In the news · Sport

Football in the afterlife, and a Leeds United starting XI 

Most weeks there are news stories about the chronic health problems and deaths of sporting legends. This week we learnt that former England cricket captain Ted Dexter had died, and that former Middlesbrough, Leeds and England footballer Alan Peacock was diagnosed with dementia in 2018. Like Denis Law, who announced his dementia diagnosis earlier this month, he wanted to raise awareness of the issue. I have supported Leeds United since childhood, and the roll call of former… Continue reading Football in the afterlife, and a Leeds United starting XI 

In the news · Lyrics · Music

Don Everly RIP, Guns ’n Roses and stories behind the songs

Rest in peace Don Everly, one half of musical duo The Everly Brothers. He died this weekend, seven years after his brother Phil. You will know plenty of their recordings: “All I Have To Is Dream”, “Cathy’s Clown”, “Wake Up Little Susie”. In this 2014 Guardian obituary for Phil Everly, Graham Nash (of The Hollies and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young) is quoted about the effect of hearing… Continue reading Don Everly RIP, Guns ’n Roses and stories behind the songs

Home life · In the news · Sport

The weekend’s sport: an Italian defeat in a final, an England win, and my choice of beer

Over the weekend here in London, there was victory for the England international team and an Italian defeat in a final. Unfortunately for all of us who wanted England to win the rescheduled Euro 2020 football tournament, the Italian defeat came in a tennis final (Matteo Berrettini lost to Novak Djokovic in the men’s singles… Continue reading The weekend’s sport: an Italian defeat in a final, an England win, and my choice of beer

Home life · In the news · Word of the week

Word of the week: census

Yesterday was Census Day here in the UK. Once every decade, in the years ending in “1”, adults are obliged to fill in a form recording details about themselves and their household. I don’t recall how we filled in the form in 2011, whether it was online or on paper, but yesterday it was all online.   It was a… Continue reading Word of the week: census

In the news · Notes from West London · Word of the week

Word of the week: variant

Another month, another variant. A year after we first heard of the COVID-19 strain of Coronavirus, which has transformed all our daily lives, news emerges of another variant, from South Africa. This follows on from the UK variant announced late last year. Here in the UK, over 100,000 people have died in the last year… Continue reading Word of the week: variant

In the news · Notes from West London

Presidential calculations: dates and ages

Joe Biden is the 46th President of the United States. I have waited until now, two days after his inauguration, to write these words although he was declared the winner of the US Presidential Election by most media organizations over two months ago. He is the sixth Democrat to hold the office of President in my lifetime. There have also been six Republican Presidents in that time.  … Continue reading Presidential calculations: dates and ages

Home life · In the news · Music · Notes from West London

“Blue Monday” and the Henry Fern Collection

Today is known by some as Blue Monday. This piece in The Scotsman describes as “the most depressing day of the year”, for the following reasons:  “It’s the day when the financial pressure of the Christmas just passed hangs over us most, the weather is at its worst, and the extra pounds we’ve acquired over the holiday… Continue reading “Blue Monday” and the Henry Fern Collection

In the news · Sport · Trivia

SPOTY research

Last Sunday night Lewis Hamilton won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award for the second time, a deserved winner after his record-breaking season in Formula 1. The Sports Personality of the Year (or SPOTY, as I shall call it from now on) has been awarded annually since 1954, when athlete Christopher Chataway was the first winner. The first SPOTY… Continue reading SPOTY research