Monthly Archives: June 2016


Watching a game on television, or even with friends, is like listening in on some serious literary criticism: ‘un passaggio sopraffino, filigrana’ (‘an extra-fine filigree pass’) or else ‘un passaggio sincopato, che splendore ritmico’ (‘a syncopated passage of play, what … Continue reading

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Blind optimism meets reality. This clip of Steve McLaren during last night’s game  is the perfect summing-up of media coverage of the England team at every tournament in the past 50 years. Hilarious. [Thanks, Krish]

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Parvez had been a taxi driver for twenty years. Half that time he’d worked for the same firm. Like him, most of the other drivers were Punjabis. They preferred to work at night, the roads were clearer and the money … Continue reading

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“Normal service will be resumed shortly.”

The two main parties today… Meanwhile,  on Twitter and Facebook disappointed Remainers are busy sneering at all those people foolish enough to have voted for Brexit. And enlightened Londoners, aghast at what’s happened,  are ready to declare independence. Not a … Continue reading

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Referendum day

I never expected to be in this position. Six months ago, I would have put myself in the 100% Remain camp. It simply wouldn’t have crossed my mind to vote the other way. But this morning, as I set off … Continue reading

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Bootmaker’s blues

You can’t help wondering what they made of it in Atlantic City in 1915. Until I read the programme note for the revival of “Hobson’s Choice” at The Vaudeville, I had no idea that Harold Brighouse’s vintage play originally had … Continue reading

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Family portrait, Pietermaritzberg

“In one portrait, everyone is dressed in Western clothes except for two young women, who are, by Zulu custom, bare from the waste up, indicating that they’re still single.” Photos lost and found from a neighbourhood studio. [HT @newyorker via … Continue reading

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When I was young I pretended to know everything. It often got me into trouble and made me look a fool. I think one of the most useful discoveries I ever made was how easy it is to say: “I … Continue reading

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Beach rhythms

Spiritual folk music to Aussie dub. My review [£] of the Sakifo festival on Réunion Island: There were, in effect, two festivals running side by side on this exquisite sliver of France in the Indian Ocean. On the main beachside stages … Continue reading

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