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August 29, 2019

It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I say straw, but I actually mean a 6ft former male rugby player now turning out for a women’s team in Wales.

It wasn’t just that someone with all the obvious physical advantages of being born a man was playing against biolog...

April 24, 2018

Whenever some lefty working-class oik has the temerity to suggest that the UK is less socially fluid than a just society should be, they will be attacked on two fronts: by privileged folk who fail to see how privileged they are, and by people who had a tougher start in...

April 10, 2018

Imagine some of the things that might make you ‘incandescent with rage’. Getting evicted because you can’t pay the bills? Not being able to feed your children? Living in a house with mould on the walls and cockroaches in the kitchen? Not the BBC’s Sarah Montague, who c...

March 30, 2018

One of the best things about not working for the BBC any more is that I don’t have to pretend that sport is as important as death, famine, war or pestilence. I mean, seriously, Steve Smith crying on TV over a roughed-up ball? Anyone would think the bloke had just been...

March 12, 2018

It is customary for journalists to shout at convicted murderers, as they are ushered out of court, ‘Do you have anything to say to the victim’s family?’, before the offender is bundled into a blacked-out police wagon and whisked away to prison.

A journalist said the sam...

February 13, 2018

A woman clutching a pink rose and a man clutching joke books peer through the window of a jewellers in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. I think to myself, “Love and laughter on the streets, that’s a good story”. I sidle up to them and the man launches into his spiel: “Wh...

May 29, 2017

Type ‘quit’ into Google and the first definition that pops up is this: ‘leave (a place), usually permanently.’ It’s not the definition most associated with the word, but it’s the definition most relevant to Kell Brook’s actions on Saturday.

Right down the list of ‘quit’...

I’m still not sure how I ended up co-working in an ex-hippy haunt in Morocco. One friend was more amused by the work aspect than the hippy bit. But the moral of this story is that what might sound a bit weird on paper might make perfect sense if only you suspend scepti...

April 3, 2017

Imagine the portentous silence and pitying looks. You’ve been hauled in by the boss for threatening to slap a visitor to the office and your defence consists of “it was only a joke” and “she/he was laughing”. Go directly to a disciplinary. Do not pass Go. Your next pay...

The chukar partridge is a plump little bird whose songs swing between dulcet and alarming. But for many Kurds, a partridge’s song is less important than the sting in its beak. Partridge fights, common in Kurdistan, can last for hours. Patience is bitter, goes a Kurdish...

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