The Unsettling Gull

Gulls are getting a bad press lately, with even the Prime Minister expressing his disapproval of the seaside menaces. Here's a poem about them, and Welsh homesickness... I think we can all agree that gulls are unsettling. But I don’t think it’s just about the ‘cold, black eyes’ and their tendency ... Read More...

Christopher Lee and The Benefits of Being Undead

Gaw uncovers one of the secrets of a good obit: stick around, keep working... Christopher Lee died a knight, lauded for a film career that extended from propping up a very poorly British industry to featuring in some of the most profitable film franchises in Hollywood history. I don't want to knock ... Read More...

Adrian Carton de Wiart: Happy Odyssey

Gaw pays tribute to one of the most remarkable soldiers this country has produced... Adrian Carton de Wiart's soldiering career extended from Boer to Second World Wars, taking in many events of large historical importance. He was usually to be found in the thick of the action, winning a VC during the ... Read More...

Easter with the Thomases

Gaw explores a flower-covered car wreck and a rain-sodden graveyard to consider what Easter has meant to two of our grumpiest poets... I keep returning to the two Thomases - Hardy and R.S. - even though they must be two of the most accomplished miserabilists in British poetry. Grumpy old men inhabiting ... Read More...

Churchill’s Great Contemporaries: Welsh Wizardry

On the anniversary of Churchill's death we pick out some highlights from his portraits of the era's great men. Here's how David Lloyd George's mysterious Welsh wiles confounded a very grand statesman... I’ve just finished reading Churchill’s Great Contemporaries, a collection of biographical essays. You rapidly realise how he managed to earn huge sums from ... Read More...

Last Christmas Forever

In which Gaw writes in praise of a song you're heartily sick of by now... At this stage of the proceedings to ask you to pay some attention to a Christmas song is about as palatable a proposition as asking you to polish off another box of sickly chocs. However, I ... Read More...

London Scottish

Marking both last week's referendum result and the centenary of the Great War, here Gaw presents a poem about the war effort of the London Scottish rugby club... It's always the fellowship that seems most important to soldiers; ultimately, it's what persuades them to die. Doesn't that fit the definition of ... Read More...

Sofas versus Tables

How far can you travel on a sofa? I’ve been working on and off for a number of years in the world of sofas, God forgive me. So I was surprised I hadn’t heard of the “sofa poem by Seamus Heaney” that a colleague referred to the other day. She was ... Read More...

A rum do in Cognac

Crumbling châteaux and closet gay Counts - here's Gaw's terrific tale of some strange lodgings he took whilst playing rugby in South-West France.... Being a professional sportsman isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's actually very boring. Training isn't mentally stimulating and professional sportsmen tend not to be that interesting; ... Read More...