Farewell, Summer

Autumn usually sneaks in via the back door. Its shadows lengthen on the staircase, and they take ever longer to be dispersed by the dawn. Summer’s glories fade away: the blooms on the clematis fade and die, the trees begin to change colour, shifting subtly from green to green accentuated with a touch of yellow. […]

At the Olympics

Eric Idle, accompanied by a proverbial crooning “fat lady”, has sung his song. The Olympic flame has been extinguished. The athletes are heading for home: Heathrow has even set up a special terminal for their departure, the front façade of which features a picture of a Guardsman saluting and “Good-bye” painted in white letters. I […]

Beyond the Race’s End

I think I’ll always remember where I was when I saw Mo Farah win the gold medal in the 10,000 meters. During the early stages, I sat in my living room, squirming and restless in my easy chair. I winced when I saw Mo nearly trip as two Eritreans passed him. As the race sped […]

A Season of “Mad Men”

I wish I had something profound, brilliant and original to say about the London Olympics. However, a quick examination of the morning papers suggests that all the best superlatives and metaphors have been used, nearly every last sporting cliché has been deployed, and even fake sideburns, à la Bradley Wiggins, have become an essential fashion […]

In Praise of the London Olympics

Every Olympics contains elements of both triumph and disaster. The 1972 Olympics in Munich were notable for both a terrible terrorist incident involving the Israeli weightlifting team and Mark Spitz’s accumulation of seven gold medals, a feat not surpassed for over 30 years. The 1976 Olympics in Montreal are remembered both for Bruce Jenner’s world […]


It is a time of waiting. If the G8 and NATO summits over the weekend proved anything, it’s that politics have gone into a deep freeze. At the G8 meeting, the Americans and French wanted to emphasise growth over austerity, the Germans and British, rhetoric aside, feel the opposite: this debate is nothing new. The […]

The Kingdom of Paranoia

It’s usually at about this time of year that I become particularly sentimental and my dreams are filled with images of my place of origin. I catch myself awaking with a start in the middle of the night and then feel disappointed that I’m in my bed in England as opposed to where I rest […]

An Olympics in the Shade

I don’t recall the last time a Winter Olympics began with the death of one of the competitors. Yesterday, an athlete from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, Nodar Kumaritashvili, crashed and died during a practice run on the luge track: officials believe that he failed to steer his sled with sufficient care on what […]

Kirsty Coventry Returns to Zimbabwe

I continue to be fascinated by the progress and exploits of Kirsty Coventry, the double gold, quadruple silver and bronze medal winning swimmer from Zimbabwe. Yesterday, she returned home to what The Zimbabwe Times called a “hero’s welcome”: Hundreds of fans gathered at the Harare International Airport on Wednesday to welcome Zimbabwe’s gold and triple-Olympic […]

Before London…

The end of the Beijing Olympics has created an atmosphere, particularly in Britain, in which the focus has narrowed to the point of fixation on the London Games of 2012. I’m slightly irritated by this; after all, there are the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver to enjoy. Here is a promotional video to remind everyone: […]

Me And My Blog

Picture of meI'm a Doctor of both Creative Writing and Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering, a novelist, a technologist, and still an amateur in much else.