Late Train Out of Paddington

I grew up a long way from here, not just in terms of years but in distance. Over two hundred miles, a long way in England, anyway. It seems so. I lived in a small town of about 20,000 people but I never felt I knew everybody; I never have. Life started to change when … Continue reading Late Train Out of Paddington

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Training will be given

I’ve been going to job interviews lately, for the obvious reason that I need a job. Stupidly, I went to one interview in the market research world. Or maybe not so stupidly, because it reminded me exactly why I left it. “We’re looking for a BRIC speaker.” Really. So ok, you want someone who can … Continue reading Training will be given

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Diversity training

As a skive from real work today I was booked into a diversity training course. We didn’t have diversity when I was at school. Or rather we did, but we didn’t know about it. There were precisely two black children at my school, out of 1300 pupils. There was one black child at primary. Also … Continue reading Diversity training

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Until we go back

My step-sister died on Good Friday. Mine was a family of secrets and lies, secrets about names, especially of those who had died. There were lies about where people had come from and the actually very historically evident members of the family whose existence I’ve had to deduce online. I appreciate that in some ways … Continue reading Until we go back

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Walking Back

Today, 77 years ago, the 8th United States Army Air Force flew its last combat mission in WW11. Eleven years ago one of the pilots on that mission was staying with me in Suffolk. He told me how he’d nearly not made it. Not from enemy action, but because he’d been at a dance in … Continue reading Walking Back

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On the road

There’s a new movie out. In fact, like my revisited reaction to On The Road, the novel, when I saw the 2012 film for the first time the other night, there isn’t. It’s on Channel 4, if you’re interested. And maybe, as I was, you ought to be. It’s about an America that just after … Continue reading On the road

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Goodbye to all that

My beloved probably life partner, given my age and Kate Bush almost certainly not going to a) phone me b) lose 30 kilos c) look the way she did at 18 again, made a cruel remark the other day. It’s been repeated quite a lot. My best conference suit, a fetching single-breasted, very dark grey … Continue reading Goodbye to all that

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Banshees & the Sex Offender’s Register

I got an offer today, one of those Groupon-type deals of a hotel for a silly cheap price. This was three or four nights, at about £130, which is a pretty good rate, despite it being what the hotel called a ‘self-drive’ price. I know this hotel. What they mean is you can sail there, … Continue reading Banshees & the Sex Offender’s Register

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Walking Home

Seventy-six years ago tonight it was April 27th, 1945. A man I used to know was 18 then. This is a very simple little story. Tonight in April 1945, a young American airman missed his last transport home from a dance and had to walk from Ipswich to where he was based, on an airfield … Continue reading Walking Home

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Babysitting: Lucy Kellaway

About a thousand years ago I used to work with a man called Alec Kellaway. I say work, but I could never explain what it was he did at Mintel and when I asked him ,neither could he. Although it was a sunny summer morning long before the pubs opened, he gave every impression of … Continue reading Babysitting: Lucy Kellaway

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