I’d struggled to lead her all lesson and we shouldn’t have insisted that she canter round the ring that third time at a broken pace, when she  wanted to stop and have her lunch. Still new to cantering, I was on her back, drunk on exhilaration, fear andContinue reading “Castaway”

Passing with Spanish

What do speaking a foreign language and cooking have in common? Technique, triumph, embarrassment and a ton of substitutions, when you can’t come up with the desired ingredient or word. I’m in the Basque country, a part of the world famed for its inventive cooking  – the challenge being to combine as many flavours andContinue reading “Passing with Spanish”

TORO: Where the human meets the animal

‘It’s in depictions of the monstrous that artists have the most freedom,’ says choreographer Carlos Pons Guerra, after a performance of his work  TORO: Beauty and the Bull  at Sadler’s Wells on April 25th. TORO inhabits a vulnerable zone where the human meets the animal; the staged meets the authentic. Danced by Marivi Da Silva, theContinue reading “TORO: Where the human meets the animal”