I prefer the old-fashioned word to the commonly used abbreviation – blog, from web-log. My journal is made up of occasional observations on things that interest me. Strictly speaking, a journal is a daily record, but its not every day that something worth writing about happens. Every other week at best, or just occasionally. Come back once a month and I will do my best to make sure that you find something new.

Latest Post

Jerusalem Street

Down at the end of Jerusalem Street
There’s a butcher’s shop selling cuts of meat
Wrapped in cloth so white and neat
You’d think it was really a winding sheet.
So many parcels! Enough for a feast!
Shoulder and loin, belly and feet,
Heads to boil, legs to roast,
Fresh from the slaughterhouse,
Palestine shambles,
Where human animals meet their end
Down at the end of Jerusalem Street.

Previous Posts

A Lick of Paint

A visit to Bradford a few days ago, with a friend who lived and worked there for many years, showed how things have changed for better and worse, for richer and poorer, since it lost the wealth and confidence that wool once gave it. The city centre has changed very...

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Amazing! Incredible!

'Glorious... extraordinary' 'Dazzling. Devastating' 'Miraculous... beautiful' 'Bursts with life'  It could be the back cover of any new novel. They are all stunning. We are all stunned. Understatement is a thing of the past.  The same is true of comedy. Comedians...

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Grow Up!

British television and I are coterminous, at least as far as our beginnings are concerned. Which of us dies first remains to be seen. I fear it will be me, though that is not as certain as it once seemed. I watched children's television quite a lot when I was a boy....

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Oh what a lovely war!

The BBC has a mission to inform, educate and entertain, but not all at once. The news from Ukraine on BBC1 sometimes looks like the Clive Myrie Show. War reporting that aims to educate as well as inform is patronising. When it seeks to entertain as well it...

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Another evening at the theatre

Another evening at the theatre, another travesty. Henry V this time, at Leeds Playhouse. No chorus to welcome the audience with ‘O for a muse of fire’, instead a scene of the director’s own devising. What makes directors think they can do better than Shakespeare? What...

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Winter afternoon

Cold and damp and foggy. The ground is too hard to dig. No gardening is possible, only watching and waiting. Late afternoon. The fog lifts a little. The sun, low in the sky, looks like the moon, until the fog covers it again.

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That time of year…

That time of yeeare thou maist in me behold, When yellow leaves, or none, or few doe hang Upon those boughes which shake against the could, Bare, ruin’d quiers, where late the sweet birds sang. Shakespeare’s Sonnet no. 73

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Children’s voices

When I was a boy in the 1950s, children’s voices were part of Christmas. We heard them every year on Christmas Eve as they struck up Once In Royal David’s City or Silent Night outside the front door and dad went out to give them sixpence. But those days are gone. Now...

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Writing On Air

Tomorrow is the opening night of a four-day festival of writing by (mainly) Yorkshire based writers. All four days are broadcast on FM and online from Chapel FM, an independent radio station in East Leeds. I have one piece in it and my wife, Jaspreet Mander, has two....

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A fox in the garden

The first time I saw a fox in the garden of our new house, I was thrilled. I looked out for it every evening and was equally thrilled each time I caught a glimpse of its eyes, nose and, best of all, its brush. But the thrill began to fade as the fox holes began to...

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“One evening
when they are sitting quietly together
she breaks the silence
and starts to talk”

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