The Great British holiday

Now that Portugal's all-too-brief status as the UK's green destination of choice has been revoked, the Government is encouraging us to take our summer holidays in dear old Blighty. Frustrated by not being able to get to France we decided to give Cornwall a go, and managed to find somewhere to stay... in a tin…

Green, amber or red?

Fancy a foreign break? Who can blame us really when it is so wet and cold in Blighty. Just when you think things might be improving, a hailstorm crashes down. Merry month of May? If you want to get away, there are currently very few Government-approved destinations. There’s Australia and New Zealand (who clearly don’t…

A good week

I received my first Covid jab on 28 January and I was waiting to get a date for the follow-up. After hearing nothing for 10 weeks I cracked and rang my GP; to be told, more or less, to sit tight and wait for the call that would soon come. A week later I'd still…

Thrill of The Chase

The BBC reminds us that the UK's first lockdown began a year ago today. At that point 364 people had died; now the total has reached 126,172. Over half the adult population has been vaccinated: an incredible achievement, many times better than what any other European country has achieved, and yet life has not returned…

Captain Corelli’s right thumb

It's one of those situations where people, especially those with a Brummie accent, will say, "I could see that coming!" Very, very annoying - and the more so because they are right. The trouble with a mandolin (or mandoline?), as opposed to a ukulele, say, is that it is an inherently dangerous piece of kit.…

Per ardua ad…

After eight years in the job, I stood down in December as Chair of the Herne Hill Society. Hardly world-shattering news, I realise. It seemed a good time to step aside and let someone else have a go - if I could find someone to take it on (which I did, eventually). Membership is increasing,…

Looking around for good news

Have you given up looking for reasons to be cheerful? Understandable. Nine months after the first lockdown, coronavirus infection rates are higher than ever. There are over 32,000 people with Covid-19 in UK hospitals. More than 83,000 have died. There have been over three million cases. With many more to come for sure. But now…

View from my bedroom

My parents have lived in the same home since 1961: the newly-built semi in Upton we moved into when we returned from Indonesia (cost: £2,800). So, as previously mentioned, when I visit them I stay in the same room I slept in from the age of six to 18. Unless you belong to the landed…

Girl on the Tube

Having lived in Wirral and Oxford until I was 22, I'd but rarely travelled on the Tube until I started working in Upminster. Even then, I travelled mostly by bus or I walked. It took me a while to work out where the lines were connected, how to avoid the interchanges with the longest walks,…