Misled by fancy’s meteor ray

In the YBA boarding school/ mystery novel, Murder Most Unladylike by Robyn Stevens, new girl Hazel is led astray by the charismatic Daisy - after being tricked into climbing into her own trunk and then locked in. Hazel says “in a way, I have been getting into trunks for Daisy ever since, without stopping to ask why”.  Who's influencing our children, once … Continue reading Misled by fancy’s meteor ray

When all the money still isn’t enough

It's been a week for humble pie. All that apologizing following the hoo-haa at this year's Oscars ceremony was followed by an expression of regret from multi-billionaire businessman, Sir Philip Green, as he, finally, filled up (the BHS) pension pot.  The Oscars were dealt with quickly, at the scene. Green (who sold the ailing store for a quid in 2015 and … Continue reading When all the money still isn’t enough

We want she-Bobbies, with faults and all

Have a little think about the Police. Who comes to mind? A man in uniform, likely.   Quickly imagine a police detective? That'll be Rebus, Maigret, Wallander, Frost, Zen, Morse, or Columbo then? Yes there's a theme here. We think of the police as men, yes we do. And the women who come to mind are probably … Continue reading We want she-Bobbies, with faults and all

Hedonism and fame, those fickle friends

Did you know that two Nobel prize winners, a great tenor and a former head of the National Trust all died last week, the same week as the socialite Tara Palmer-Tompkinson?  Probably not, it was Tara's death that dominated our headlines. The others who passed us by were; Nobel prize-winning Sir Peter Mansfield (below, bottom right), the physicist who … Continue reading Hedonism and fame, those fickle friends

We all should be a Valentine

"All you need is love", sang The Beetles in 1967.  In a world that seems focussed on power and money and politicized religion, we probably need to think about love some more. Really think about love you know; the what, the why, the how.  And then consider how we are without love. It's easy to be cynical about … Continue reading We all should be a Valentine

In an age of loneliness

As detrimental to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Increasing the risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke. And the likelihood of developing  dementia.  That's how feeling alone, reportedly, effects us. And it's spreading amongst us, more than nine million people – a fifth of the UK population – privately admit they are “always or often lonely”. Rachel Reeves, … Continue reading In an age of loneliness

Frauen sind doch bessere diplomaten

Whilst we get on with our day, Mrs May is in the Trumped-up White House for her first meeting with the new US President. No doubt she is feeling ready having spent a goodly time prepping and practicising for this big event. But, whether she likes it or not, her gender has a big part to play.  "Fat." … Continue reading Frauen sind doch bessere diplomaten

Embracing the public life of a president’s wife – would you?

On the face of it, there's not much about the First Lady role (nickname FLOTUS) that suggests glamour or pleasure.  It's unpaid, you have to manage a staff— of around 15 people, be an all round charming White House hostess and then champion a cause or two, usually related to women or children. (www.theatlantic.com).  But as we watch Donald Trump … Continue reading Embracing the public life of a president’s wife – would you?

We love trains – why don’t they love us back?

"Have a bacon roll, you c..." said a buffet car attendant irritated at his customer's dithering over the "pile of cack" offered for sale. The customer was Matthew Engel - at the time researching stories for his book,  Eleven Minutes Late, a laugh-out loud history of our railway system.  If you are a regular rail traveller, you will recognize … Continue reading We love trains – why don’t they love us back?

Self-help in a selfie world

Post Christmas, it's not just us that's feeling a little sluggish, our media organizations are too.  And with columns and airwaves to fill over the holiday period, it's so much easier to plump for the same old resolution type stuff (usually a quick dusting down of last year's output). Turn on your radio or TV or … Continue reading Self-help in a selfie world