London’s Singing Lift

There is an unwritten code of conduct for those riding in a lift. First: say nothing, and if you have to speak, keep your voice hushed. Second: avoid eye contact with fellow travellers; stare ahead or look down at the floor. With such solemnity, being in a lift is a dour affair. Well, usually! There is…

Gadgets, Toys and a Case of Metal Fatigue

Gadgets fascinate me; the simpler, the more ingenious, the more useful, the better. There is something about a pencil sharpener, a spirit level or even the humble paper clip that I find absorbing but others rarely share my interest. Were I to start explaining to my wife, Rohan, the details of the Post-it’s endless re-stickiness,…

In Brittany Skies

I am pleased to announce that I have made another change. This time it concerns how I view the sky - I now love it. Here, I refer only to daytime skies when all is visible and little is left to guesswork. At night, much goes unseen and what is visible is often mysterious, sometimes…

Mother and Baby are doing well

  Three of us sat in an annex near the delivery suite anxiously awaiting news. After an hour, a smiling midwife slipped quietly into the room holding a notepad. She checked who we were and read out her message - “Your grandson was born at 19h16. He and his mother are doing well. You are…

Short Changed

  Readers in bygone days might have described me as a cad and a bounder. My misdemeanour - having fallen out of love, I have decided to reveal all. My infatuation was not with a person but with what I saw as an altruistic ideal. Discovering otherwise came as a horrible surprise and while we…

Alone with Thomas Tallis

  There is something overwhelming about being a tiny and inconsequential part within a giant canvas. Just looking up at the Milky Way always does this for me (“Sartre had an answer”. joecollier.blog. 3 September 2017), and there have been other, very specific occasions, too. I could not have felt smaller and more in awe…

Hold Tight!

My knees were at their worst over Christmas 2014. They are better now, but then, walking up and down stairs was very painful. At the time, I was having to navigate two flights of stairs twice a day as I changed trains at Clapham Junction. Pain could be lessened by holding on to the bannisters…

Roll over Beethoven

We are inseparable. For years my iPad and I have been constant companions. But despite the magical ways in which it gives me access to friends, stores my data, informs me about almost anything, and supports me when I write and publish, there are times when it also drives me mad. I have not yet…