Although I am still a (very) young author and my first book has only been out for a couple of months, I think that I have acquired along my short journey some insights into the loosely termed 'writing industry'.
This has been a really exciting week for Paul Brannen MEP and me, as our team in Brussels joined us in Newcastle for 'Constituency Week'. With the help of two electric LEAF cars kindly lent to us by Nissan we travelled all over the region to meet with local groups and businesses, giving our European office the chance to see the impact of our work in the North East.
No trip to the UK would be complete without a visit to Cambridge. The university city is a delightful, pretty place, with the River Cam running through it. Cambridge is perfect for punting or cycling and full of interesting independent tea shops and high-quality restaurants.
The UK must, as the report strongly urges, continue to invest in its arts and its creative and cultural industries. Moreover, given the evidence on the return on investment, this is real investment and not subsidy!
As I languish in a town where I could count acquaintances of a similar age on one hand, working a zero-hour contract which my degree and successful school did little to prepare me for, the real world has somewhat lost its rosiness.
I agree with my mum that acknowledging my African heritage is important, both for the way I understand the world and the way that the world understands me. However, I would argue that how I identify is not entirely my choice.
So I wanted to be an author. Perhaps like others in the 60%, I had the romantic idea of a desk, an old typewriter (in reality, I had a Windows 486 PC...), pots of coffee and French cigarettes. I wanted to be an author SO BADLY that when I left college, I became... a call centre operative.
Recently the YA blogosphere, Book-tubers and the section of Twitter especially reserved for that of YA book fanatics have been talking about one thing and one thing only: the YA Book Prize, a prize for UK and Irish YA books set up by the publishers The Bookseller.
Just as we do today, lovers in Ford's day, and in his plays, saw the heart as the symbol of love, but also as the core of our being, where we hold our most profound feelings.
The world's most influential ambassador for reggae music and the Rastafari movement, Robert Nesta Marley is today more alive than ever, and here in the capital city he grew up in he seems almost to have attained the status of a prophet, this 70th birthday concert a kind of grand ceremonial canonisation or coronation in absentia.
In spite of Christian's constant efforts to explain his preferences to her, she continually ignores them, putting herself at emotional and physical risk in order to get the fairy-tale romance. No wonder when things reach a head, she breaks down.
This book is not perfect, certainly, and I would advise anyone short on time to leave out the final fifty pages entirely - nothing of any great value would be missed. But, regardless of these criticisms, any work of historical theory which is written as well as this one is certainly worth looking at and - maybe with caution, in this particular case - taking to heart.
Done, clichéd, unoriginal and it saddens me that empowerment of women must force its way onto the agenda, yet Fifty Shades effortlessly takes the headlines without a conscious nod to the importance of empowerment and equality. If I'm wrong tie me down and take a paddle to my rear.
Away from the pressures of commissions these works show Sargent experimenting with styles and settings. Some of the work is quite radical for its time and shows a painter with immense variety and skill.
Originally created for Welsh National Opera in 2010, Richard Jones's spectacular staging of Mastersingers comes to London for the first time. Jones provides a rather amusing retelling of Wagner's drama about the 16th-century guild of amateur poets and musicians called The Mastersingers.
What are you still doing here? You're like a stray following me home; shoo... go away... start writing! Alright, we both know I don't really want you to go away, otherwise I would have just stopped writing and gone and made another coffee.