Wrapping up for Christmas

Wrapping up for Christmas

Thank you for looking in on The Phraser this past year.

2019 has been hectic, with much writing, but not all of it on the blog. In the background I am trying to write more fiction – some short pieces and possibly even a novel. I’m not sure whether the plan will come to anything, but I am enjoying the process, and I hope to be able to put more ‘creative writing’ on The Phraser next year.

Meanwhile, we have left London for a few weeks over Christmas. There will be plenty of family coming and going, which means lots of everything … but not much time for writing.

I hope that, wherever you are, there will be time to pause and to talk … and to be together.

Wishing everyone a happy end to the year, and all the best for 2020.

Hope to see you in January!

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2019

Book Review: An Affair of the Heart by Dilys Powell

An Affair of the Heart by Dilys Powell

I was sent this book by Eland Publishing.

It is not a book of stormy passion, despite the title, but one that meanders slowly around post-war Greece, returning almost two decades later to the point where it begins – Perachora.

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Film Review: Klaus

Screening of ‘Klaus’ in the Soho House in London

I was invited to a screening of Klaus by the Writers’ Guild on a wet and windy election night in London.

The evening began with an introduction by director, Sergio Pablos. He praised the talents of the animators from around the world who worked on the film; he spoke of the skill of the stars who brought the characters to life – J K Simmons, Jason Schwarzman, and Rashida Jones; and he mentioned in particular the innovative way light had been painted into each scene.

Then we were whisked away to Smeerensburg to meet Mr Klaus and his neighbours, all in magical 2D animation.

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Film Review: The Boy who Harnessed the Wind

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

This is the story of a young Malawian boy, William Kamkwamba, who makes a windmill out of scraps to bring water to his father’s fields. William is at the heart of the film, surrounded by family, in a country approaching chaos.

The cast is excellent … and so is the windmill.

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Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene – Epilogue

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” Haruki Murakami

By Arthur Knaggs

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. (Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)

“You don’t get anywhere by magic, but only by putting in the required number of steps, one at a time and in the correct sequence. You can’t run the last lap of a mile until you’ve run the first three. There is a truth, a beauty and a symmetry in this that is inviolate. Every step counts.” (Bernd Heinrich, Why We Run)


London. An athletics track. Evening. Clouds hang fat and heavy in the sky above Parliament Hill. There is a low-key festival atmosphere that grows as the light fades.

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Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene – Chapter 18

Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene by Arthur Knaggs

Dr. Smith

A tall man with dark hair, Dr. Smith was easy to pick out as he approached the cafe where we had agreed to meet. There was only one bench in the café and we shared the table with a family of three. As well as being an academic, Dr Smith works with elite level athletes to improve their running performance. Throughout the interview, his voice remained calm and level. He explained complicated ideas concisely and with great patience.

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Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene – Chapter 17

Chasing Laces – Voices from the Running Scene by Arthur Knaggs


Will spoke to me from his sofa. He hadn’t moved all day and was using crutches. He had just finished running a 100-miler that morning. He spoke slowly and sounded knackered. He missed the cut-off for a buckle by less than half an hour.

I’m a bit tired and emotional. My whole body is pretty achy. The run was good. It was tough to finish and I’m glad I did. I got two huge blisters on my feet just behind the base of my big toe. Every step, particularly downhill, meant that I was sliding onto those blisters in my shoes.

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