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The Columnist Manifesto

Sir Arthur’s grandchildren have been entertaining him. He’s getting over the pulled muscle from trying to follow the online fitness guru...

Priti Patel, Primo Levi and my dodgy hip

I walked last Saturday morning along the path of the old Somerset and Dorset Railway. At one point I turned sharply to chat to a cheery...

Casting with W.B. Yeats

O yes, ‘tis a great year for the trout. A friend driving through France observed that insects are thriving this year. Now, to what...

Don't Mix with Metaphors

‘It won’t do, dear boy. You can’t write “a mountain of a project took off”. It won’t do.’ I had asked Arthur to look over an essay I am...

Arthur has a cough

No temperature, you will be glad to hear, and he is at chez Whatnot anyway, having laid in a store of decent claret, cheese and...

Cecile Joan Charrot

A friend died last week. We hadn't seen her for years, which might seem remiss on our part, but these things happen. She was still a...

On the oche

'Fancy a game of darts, Dave?’ Sidney had phoned, sounding rather chipper. Darts? Had my old buddy missed a couple of government...

Eight legs good

Spare a thought for spiders. With all you folk isolated at home, I’m sure the brilliant sunshine, in the south, anyway, will show up a...

A Ventilator of One’s Own

‘Wouldn’t it be great if we all had our own ventilators?’ I suggested this to Arthur as we Skyped at the end of the day. We were trying...

Covid-19, The Delay Phase

Arthur was teasing me. ‘This is your time, old chap.’ As a serial procrastinator, I had to admit that my psychiatrist friend had me bang...

Paul, where are you?

I spend an hour or so in a library from time to time, for a change of scene, to watch others nod off, pretend to work, wait for the rain...

Rude awakening

Friday evening it was. I stopped on Churchill Bridge to offer help to a man and woman with suitcases, not sure which way to go. You know...

11 Downing Street – Jonestown, UK

Sidney dropped in for a coffee. ‘What d’you think, Dave, First World War generals? The Titanic?’ Sid was trying to find the right...

Turkey

We found the turkey on a hedge. It was Christmas, so nothing odd about encountering a turkey per se – but on top of a hedge separating a...

On doors and making up stories

See the photo? The latch, lock and handle it shows are now in your memory, as an image rather than a physical object, for you cannot see...

On having a new profile photograph

How recent should your photo be? Actors deserve some licence, I suppose, given how ageist their trade is, though offering something that...

Once more with feeling

The NHS has given me an insight into a story I am planning. Wednesday it was. ENT surgeons, hunting for further nasty cells after a...