The United Kingdom of Coney Island

27th October 2014 0

If I had to choose a new national symbol for Britain, which happily I don’t, I think I should choose the orange and white-striped traffic cone. The other day I drove 120 miles to a town in the east of the country and there were road-works every ten miles on average. The journey took an hour longer than predicted in … [Read on]


24th October 2014 0

After months of negotiation, prevarication and delay I am about to exchange contracts and move from a one bedroomed flat in London, where I have lived since 1996, to a small house, in a small town.

*ARTICLE MISSING*** Dements for sale

24th October 2014 0

A couple of years ago I went to the doctor because I was afraid I had Alzheimer’s. Suddenly names, facts and bits of poetry I thought I knew were not there anymore. I reached for them automatically and found – nothing. It was alarming.My doctor, a young Indian woman, looked at me sceptically and fired off some questions. I was … [Read on]

***END OF ARTICLE MISSING*** Sharing Dave’s Pain

24th October 2014 0

I can really empathise when I see David Cameron’s deep pink face on the front pages, looking even more pained and constipated than usual. That is the face of someone facing the shock and misery of a tax bill which has come out of the blue and seems to have no

Hell is other people?

20th October 2014 0

Loneliness is a terrible state, of course, but speaking personally I have suffered far more from human company than from the lack of it. Hell, as Sartre famously remarked, is other people; but such is the capacity of the human soul for contradiction that so too, in many cases, is the absence of other people. A recent article in the … [Read on]

The Post Communist Proles of Bulgaria

20th October 2014 0

After seven years in Sofia I realise that totalitarian regimes must have engendered a unique kind of thinking – or rather non-thinking. I’m not referring to Bulgarians born post-communism. Such people are invariably friendly and intellectually curious, especially once you tell them you’re British. Those over 50, on the other hand, don’t ask many questions. Their typical conversation is impersonal, … [Read on]

Editorial Autumn 2014

15th October 2014 0

The earth is no more than a huge piece of cooling rock. Clinging to its surface like gossamer is the biosphere, a living breathing membrane in which billions of creatures, including ourselves, live. Compared with the size of the earth, it is no thicker than a coat of varnish on a door, but infinitely more fragile. Earth’s greatest enemy is … [Read on]

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