In Praise of Thomas the Cake Cat

When I write these pieces, I’m often not alone. My cat Thomas is usually sitting on the sofa beside me, curled up as close as he possibly can be, often dozing.

Deliver or be Damned

The message from Ireland’s election is clear for all democratic governments: listen or be left behind, deliver or be damned.

Defeating Trump

At first glance, the Democrats are in a terrible state. The Iowa Caucus was a failure of both technology and organisation: the Republicans can and will use this example to suggest the Democrats couldn’t run a bath, let alone the country. Trump escaped punishment thanks to a compliant Senate, which decided that it was better […]

Wrestling with Insomnia

Over the past several weeks, I have experienced bouts of insomnia. There’s not been an obvious physical cause. I have tried warm drinks, I have tried listening to relaxing music, I have attempted sitting on a comfortable sofa with a purring cat beside me. For whatever reason, stress, an active mind, concerns about the future, […]

A Time for Courage

One of the most alarming statements British politicians have made in recent days can be summarised as follows: if we don’t do Brexit and quickly, massive unrest will be the result.  To put it another way, this argument states that if we don’t give in to the demands of extremists, they will create havoc.  There […]

Brexit Blues

On the basis of indicative votes, we now know what Parliament wants, or rather, what it doesn’t want to do with Brexit, which is anything.  There is a distinct absence, a lack, a void.  It’s great for nihilists but no one else.  We are no nearer a resolution to Britain’s current crisis than we were […]

Revisiting “Four Weddings and Funeral”

I remember the first time I saw “Four Weddings and a Funeral”.  I was visiting the Cheshire town of Wilmslow, and it was being shown in an old movie theatre in the centre of town.  I speculated that the theatre hadn’t changed much since the 1920’s: the seats were worn, and the floors were sticky […]

The Decline and Fall of the Tory Empire

The last emperor of the Western Roman Empire was arguably Romulus Augustulus, whose reign began in 475 and ended in 476.  He was deposed by the Germanic barbarian chieftain Odoacer; according to legend, the warlord “took pity on (Augustulus’s) youth” and let him live.  I’ve always wondered what the people around Romulus Augustulus thought; did […]

Explaining Brexit

Sometimes it takes an outsider’s point of view to see a situation more clearly.  Recently, the New Yorker magazine starkly showed how the United Kingdom is now viewed by the rest of the world.  On its cover was a rendering of Big Ben: its venerable dial was open, and a hysterical cuckoo had popped out.  […]

Transparently Love

I am not a fan of the Amazon series “Transparent”; I live in a country whose government is presently going through a nervous breakdown, so watching the neuroses of others played out on a screen is an unlikely form of entertainment.  Also, the revelations about Jeffrey Tambor’s conduct towards women makes the programme less than […]

Me And My Blog

Picture of meI'm a Doctor of Creative Writing, a husband, a son, a brother, an uncle, a published novelist, a technologist, a student, and still an amateur in much else.

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