Comfort blankets

Like many writers I’ve had a short mental block on inspiration for topics but that has been broken this week by news this week the British government, as a Brexit benefit, was to legislate to allow traders to again sell products in the U.K. using imperial measurements, for example pounds and ounces. This is ofContinue reading “Comfort blankets”

Truth is the Daughter of Time

I’ve been reading Josephine Tay’s novel The Daughter of Time. Tay (aka Elizabeth MacKintosh 1896-1952) wrote some of the finest detective novels from the Golden Age of Crime Fiction. She is up there with Agatha Christie. The Daughter of Time is not a conventional mystery novel. It is a tale of how a sick detectiveContinue reading “Truth is the Daughter of Time”

Breaking the Rules

“Change comes when people are prepared to break the old rules.” So said, Deborah Meaden, businesswoman and TV show star of the BBC’s Dragons’ Den yesterday in response to events in the UK Parliament yesterday when Labour MP, Dawn Butler was expelled from the House of Commons for one day for calling the British PrimeContinue reading “Breaking the Rules”


A thread on Twitter this morning about some of the history of the early Gay Pride movement got me thinking about whether we are where we are now because of increasingly polarised points of view; or rather it is the extreme polarising views that get the most attention, amplified by social media where debate, nuance,Continue reading “Absolutism”

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

On a short holiday up to North Yorkshire, I’ve been eager to start using my National Trust membership again. For non-British readers, the National Trust is one of the main heritage charities in the UK that cares for hundreds of buildings, gardens, wildlife areas, coastline and historic houses across the country. It has recently beenContinue reading “The good, the bad, and the ugly.”


I’ve been enjoying recently the series on BBC2 about police corruption in the late 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, Bent Coppers – Crossing the Line of Duty. This series explores the dirty secrets behind London’s policing with a story of corruption that goes to the very top of London’s Metropolitan Police (and also City ofContinue reading “Integrity”

History is really about Geography.

A giant container ship gets stuck in the Suez Canal for a week and suddenly the whole world gets very panicky about international trade having a metaphorical heart attack – a vital trade artery gets clogged and people start to get nervous. Actually I think the significance is less about the mechanics of international trade,Continue reading “History is really about Geography.”

Group think and ‘Yes’ men

“All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” This quote and its many variants are widely attributed to Edmund Burke, although according to many sources he never put his idea into this concise a statement. Others attribute the statement to John Stuart Mill’s inaugural address to the University ofContinue reading “Group think and ‘Yes’ men”

Fake news… again.

Busy week, which meant I have only just caught up yesterday with Lucy Worsley’s excellent 90-minute documentary on the Blitz – the German bombing of London and other cities – during the Second World War. I have a personal connection to this as my late grandfather worked for London Fire Brigade during the war andContinue reading “Fake news… again.”

Capitalism: the fifth horseman?

Intrigued today by this somewhat inadequate piece in The Guardian with brief quotes from historians like Michael Wood and Tom Holland trying to link Coronavirus and climate change, the argument being that we are at dangerous juncture of human history caused by western capitalism. They argue that things like Covid has broken out because humansContinue reading “Capitalism: the fifth horseman?”