Category Archives: Science


  I spent my schooldays staring the glass out of the windows. The poverty of expectation suffocated aspiration. The punitive discipline blunted everything about us. Teachers yawned their way through lessons. I had been imprisoned for a crime I had not committed. I hid from bullies and sports masters in music and art rooms, inventing […]

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Second Person

On the trail of Ian McEwan in Norwich, the City of Literature

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City of Literature

One of the postcards caused me some disquiet. It recalls a shocking episode from my days living in Norwich. I didn’t want to trivialise something that left many people deeply upset. But Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth had taken me right back to the site of that event, and I felt it would be dishonest if I didn’t reflect this in my piece.

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You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!

Just back from touring Italy with The Ham and Cheese Company – part of the breakaway faction from Borough Market now trading in Spa Terminus – Bermondsey. We travelled from Bologna to Parma to Siena to Roma meeting people whose lives revolve around making marvellous food. The idiosyncratic hams and cheeses we sampled along the […]

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Poetry in motion

I am sitting in the works canteen of LMS Engineering just outside Brussels with the founder Urbain Vandeurzen, and brand consultant Michael Wolff. The complex of offices and research labs is so immaculate you could eat your lunch off the surfaces – and we are; scallops simmered in white wine sauce, poached salmon and creamed […]

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The Look of Love

Most of the fundraising projects I work on are with destitute human rights foundations struggling for survival. Exterior events always seem to take place in the doldrums of winter on the streets of London, New York, Paris, Madrid or Den Haag which may sound glamorous but involves dripping tents, mobile blind spots, failing generators, obstreperous […]

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