Pipe down!

Nigella Lawson says that the thump of loud music now found in some of the most fashionable (and expensive) restaurants leaves her unable to taste her food. She says she is "allergic to all noise including music in shops and restaurants… It is utterly draining. And it drowns out the taste of food. I’ve always…

Why I love Greece

My first visit to Greece was in April 1971. I was 16¼. Although I’d just dropped Greek for Spanish at A Level (and never regretted it), I was still studying Ancient History and I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity of spending three weeks in Greece if I could help it. My former schoolteacher Eddie…

In Northern Greece

Yes, that's where we are - so there won't be a blog this week. But there should be plenty to talk about next time. In the meantime... thanks to the two loyal friends who've already reviewed my ebook on Amazon. If you are one of the many millions of potential fans who haven't yet read…

War Memorial for Herne Hill

When did the First World Ear end? The answer is, it depends on where you were living or stationed. It was only when I started researching Herne Hill's casualties that I realised how many had died after 1918. Often it was as a result of disease, gassing or wounds sustained during 1914-18, but many were…

My friend Eric

I was delighted to see my old friend Eric last weekend. Eric and I grew up on the same street in Upton - where my parents still live. But we had not seen each other for more than 40 years. Whereas he went to Liverpool University to study law and still lives in Wirral, I…

My book is on Amazon!

I am going to shamelessly plug myself this week. But why write a blog if you are going to be shy? I thought I'd finished writing my story The Scholar & The Black Spider six months ago, but every time I looked at it I saw that it needed a wee tweak here and there.…

Freedom to travel

Watching the D-Day 75 Commemorations on TV has made me think, and not for the first time, how exceptionally fortunate I am, and how easy it is to take such good fortune for granted. It's obvious, when listening to British veterans of 6 June 1944 talking about their experiences, that they recall the events of…

Rominations

Have you been to Romania? I thoroughly recommend that you take a look, speaking as someone who has spent all of five nights in that fascinating country (earlier this week, hence this blog comes to you a day late). We only stayed in Bucharest and Brașov: two cities that just about everybody on a short…

Second chance

How often do you fail at something important, and get a second chance?  As previously recounted in Useless Information, when I was a postgrad at Queen’s, back in 1983, I was picked for the University Challenge team. I've always been a fan of the show and I was fortunate to (still) be at college when…