Tea, in a small polystyrene cup, on the way to work, from Mr Patel’s paper stall on platform 1 at Radlett station.
Poetry’s a drug on the market. You can’t move the stuff. No one reads it any more. The people who learnt it by heart at school are all dead or demented. The poems they treasured – stirring, descriptive, romantic – have fallen out of fashion. Poetry book sales are at an all time low. Various… Continue reading What are you going to do about poetry?
I’ve been sort of vaguely expecting that Tony Blair’s troubles would fade with the arrival of the warm weather and that, by conference time, he’d be secure again and ready for at least another year of office. I’ve been blithely (and largely unconsciously, I think) dismissing each new crisis – each new horrifying misstep more… Continue reading I’ve been in denial
So here’s why I was late for work Tuesday. I was photographing the goldfish. My 7 year-old son rushed into the kitchen to tell me that those morons on the BBC’s kids’ channel want everyone to send in photographs of their pets. Since the only pet we own is a goldfish (Fishy, or ‘Fishy Malishy… Continue reading Goldfish and Beavers
The thing about Britain’s big newspapers, the ones we call broadsheets (although they come in all sorts of sizes these days), is that they belong to two groups: pre-industrial, 18th Century landowner newsletters (like The Times) and steam-powered, 19th Century, industrial-era organs of the modern (like The Guardian). If you look very closely you can… Continue reading Some centre-left reading for you
The Archive Hour is one of those Radio 4 programmes that really ought to have a decent… erm… archive. Since it doesn’t and since you won’t be able to listen to this brilliant edition – presented by Charles Wheeler – about the USS Nautilus’ quite amazing voyage under the North Pole in 1958 if you… Continue reading Under the ice
Jonathan Freedland’s excellent The Long View maintains no archive and isn’t part of the Beeb’s podcasting trial so here’s the latest episode – a terrific parallel reading of 21st Google and 19th Century Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, with The Economist’s Tom Standage in attendance.
As some of you know, I’ve been at home for a while now, developing a detailed understanding of my children’s appalling table manners (and helping my wife start a business, of which you will soon, I’m sure, be made aware). I’m not doing that any more, though. I’m working – in a glittering tower in… Continue reading Commuting again