Little Europe

11th August 2017 I went out for dinner with a group of Italians living in London. Naturally for pizza. The Italians came from across their country: Lombardy, Puglia, Piemonte, Venice, Naples, Rome. It had me thinking about Italy’s regions, languages and peoples. Lombardy and Veneto recently voted for grater autonomy from Italy, adding to independence…

Fleeting Moments

Simenon’s work features some of the most searingly genuine and true characters I’ve ever found in a novel. They can often be bizarre and are never bland but I cannot think of any that aren’t strickingly human. In seven volumes, Proust explored jealous love. Time and time again, Simenon captured a jealous lover in a…

Terrorised

2001 After 9/11 and with many of our parents working in the centre of London, my school lifted its nascent ban on mobile phones. Our heavy, monochrome mobiles (mine still had an antenna) would be allowed on school premises, kept in our lockers, in case we were called upon to jam the networks attempting to…