Dabbler Diary – Under the Paving Stones

My work done, I toddled the length of Bermondsey Street peering critically into windows. Here was a teensy art gallery selling coffee; next door, in stark contrast, was a teensy coffee shop selling art. A barrel-chested man in ironic clothes with an improbably small dog was being rude to the baristas. ... Read More...

Dabbler Diary – The Folly of Youth

Whenever the younger generations become resentful of our elders, with their lavish pensions, big houses and long, expensive retirements, and wonder what is the point of the blasted old codgers, we should take a look at this graphic and apologise for our ingratitude: 71% of 16-17 year olds voted in favour ... Read More...

Two Trees – A Poem For Alex Salmond

And so the Union endures. As a special tribute to Alex Salmond, here's something by the excellent Scottish poet Don Paterson. I offer no commentary - interpret it as you wish... Two Trees, by Don Paterson One morning, Don Miguel got out of bed with one idea rooted in his head: to graft his ... Read More...

The Hobyahs

Commenting on Frank Key's bedtime story about the glib hatter,  Adelephant recommended the story of The Hobyahs as suitable follow-up reading matter. This remarkable folk story was collected in Joseph Jacobs' 1890 work 'English Fairy Tales'. I offer no analysis or comment - it really does speak for itself... Once there was ... Read More...

The Age of Innocence: Football in the 1970s

Brit reviews 'The Age of Innocence - Football in the 1970s' a stunning new photographic book published by TASCHEN... Golden Age-ism ­‑­ the idea that in a particular era the stars shone brighter, the greats were greater and the men were real men instead of spoilt prima donnas or professional drones ... Read More...

Dabbler Diary – The Lives of Others

Like Kim Wilde I was in the nineteen-eighties much attracted to the kids in America. I had a hankering to join them in gang bike rides around their capacious Californian neighbourhoods, and to eat delicious junk food in their diners, and to outwit their Fratellis and other incompetent bandits and ... Read More...