A brief dalliance with white bread knocked me out of my stride earlier in the week. I can’t eat it. I shouldn’t eat it, yet I do have the occasional craving for it and I also sometimes indulge. When that happens, I usually end up feeling flat for a couple of days. I’m a Byronist Continue Reading

A World for Literalists

Words can be terribly slippery. William Empson in his seminal work on ambiguity from 1930 described the effect of these semantic slips as being either “witty or deceitful”; you can look on the effect of ambiguity as providing interpretive freedom but also the chance they’ll simply steer you in the wrong direction. Poetic language pivots Continue Reading


Forcing myself to write today. Having one of those dips in productivity that come with a dip in confidence. Wish I had some elaborate psychological explanation for it but it’s all pretty mundane. The blogging isn’t going great. Terrible numbers, even for work like my Farage piece which I thought was pretty strong. Very little Continue Reading


I should probably not blog when I’m angry, but nothing rankles me more than a bully. Punch up not down is my guiding mantra, and I’m always happy to swing a fist to help the underdog. But onto this blogpost and the fact that the lockdown has eased… I write this ahead of whatever Johnson Continue Reading


I’ve always loved optical illusions and visual puns. I especially like those paints that involve a face made from other objects, such as Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s Vertumnus, which is a painting of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf the rednose… Sorry, I mean: Rudolf II. He did others but that’s probably the most famous. This was my Continue Reading

There Are No Miracles

Once upon a time, when I was less grey but significantly more unhappy, I used to be a computer programmer. Well, I say “programmer” but I was probably one step away from a hacker; little more than a one-man-band who would write software to order, bypassing all the formal training I’d been taught at university Continue Reading

On Book Shaming

So I find myself sitting here wondering how I would feel if Michael Gove had a book by David Icke on his shelf… Probably more worried, if I’m honest. Icke doesn’t write out of any respected tradition except that of the seers and mystics who have always been around making a pretty penny from the Continue Reading