Monthly Archives: September 2011

What I Hated About Birthdays

I’ll be completely open and honest about this. Today’s memory is late because yesterday was my birthday and I was too busy enjoying myself to write anything. This wasn’t always the case, of course. For a chunk of my childhood … Continue reading

Posted in Bad Things, Happy Things, School | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Monday Morning Musical Memory – Part Two

Yes, I know it is Wednesday. Yes, I know I promised you this 48 hours ago. Even so, this is a musical memory with a difference. It is 20 years since Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ came out and, today, The Spectator are … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Monday Morning Musical Memory – Part 1

If things work out as I have been told to expect, you’ll be getting two Musical Memories for the price of one today. A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be asked to contribute to The Spectator’s Arts … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Historical Meals – Student Risotto

I was an adult before I discovered what a culinary genius my mother was. I don’t mean in the Gordon Ramsey sense of the word, but in the way that she could improvise a meal out of nothing. As time … Continue reading

Posted in Food, University | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A New Home

As I mentioned a while back, Helen and I eventually tired of our first home together. Eventually, the lack of central heating, the damp and the sheer reluctance of the landlord, Jeremy Laskie, to do anything about anything finally wore … Continue reading

Posted in General Stuff | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Monday Morning Musical Memory

There are one or two records which have mysteriously disappeared from my collection over the years. One of them was given to me as a birthday present by my parents in 1981. I remember being completely taken with the lead … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Music | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


I’ve always had an antipathy towards camping. Sleeping beneath the stars has never really appealed to me. In my head it always translates as ‘leave your warm comfy bed and go and sleep on a hard uneven surface with an … Continue reading

Posted in General Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Back to School

I was never the sort of child who dreaded the end of the summer holidays. I don’t know why, because school was certainly never my favourite place to be. I think I regarded it as being just another thing that … Continue reading

Posted in School | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Monday Morning Musical Memory

It isn’t often that I dislike a song on first hearing it, and then decide later that I love it. This is the first time that I can remember it happening, and it was an important moment, because it marked … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Male Teachers

Some of you may have seen the news last week about a shortage of male teachers in primary schools. This surprised me, because in my day around 40% of the teaching staff were male, and certainly far nicer than some … Continue reading

Posted in School | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments