On “Muslim Appearance”

As it turned out, those who murdered drummer Lee Rigby were about as nondescript as you could get. The horrifying video of Michael Abedolajo holding blood soaked blades indicated he was wearing nothing more extraordinary than blue jeans, a hoodie and running shoes. A photograph of his counterpart showed he was similarly difficult to spot […]

A Reticent Wagnerian

I work in an open plan office; there are positives and negatives. On the plus side, at least I’m not confined to a cubicle and I can converse with many of my colleagues without leaving my chair. Less happily, when it’s a particularly busy day and the phones are going off every few minutes and […]

An Ex-Catholic’s Guide to the Papal Succession

I was once a Catholic; I went to a Catholic school. I recall receiving my first Holy Communion on a bright Spring morning; all the children taking part were obliged to have a banner made by their families proclaiming their love and support. My Swedish grandmother, though she was Lutheran, made my banner. It read: […]

Four More Years

Not every member of my family supports the President. Some are aghast at the idea of ever watching MSNBC. My mother believes that previous attempts I’ve made to obtain employment in the United States were de-railed by the economic policies of the man she calls “The Bamster”. My father opposes what he refers to as […]

Arrogant Whites, Arrogant Rebels

Last year, I saw a film entitled “White Material” which featured Isabelle Huppert and Christophe Lambert. The plot focused on the life and fate of a family of white French settlers in an unnamed African country: the country in question is being overrun by rebels. The insurgent army bears a chilling resemblance to the “Lord’s […]

At the Opera

At the end, there will be a beginning. New Year’s Eve heralds the premiere of a new production of Donizetti’s largely forgotten work, “Maria Stuarda” at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The lead role of Mary, Queen of Scots will be performed by the well known mezzo-soprano, Joyce DiDonato. I can imagine what it will be […]

Notes from a Precipice

The holiday season, as the cliché goes, is a time of family, and this often entails seeing relatives that one doesn’t encounter regularly. Several days ago, my father invited his brothers and sisters to the family home for a meal; it was an altogether Italian affair, with rice balls, eggplant rollatini and strong red wine […]

Faith and Christmas

As Christmas draws closer, I find everything I do bears an increasing sense of urgency. Upon completing a task, I wonder “Is this it?”: is this the last thing I have to do before I can finish for the year? I frequently harbour visions of sitting on a comfortable sofa with a brightly lit tree […]

A Second Country

The news of the Royal Pregnancy was probably greeted with celebrations down at Number 10 Downing Street. It’s easy to imagine the unholy trinity of Cameron, Osborne and Gove popping open a bottle of vintage champagne in the Cabinet room, filling their glasses and raising a toast to the pending arrival. I imagine such a […]

On the Eve of Leveson

Self regulation of the press in the United Kingdom has failed. The Press Complaints Commission, far from being a fair minded and independent body which protects the individual from trespass by the media, has proven itself to be rather like a bunch of foxes deciding not to eat chicken for lunch after having decimated the […]

Me And My Blog

Picture of meI'm a Doctor of Creative Writing, a fiancée, a son, a brother, an uncle, a published novelist, a technologist, a student, and still an amateur in much else.