May we prosper in 2020

I have been flying under the radar since I last posted (before Christmas). If that seems a long time ago, it's probably because it is. And starting a new year turns the previous year into ancient history. You buy a new calendar and throw the old one away. On the whole I was glad to…

The Brexit-Bar

I've had the flu this week (if this is just the masculine version, God help women) so I am not in a musing frame of mind. Methodist Church Hall, Herne Hill Like you, perhaps, I always think the latest General Election is the worst ever - in terms of candidates, shenanigans and dumbing down -…

Keep on strumming

I am an enthusiastic, if very limited, musician. I don't even think of myself as a musician - and neither does anyone else! I've never been able to read music properly, I've never had a lesson and I am certainly no virtuoso on any instrument. But music means a lot to me, and not just…

Back to the future?

Jessica Rimoch is the young woman who owns, and can nearly always be found in, Jarr Market, a zero-waste shop that has opened a few minutes' walk from where I live. Born in Mexico City, Jess came to London six years ago. After initially working in the IT industry she became increasingly concerned about the…

Not fade away

I had a long one-on-one lunch and even longer conversation with a former colleague this week. The theme of memory, and loss thereof - personal, cultural and institutional - quickly emerged from our discussion of couple of recent incidents. He'd recently met, by chance, an old friend in a part of London he rarely visits…

The Good Old Days

I was 19 in 1974. The year began inauspiciously with the Three Day Week, power cuts, a miners’ strike and a General Election. It was a matter of debate whether Ted Heath’s government was really in power or just pretending. I can’t say it bothered me much, apart from when the pubs were shut. The…

La Brexoire

I didn't post in August - not once. Not because I am dead, or anything like that, but because I and my blog were on holiday in France (La Bréchoire, Charente) for the whole month... the whole blessed month! I was so busy doing nothing that I lost the will to blog. Once you stop…

So… back in August 1990

Anne and I were in France. It was the first time I'd been on holiday in France (apart from a week in Montmartre, 12 years earlier, dossing down in a friend's garret) although I was 35! Put that down to all those years studying Spanish and Portuguese. We were on our honeymoon (aw!) in Brittany.…