Monthly Archives: November 2013

Draped In Exquisite Natural Daylight

A leaflet advertising Down Hall Country House caught my attention today, largely thanks to its rococo wording. Not only does it possess ‘tranquillity and serenity’, ‘high ceilings and wireless internet’, but it boasts that it’s ‘draped in exquisite natural daylight’.…

The Wind Not In The Willows

Nooooooo. They’ve pollarded the neighbourhood willows. But they do look stark and impressive at sunset. If you look closely, you can see the North Star in these pics.

In Bed With Gore Vidal

Congratulations to my pal the lovely Tim Teeman on his new book In Bed With Gore Vidal: Hustlers, Hollywood, and the Private World of an American Master It’s had rave reviews and it’s an Amazon No 1 best seller. Tim…

Sea Squirts

I discovered a new creature today – the sea squirt. And I’m already obsessing about it. It could easily become the mainstay of my conversation for months. Sea squirts rock. For a start, they squirt. They have siphons for sucking…

The Tavener Test

Sir John Tavener and his cat

Sad news that one of my favourite composers Sir John Tavener died this week. Among other things, he loved cats and wrote pieces in memory of his pet mogs. I once walked into a BBC Studio (B14 in BH, if…

Six Degrees – Neil and Christine Hamilton, Tomasz Schafernaker, Fiona Fullerton and two Fenellas

Well, it turns out that my friend Franklin was at the same school as cheeky BBC weather presenter Tomasz Schafernaker and may have been taught by controversial ex-MP Neil Hamilton. Meanwhile, I once met Christine Hamilton. She revealed that she’d…

7272 2727

Here’s an interesting thing. As the Samaritans hit 60, I’ve recalled an odd family story. The Samaritans’ Newcastle number apparently used to be 7272. Meanwhile, my grandparents’ number was 2727. So they often ended up answering calls from people who…