Shpilkes

Shpilkes

You know you’re in a real Jewish restaurant when the waiter comes to the table and asks, “Is anything alright?” The tendency to kvetch (complain) about everything is a standard character flaw for Jewish jokes to riff on. But,what exactly is a “Jewish joke”? For me, there’s at least three...

Read more
From The Riverbank- Part 10

From The Riverbank- Part 10

  It’s been a six month since I last cast a fly on the river, six long months of feeling the autumnal chill enfolding the evenings and penetrating one’s very bones, russet and parchment leaves cracking underfoot, shortening days shuffling into night, a white confetti shower on scrunching grass, ponds...

Read more
Past Imperfect, Future tense.

Past Imperfect, Future tense.

“Okay. But you hate the outdoors, your sense of balance could be sponsored by Special Brew, you think the people who do do it are tossers and you’re petrified of water.” I said, encouragingly. “I know, but I’ve got to take a punt…,” Tom said, “out… just once.” Even though...

Read more
Can’t take a joke? Jeez

Can’t take a joke? Jeez

When I was still young enough to be unable to tell the difference between pretension and cool, Tom Stoppard came to give a talk at my university. His slightly RP/Czech fusion drawl made me think of his comparative linguistic knowledge so in the Q&A, my hand went up. Eventually he...

Read more
‘London deserves a Mayor who will listen’: Assembly Member Tony Devenish speaks out

‘London deserves a Mayor who will listen’: Assembly Member Tony Devenish speaks out

In May I will have been a London Assembly Member for three years. In that time, I have grilled the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, on dozens of occasions, so I have a pretty good measure of the man. My overriding impression of Sadiq Khan is that he is simply...

Read more
2018 A Few Highlights and Insights by Derek Wyatt

2018 A Few Highlights and Insights by Derek Wyatt

  BBC News I think their news reporting on television, radio and online has reached a new low. I stopped listening to the “Today” programme in January and have not missed it. I started when Brian Redhead was the star turn. But no more. I am now campaigning for there...

Read more
Post Truth

Post Truth

“I can handle big news and little news. And if there’s no news, I’ll go out and bite a dog.” This is how Charles Tatum, played by Kirk Douglas in Billy Wilder’s noir classic Ace In The Hole (1951), pitched for a job at the Albuquerque Sun. Manufacturing the news...

Read more
‘I Vant To Be Alone’

‘I Vant To Be Alone’

“I VantTo Be Alone” “Alone now, there is nothing but my breath. I scream and that turbulentfury that rages from my mouth, Is silence. In the darkness.” Marius Brill (Aged 14) So, whilst wiry, post-pubescent, me was wondering if Faber & Faber was going to recognise my genius; fat, middle-aged,...

Read more
Ctrl-Z

Ctrl-Z

I’ve done some pretty nasty things in my time. I’ve definitely put the ain’t in Saint and, what’s more, too spineless to admit my own flaws, I constantly lie to myself about it. So in my version of the world, after drunkenly stealing some roadworks diversion signs, and thinking it...

Read more
Upstream Part 9

Upstream Part 9

A six month season seems like a reasonable span, stretching from around Easter to the end of September, but it just whistled past, and as the days get shorter and autumn turns to winter, one is immediately thinking about  next Spring. Having well-defined seasons is one of the joys of...

Read more