On writing

An update about readers in faraway places (Angola, Cuba, Sudan …)

In September 2019, in this piece about readers in distant places, I noted that this Blog has attracted at least one visitor from 38 of the 40 most populous nations on earth. The exceptions were Iran and Sudan (18th and 34th respectively in the list of countries by population). I wrote, “If either country does… Continue reading An update about readers in faraway places (Angola, Cuba, Sudan …)

Catchphrases · Memories

“No decaf. No cappuccino. No cream. Only raspberries!”

Nineteen years ago today my wife and I were on honeymoon, taking it easy by the swimming pool in a converted farmhouse in Tuscany. The previous evening we had dinner in Florence, about an hour’s drive away, one of the most enjoyable meals we have ever shared. It was at an unpretentious family-run restaurant. When… Continue reading “No decaf. No cappuccino. No cream. Only raspberries!”

Memories · Sport

Olympic memories: Munich 1972, Wottle with the throttle

On this date in 1972 US athlete Dave Wottle won the 800m final at the Munich Olympics. I remember it well. It was the first Olympic year when I knew what was happening. I had been looking forward to the athletics events all summer but we missed some of them. We were on holiday in… Continue reading Olympic memories: Munich 1972, Wottle with the throttle

Home life · Notes from West London

“Bar snack? (9)” and why I no longer do cryptic crosswords

Like many people, I buy the daily paper far less often than I used to. Sales of most UK titles have halved in the last 10 years, a decline that cannot be attributed to mortality rates alone. I buy The Guardian on Fridays and Saturdays, and no longer buy a Sunday paper. I am back… Continue reading “Bar snack? (9)” and why I no longer do cryptic crosswords

Sport

Champions League finals and teams from Spain, England and Italy (“The Big Three”)

Tomorrow night, Sunday 23 August, many weeks later than usual, the final of the Champions League takes place. Bayern Munich will take on Paris Saint-German in Portugal for Europe’s premier club trophy. It will be the second time that a German team has played a French team in the final. The last time was in… Continue reading Champions League finals and teams from Spain, England and Italy (“The Big Three”)

Lyrics · Music · Trivia

More Pop Trivia: a few updates prompted by “Head & Heart”, the current UK #1

The current UK #1 is “Head & Heart” by Joel Corry featuring MNEK, enjoying its fourth week at the top of the charts. I hadn’t heard it until a week ago, when I used this YouTube clip to check it out. Since then I have also heard it on BBC Radio 2 and have realized… Continue reading More Pop Trivia: a few updates prompted by “Head & Heart”, the current UK #1