A few weeks ago I whiled away an idle half-hour by trying to work out a single word to express the essential quality of each major European nation. (Yes, I know, normal people watch TV or flick through a magazine, but I was in Italy at the time and the scenery seemed to inspire such… More The Greeks Have a Word for it – OXI
Back from London, where on Sunday I went straight from an intense political discussion with my son in the BFI canteen to a production of “Merchant of Venice” at the Globe. I have blogged about the Merchant before, after seeing the striking but ideologically muddled RSC production of 2011. And indeed, one problem with directing… More All that Glisters Is Not Gold – The Merchant of Venice at the Globe
Olive Cooke, aged 92, was one of Britain’s longest-serving poppy sellers. This week her body was recovered from the Avon Gorge – apparently she had committed suicide. There could be several reasons behind this, but close relatives suspect that the intense pressure she felt from several charities to donate to their causes was one of… More When Enough is Enough – the sad story of Olive Cooke
I must have lost my head. Or should that be “ma heid?” I’ve just signed an utterly preposterous petition – proposing that the North of England secedes to Scotland. Part of me said, “don’t be daft.” And then I reflected that there are a great many ideas that seemed daft when people first came up… More Take Us With You, Scotland.
I’m still swamped by those recordings in my brain, “I should do something, I should call someone, I should write a book, I should learn to tap dance.” The ‘I shoulds’ are on constant parade, they never end. Every time I get a blast of one of those ‘I shoulds’ or a memory of screwing… More Return of the Black Dog
I’ve rather lost track of all the secular milestones that have dotted this year’s run-up to Christmas. Once people celebrated saints days. Now that we all worship at the altar of Mammon these have been replaced by secular equivalents. First came the US import of Black Friday, closely followed by Manic Monday (or whatever it… More In Heaven the tills are ringing
The recent all-party inquiry into food poverty in Britain is a calm, compassionate and eminently sensible document, and in his forward the Bishop of Truro, Tim Thornton, puts his finger on precisely the reason why so many people in our society are falling into desperate straits. It is more than a matter of falling incomes… More Food Banks and Libraries – better together?