Rest in peace George Michael. So, after David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Caroline Aherne and dozens of others taken before their time, 2016 had another unwelcome trick up its sleeve. We heard the news on Christmas night after we returned from a long and enjoyable lunch with friends. It wasn’t on the 10pm news, which we… Continue reading Do you enjoy what you do?
My 12-year-old son loves pubs. Every weekend, and sometimes on school nights, he asks if we can go to the pub. I’m not sure where his enthusiasm comes from. Although pubs are much more tolerant of children than they were when I was young they’re still not great places for a 12 year old to… Continue reading A Boxing Day pub crawl
I enjoy lying in and lazing around on Saturday mornings but a few weeks ago decided to change my lazy ways. For some reason my 10-year-old daughter invariably wakes before 7am on Saturdays and if nobody else is up she spends an hour or two watching children’s TV. One Friday night last month I suggested… Continue reading Marylebone mornings
Earlier this year, in this piece (“More on Questionnaires”), I quoted the late, great travel writer Pete McCarthy on his school’s approach to education: “carrot and stick, without the carrot”. I have used this expression often in the last 15 years, since first reading it in “McCarthy’s Bar”, and wanted to track down the full… Continue reading Different approaches to education
With a week to go till Christmas here are three pieces from “1000 Memories”, available as a Kindle book here (UK) or here (US). Christmas at Goodbans Goodbans was our local department store, on the High Road. It seemed big, but it wasn’t, not compared to a proper department store like Derry & Toms. The… Continue reading Pre-Christmas Memories
As this year has progressed I have talked and thought a lot about privacy and secrecy, and the difference between them. It’s been the Big Idea of the year for me. I hope that you know the difference between privacy and secrecy. I hope that the people around you know it too. The more I… Continue reading Privacy and secrecy
Last week’s piece about the word “disconsolate” made me think, briefly, of other words that sound like the opposite of something but are not. You can be disconsolate but not consolate, uncouth or unruly but not couth or ruly. It also reminded me of the word “Dystopian”, which is the opposite of “Utopian”. It’s a… Continue reading Word of the week: Dystopian