Dabbler Diary – Railway Cake

Hugh Laurie once wrote of his teenage self: “I somehow contrived to pull off the gruesome trick of being both fat and thin at the same time”. This summer has managed to be similarly perverse, being first disgustingly hot then offensively cold and wet. Why do we British even pretend ... Read More...

Dabbler Diary – Glum Australians

It has been heartening to see the emergence of Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon. Ever since the golden era of McEnroe and Connors, men’s tennis has been rather lacking in jerks. Krygios is a proper, no-bones-about-it jerk - but even better is that I can add him to my cherished list of ... Read More...

Dabbler Diary – Job Justification

I don’t know if you’re the same, but whenever I watch coverage of the Glastonbury Festival on the BBC and see the sheer scale of Michael Eavis’ achievement - the array of great music and performers, the creativity, the tradition, the vibe, the extraordinary range and diversity of people all ... Read More...

Dabbler Diary – A History of Failure

‘I hate Cleopatra!’ says the precocious student and mathematical genius Thomasina Coverly in the play Arcadia by Tom Stoppard. She goes on to explain: The Egyptian noodle made carnal embrace with the enemy who burned the great library of Alexandria without so much as a fine for all that is overdue. Oh, ... Read More...

Dabbler Diary – H. G. Wells’ spare bedroom

‘Tell me a story from your head instead’, commanded C, apparently bored by the mild misadventures of Paddington. A great weariness came upon me. ‘What about?’ I said, closing the book. ‘About… Mr Chocolate Cake,’ she said at random. ‘And a Princess.' ‘Oh for goodness sake’, I said, and proceeded to tell the most ... Read More...

Dabbler Diary – Hand of the Teen Wolf

Having the house to myself and thinking to effect an overdue reconciliation with combative hack bombshell Pippa Tregaskis after that unpleasantness last June, I tentatively invited her to come over for an afternoon tipple and some audio entertainment on my newly rigged-up hand-operated copper-plated original Blötzmann Mk III turntable, which ... Read More...

Campaignballs! The Top 7 Pieces of Twaddle you’ll hear between now and the General Election

Virtually everything you will hear in the forthcoming General Election campaign from all Parties will be frothy twaddle, bearing no relation to facts and designed merely to appeal to tribal prejudices. Here are some of the most frequently-recurring pieces of tripe and the truths behind them...   1) Conservativeballs: Osborne’s ‘austerity’ has meant ... Read More...