Thoughts from the Attic

This past weekend, I doubt I could have been more away from it all: I stayed in a holiday cottage in the middle of Cumbria. When I looked out the window, I could see the mountains rising in the distance, with rolling fields below. On Sunday, the landscape was blasted by wind and streaked with […]

A Small Comfort for Calamity Clegg

It’s very clear that Nick Clegg doesn’t watch “The Thick of It”; in the last episode, the hapless (presumably Tory) minister Peter Mannion (played with expert grumpiness by Roger Allam) is rushed back from a vacuous, cliché laden retreat to address a crisis. En route, he’s offered a selection of ties: he rejects a rainbow […]

I Agree With Unscripted Nick

There are many reasons why we should damn Tony Blair and his minions; the nonsensical and murderous Iraq War, the now-ubquitous presence of closed circuit television in our national life, the exemption for Formula One from tobacco advertising rules, and the ever-widening separation of the Labour Party from the trade unions. However, perhaps one of […]

Farewell, Summer

Autumn usually sneaks in via the back door. Its shadows lengthen on the staircase, and they take ever longer to be dispersed by the dawn. Summer’s glories fade away: the blooms on the clematis fade and die, the trees begin to change colour, shifting subtly from green to green accentuated with a touch of yellow. […]

Armed and Impotent

A good memory is both a blessing and a curse. I recall 1997 very clearly: I was 25 years old and just getting started. At the time, I lived in my parents’ home in west London. My bedroom was on the top floor of the house and from my window I could see the rooftops […]

Redefining Rape

It was all so theatrical: the small balcony, the symbol of the Ecuadorian embassy affixed to the railing, the gold, blue and red of the Ecuadorian flag. Julian Assange, neatly dressed in a blue shirt and maroon tie, stepped out and spoke to his adoring fans. I suppose the tableau would have been more to […]

The Bottomless Man

We all give off false impressions. The man who seems crass may be trying to protect a sensitive side. A person who appears to be overly ambitious may actually be very fearful. The strong are often weak, the commanding are sometimes morbidly uncertain, the happy are frequently morose. Human society is based on an amalgam […]

A Season of “Mad Men”

I wish I had something profound, brilliant and original to say about the London Olympics. However, a quick examination of the morning papers suggests that all the best superlatives and metaphors have been used, nearly every last sporting cliché has been deployed, and even fake sideburns, à la Bradley Wiggins, have become an essential fashion […]

A Weekend in Dublin

A trip to Dublin offers me an opportunity to visualise another self. I have had two distinct chances to move to Ireland: the first was when I was a callow intern in the Information Technology industry back in the mid 1990s. Thanks to Ireland’s burgeoning high tech economy, it seemed like a prudent place to […]

In Praise of the London Olympics

Every Olympics contains elements of both triumph and disaster. The 1972 Olympics in Munich were notable for both a terrible terrorist incident involving the Israeli weightlifting team and Mark Spitz’s accumulation of seven gold medals, a feat not surpassed for over 30 years. The 1976 Olympics in Montreal are remembered both for Bruce Jenner’s world […]

Me And My Blog

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

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