Creditworthy

    I find walls endlessly fascinating and, knowing of my interest, my wife Rohan beckoned me over. She was standing on a tiny enclosed terrace and suggested I take a close look at one of its surrounding walls - there was something special that I should not miss. Staring at the massive, regular, cream-coloured…

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…

When Time Stands Still

  Klim and I first met when we were eight years old. We lived in different parts of town, went to different schools and were in different gangs, but our lives were always criss-crossing. In our twenties we grew closer as first we shared ‘digs’ at university and then a flat in London. A lifetime’s…

Space Odyssey

    Near us in Richmond is a gatehouse built by Henry VII in around 1500. It is one of the few remaining parts of his palace. Each time I walk through its archway I become aware that I am occupying the same space through which once passed the likes of Henry VII, Henry VIII,…

Sartre had an Answer

There can be few treats greater than watching shooting stars streak across the sky. But craning one's neck in the small hours while waiting for a momentary glimpse of a meteor has its down side. Forget the cold, the neck ache next day and the fact that this August we saw none, the search brought…

Art Provocateur

  There was a time when works of art that others might see as sad or frightening simply left me cold. Well, that all changed a few weeks ago when we visited a Scottish sculpture park. There, two of the installations did what art is supposed to do - they provoked emotions - and the…

The Top Drawer

  Through the wonders of the friend's grapevine we contacted Emile and Denise. We had decided to buy a house by the sea in southern Brittany and sent them, as we did many others, our wish-list, just in case they knew of anything suitable. As if by return, Denise sent us the details of a…

Magic Spells Safety

Within minutes of leaving home I realised that something was very wrong. I was on my way to the baker's and while my early-morning brain had ensured I put on my cycling gloves and my cleated shoes, it had made a muddle over my crash helmet. The absence of a chin strap and the feeling…