Architectural Gems: Past and Present

Architectural Gems: Past and Present

…the tarnished nameplate fixed to the wall: Begijnhof Sint-Catharine. Passing a gatehouse, they emerge into a large courtyard. Brick buildings on all sides rise three-storeys high, each façade decorated with crow-stepped gables, typical of sixteenth-century houses of...
Learning to Listen

Learning to Listen

Several years ago, with the aim of increasing my daily steps, I purchased a monthly audiobook subscription. With my trainers laced up and earbuds in place, I strode down the street listening to Natasha Pulley’s fast-paced fantasy adventure The Watchmaker of Filigree...
The ENGRAVER in Dutch

The ENGRAVER in Dutch

While I was writing The Engraver, I imagined most of the characters spoke Dutch to one another. The seventeenth-century protagonist Antonia chattered in Dutch to the family maid as they walked to Grotemarkt in the centre of Antwerp. The modern-day protagonist...
Short and Succinct

Short and Succinct

I have turned to short stories for my reading fix of late. The long dark days of winter and enforced isolation due to the pandemic sees me wandering around my house, completing tasks while listening to stories by Shirley Jackson, Ian McEwan and Elizabeth McCracken. I...
Translated Fiction

Translated Fiction

Although I can bumble my way through basic Dutch to help with grocery shopping and rudimentary French to order from the menu in a Parisian bistro, I am fluent in only one language. I admire those who easily flit from one language to another in everyday conversation. I...
Subtle Art of Symbolism

Subtle Art of Symbolism

While reading Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved, I was intrigued by her repeated use of colour as a way of adding richer context to the courageous story of former slaves in post-Civil War Cincinnati. It led me on a journey to learn more about the use of symbolism in...

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