My Circus, My Rules


I like to think that every writer sneaks their personal rules into their books. Okay, it might be a struggle finding anything in ‘The Girl On The Train’ but most books gives us clues to their authors. You have a credo, I have a credo. Here are some of the things I believe (probably wrongly).

If you haven’t learned to cook by the time you’re thirty, you are insensible to the grace of living.

Nearly everything you read in an English newspaper is complete rubbish, but if read after two weeks of being somewhere else is strangely enjoyable.

London rain is not atmospheric and charming. It is horrible.

The middle-class English have a historical sense superiority which is fundamentally nonsensical, being based on nothing more than owning their homes and being on an island.

I have turned into my brother, only not as delightful.

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An evening is immeasurably improved by passing it with someone who has a natural facility with language. And beer.

No writer can succeed without a curious mind.

Forget Big Ben’s bongs; when the Queen dies England will cease to be a place I fully recognise.

Labels mean nothing.

You should pick a favourite word every day. Today’s is rodomontade (boastful or inflated talk or behaviour). Tomorrow’s with be abicidial (following on from). I can find no record of that latter word except in an old Tom Sharpe novel, but if one writer has used it, it’s real.

I no longer wish to live anywhere where the temperature falls below 22C.

A country that is 21 miles from France is European.

The problem with politicians is that they live in a fantasy world where they think everyone secretly wants what they want.

I am ill-placed to write about the young, as my memory goes back too far. Therefore I believe in talking to the young and trying to understand their trials as best as possible.

Kale was a marketing ploy created to get rid of something entirely inedible.

Everyone ends up working paradoxically; you believe in one thing, you’re employed doing another. A great friend of mine wants to save the world but is a property agent. Finding a way to marry your beliefs to your work is a priority for happiness.

A person is less anchored once his parents have died.

Without religion, life does not seem pointless; it seems more urgent than ever.

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