The F Word

The Tories routinely misapply, debase, distort and tarnish the word ‘freedom’ to the point that their definition of it is the polar opposite of the concept’s time-honoured, peer-reviewed, critically accepted …

Frying tonight

The consequences of a one-megaton nuclear bomb* First, a dazzling white light suddenly appears. This is the light of the fireball, a light unlike any light seen before, a blinding …

Eat the rich

Any nation state led by a man like Boris Johnson and governed by an organisation like the Conservative & Unionist Party is quite clearly a failed state; a rogue state …

Farewell my lovely

Cradled in its amphitheatre of hills under a cloudless sky, Bath’s signature oolitic limestone gleamed like gold in the low winter sun as Helen’s family and many friends gathered at …

Fiendish for Yule

Usual rules apply. Solution in January ACROSS1 Alpha male’s wake-up call? (4-1-6-3)7 Play about a broken King Coal (4,4,2,5)8 Female veneer (5)9 Exotic tailpipe in regular use (5)12 Bachelor with …

Darkness descends

There are no words. Helen Lewis is dead. For forty years she was my comrade, my confidant, my muse, my beacon, my rock, my soul-mate, my mentor, my counsellor, my …

A mere trifle

An old friend visited for the first time since pre-pandemic, so I pushed the boat out a bit and made a nice lunch. Nothing fancy, just simple, nourishing peasant food: …

Toms harry Dic

Every year when spring arrives I can’t resist growing tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum). And every year, around this time in the dog-days of summer, I vow never to grow the bloody …

What a woebegone world

With apologies to Louis Armstrong (1901-1971) and Bob Thiele (1922-1996) & George Weiss (1921-2010) I see forests burnAnd heat domes fry,Foretastes of doomFor you and I,And I think to myselfWhat …