Monthly Archives: July 2015


Since last I kept you my neglected,  imperfect,  haphazard diary much seems to have happened.  I have twice spoken in the House of Commons, been to America,  dined with Kings,  recovered and lost again my high spirits. No one now … Continue reading

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Not Jeremy Corbyn

Well, I think Margaret Beckett probably meant to nominate Richard Stilgoe.

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Effing & blinding, past & present

The ever-readable John McWhorter  turns the air blue in the Wall Street Journal: Novelist Frances Trollope was appalled at the amount of cursing she heard among working people when she toured America in the 1820s. At the turn of the … Continue reading

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Still the best send-up of the BBC. Broadcast on the Beeb,  of course, long before they dreamed up”W1A”… (Does “Points of View” still exist? Do people still write letters?)

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Why would you want your children to build sandcastles?

When you can pay someone to build them instead? “Youngsters will even be able to assist the butler in creating their sandcastle…” 

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He almost changed history

  My Daily Express feature on Georg Elser, the carpenter who came close to assassinating Hitler and who is now the subject of Oliver “Downfall” Hirschbiegel’s excellent film, “13 Minutes”: The Elser we see on film is no dour ideologue or … Continue reading

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Cute Carla, bawdy Brassens

  A song for Bastille Day. It’s not really the alternative that it jokingly claims to be. Great fun though. I just never thought I’d hear a woman sing it…

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A face in the crowd, Hamburg

Mingling with the first-nighters at the opening of the Phillip Toledano show in the Hamburg Triennial of Photography.  Here’s part of my Times review: When just about everyone, thanks to smartphones, can become a photographer, what is the role of … Continue reading

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