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 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, and…

Wheeling the oils

Here's a middle-class, 21st-century question. Where do you get your olive oil from? I am more than old enough to remember when the answer was almost invariably "Boot's". Olive oil in tiny Crosse & Blackwell bottles were sold in pharmacies for unblocking your ears. That was the only place I encountered olive oil until I…

Chucking away books

It's really not something I like to do. Everything I've ever been or done revolts against the idea. It is like throwing away food: it's just plain wrong (and another thing I almost never do). But we have far too many, and at 65 I have come to recognise that most will never be read…