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The kitchen. Dig it. The rest of the house may be covered in molted white cat hairs and carpets that don’t fit and detritus from months of building work…but this — this is a little (well big) slice of heaven.

It’s like having a gigantic Rothko, Klee or Hepworth right in your very own house, to look at for hours and walk around and be in. That’s how pleasing it is to live with.












Right. The house is now officially stripped back to its components, and it’s not a pretty sight: the electrician is complaining that the whole thing is constructed from ‘spurs’ (what a mess, he says); Wonderful Builder has even taken up the tiles now, so adhesive and plaster dust are making their own pretty footprinted design around and about. His complaint (among many, good-humouredly) is that nothing is done properly. When I tell him two owners back were builders and actually did the extension themselves…he rolls his eyes. Not even pointed, he says (referring, I now know, to the brickwork. Not to treat you like idiots, but hey, I had no idea…).

The television is in the loo. The toilet paper is on top of the television. The sitting room floorboards are lodged at impossible angles with cables jutting out. The cats are locked in our bedroom and have lifted the carpet up across the door in an effort to dig their way out.


AND: poor E, never the giving in sort, is home today with a vile cold. While I taught up the hill, he had to endure several hours of plaster chiselling under his room. Insult to injury or what?!

So what makes it better? Watching him devour a chocolate muffin I brought back, then lie down and curl up around me sitting on the edge of his bed, just like he used to.

Night Train 5Just a quick reminder that tonight is the launch of NIGHT TRAIN 5 (an anthology of the best of University of Kent’s student work) in Canterbury, at the Gulbenkian Theatre.

Time: 6.30 pm

Tickets: £8 (£7 concs) INCLUDING a copy of the book, a glass of wine, and very, very fab music by jazz duo Frances Knight and reknown saxophonist Paul Booth.

AND loads of student readings: 16 poems, six short short fictions, two short stories….

It’s good stuff: I’ve read it. Because I’m co-MC-ing along with one of the editors, Andrew McGuinness (a fine fiction writer in his own right, by the by, more later I’m sure).

Be there or be…uh, left standing at the station?


Now might be a good time to mention that not only does M dance, but son E danced for years, and yes, I do and have done for many more years. Ballet. Not sure why I feel the need to mention this, except that in last 24 hours I’ve encountered three people who either know me through dancing or ‘heard’ that I danced — something in the air maybe: coffee with Karen and Sarah (both dancers); chance meeting with Suzanne (dancer) at the school play last night, and now this morning Wonderful Builder just getting going before the rain started bucketing…. ‘Seems there are many strings to your bow,’ he said (enigmatically). He’d heard it from the wife of the man he plays squash with. Heavens, I say. So I’ll set the record straight: no, not professionally, but yes, for 35 years, some of them pretty seriously.

How’s that blueblog, which links here through “Patricia Debney Mainly Talks Dancing”? Good enough for TV?


From January 2010, my new blog is Waving and Drowning


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Who am I?

A writer born in Texas, who grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia (yes, like the song), and who's been living in the UK since 1988. I've published two books (see below), and teach creative writing at the University of Kent. I'm married to a composer, and we have two young children. See About for my full profile.