Here are some people celebrating hatred.
Croatia is the EU’s newest nation. It’s also a Roman Catholic country, so perhaps it was inevitable that human rights for minorities never stood a chance. But holding a referendum to ban same-sex marriage, with a question deliberately worded to prejudice the answer, has just opened the floodgates to the [...]
Europe has always gone to Hollywood and hired its talents out – but there was a brief period when the reverse happened.
In the late 1990s Hollywood topped up finance for European movies that wouldn’t otherwise be made, employing some great directors in the process.
Europeans rarely replicated big action in their popular films, concentrating instead on [...]
As I zip around looking for fresh influences to write about, I make notes of what’s happening in the world. As a regular feature in my short story collections I would start with a round-up of news items I found funny/ tragic/ insulting. I continued the habit for five or six books.
Here’s an mix of [...]
I’ve been searching for a new title for my upcoming standalone abduction thriller, so I conducted some research on nursery rhymes. These seem to be surprisingly finite in number and variety, and are defaulted to by parents even though their topicality and meaning has long been lost. I learned, for example, that ‘Humpty-Dumpty’ was supposedly [...]
Yes, it’s that time of the year when Americans inexplicably choose to humiliate their pets by dressing them up in Hallowe’en costumes, but I have to admit that some are pretty funny.
We’ve never quite grasped the whole Hallowe’en shoppertunity here in England, because of the event’s late arrival so close to our more political dark [...]
‘Remember when we were young and you still had an open mind?’ says a character in a film time has now erased from my atrophied brain. One of the challenges faced by an author is how to maintain an open mind as the passing years insist on proving that one’s instinctive fears were in all [...]
Adult Literacy Table
8 Slovak Republic
11 Czech Republic
13 South Korea
16 United States
As usual with such listings, geographical, ethnic and density factors mitigate these results, with the most populous and economically migrant countries ranking lowest. Even so, there are [...]
That should probably read ‘Bi-national’, something I’ve more or less been since my late twenties. I don’t like being pinned to one city, which makes it ironic that I’ve become known for my love of London (I do love it, but only so long as an escape route occasionally opens).
Recently, though, my life has felt [...]
I was once in Bruges when two pastry-chefs went past on a tandem, while a man dressed as a bear threw sweets at children, and I remember thinking ‘It doesn’t get more European than this.’ Well it does, of course, and here’s pictorial proof.
By the time I got through explaining to our horrified guests why [...]
London’s huge 100% Design Fair is currently on, and while it’s always interesting, actually buying anything affordable there is nigh on impossible. If you want something truly original and independently created, try this is.
I was looking for unusual lights and found the designer Jordi Masvidal by accident. He took a simple idea; the mouldings from Victorian [...]