Goya

Francisco de Goya I’m tempted to state that anyone even remotely inclined towards artistic expression will know the pain of compromise, particularly if working with (and in) the media or on commercial commissions. But this is perhaps less true now than it ever was, and here are two of the reasons why: Firstly, to know […]

Salamanca

A while ago I had an idea for a (grown-up) younger person’s novel, about the ghost of a Priest from the Spanish Inquisition, who – for his sins – had been condemned to tread unnoticed amongst buildings from his own time, until one day he meets….(hey, the idea’s too good to share). But where to […]

Andre Agassi

Ode to Andre: An essay, which grew out of a review of Andre Agassi’s Autobiography, ‘Open’. I first saw Andre Agassi play live at the French Open, in 1987. I was keen on becoming a tennis coach in those days, and I already knew about Andre. So when I saw he was scheduled to play […]

Doctor Jack & Calcutta Rescue

Doctor Jack Preger and  Calcutta Rescue remembered. Doctor Jack Preger has a slightly twisted sense of humour and I hadn’t been in Calcutta long before I was on the receiving end. Driving through the city in what was then a twenty six year old Jeep (and for all I know, Jack’s original four-wheeler is still […]

Missionaries of Charity Calcutta

Shishu Bhavan and Mother House in Calcutta / Kolkata remembered Like many others, it was Malcolm Muggeridge’s book about Mother Teresa, Something Beautiful for God, that inspired the first of my two visits to Calcutta, and on the first visit I booked a flight to Delhi because it was a cheaper option than flying direct. […]

Jimmy Connors

I thought tennis was a game for pampered wimps, until the day I saw Jimmy Connors play, on a school trip to a local tennis tournament. With a mile-high chip on his shoulder, and groundstrokes to thump the opposition with, Jimbo left an indelible impression on my cocky, working class sensibilities and pretty much changed […]

Yorkshire Travel Guide

Ten of the best things to do and see, in Yorkshire and the Dales. This is just the beginning of a list of worthwhile places to visit in Yorkshire and The Dales … 1: Bolton Abbey Being honest? I’d rather be somewhere else. Usually. But for reasons that you need not share. 2: Skipton This […]

Lancashire Travel Guide

Ten of the best things to see and do in Lancashire 1: Clitheroe Best town in Lancashire by a route march. Good cafes, eateries, pubs, a baby castle and generally a great market town atmosphere. 2: Sunrise over Downham Downham is impressive at any time of day or year, but sunrise is something to treasure. […]

Malcolm Muggeridge: A Man for All Seasons

Meetings with Malcolm Muggeridge remembered. In my youth, I turned on the television to find Michael Parkinson interviewing some gnarled old chap I’d never seen before. Another guest shortly appeared, singing the praises of America and how generous the people were to him, a ‘poor Englishman’. With an uncanny likeness to my mental picture of […]

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral This main image of Durham Cathedral in some of its glory is a few years old, and it was languishing in a box of transparencies until I discovered that, owing to major repair work to the weather beaten sandstone, Durham Cathedral is now wearing an ugly chef’s hat around scaffolding, and is off […]

Royal Exchange Theatre

One of my favourite places is the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, though not entirely for the theatricals. I find it at its best in the mornings, especially when the music has been muted so as not to interrupt rehearsals. The silence is somehow embellished by distant voices ricocheting around the theatre round, and the […]

The Golden Door

The Golden Door T’was 11.35 When the clock struck one Though I didn’t even notice I was so far gone A humid night On Midsummer’s Day I’d supped my fill And was walking with a sway Glum and heavy hearted My head hung low I’d had a bad day Which is all you need to […]

Ibiza Uncovered ?

The original Ibiza Uncovered series is rerun from time to time on Sky television channels. When it was filmed across Ibiza in 1997 I was on the Island, supposedly to shoot film for a travel company. Ibiza Uncovered in many ways led the way for cheap, fly-on-the-wall television and was a precursor for bottom-of-the-barrel ‘reality’ […]

Blackpool

We met someone in Lytham last year who told the story of an Australian family, who arrived in Blackpool expecting to see Las Vegas, but instead were horrified by tacky reality (hence their sharpish escape to Lytham!). Those of us who’ve grown with Blackpool’s reality – since we went on a first holiday with Nan […]

Millennium Bridge

Millennium Bridge

Millennium Bridge Sunset I think it was Kierkegaard who advised we should write down our thoughts and ideas before they escape, because many don’t come along twice and the best ones will be lost forever (…Kierkegaard also believed the majority couldn’t think a thought through to its ultimate conclusion, so don’t be volunteering him for […]

Miss Yorkshire

Our next contestant is Miss Yorkshire. She’s called DaisyMoo and is from Kirrby Malham. Tell us a little of yourself, DaisyMoo. ‘Well, I like to feel the wind in my hair and tickling my hairy cheeks, as I’m rambling in the hills around my home.  I always eat my greens, I’m forever horny and they […]

Preston North End Deepdale

Deepdale: PNEnd of an Era By complete coincidence, when I turned up to shoot Preston North End’s Deepdale football ground some years ago, it was the last night that the Pavillion Paddock was open to Preston supporters as a working football stand, which, at the time, was the oldest surviving stand in the football league. […]