Observatory

Forever Young: What’s Missing In The Workplace

hr-government-launches-plan-to-retain-older-people-in-workforce-ruth-holmes_11070_t12

I make no apologies for excerpting part of a much longer article by Tom Goodwin because he voices something many feel. It’s a bit patronising but hey, he’s in advertising (‘Head of Innovation’, poor guy) and has a point to make: Living in New York and working in advertising I rarely see people over the age […]

A Letter From Barcelona

pc-140911-catlan-independence-01_1ae8cca5269d950e052ac1298f586fff

It’s 9 am. I’m on the balcony in my dressing gown, doing my ‘tired face’. Got a cup of tea and a cuerno in my hands. Clear blue sky, empty street, but there’s something in the air. I can hear distant shouting and then – singing. Some children run past at full pelt carrying flags. […]

Guilty Pleasures

IMG_7858

An article in the London Times asking their writers to name their guilty pleasures prompts me to consider my own. I like to think that over time I have become entirely immune to passing trends and fashionability (which explains my T-shirts). It means that such pleasures are no longer even ‘guilty’ but pleasures, period. These […]

A January Miscelleny

IMG_7848

Why do all my posts need a single subject? Here are some random moments from the past month that slipped through my fingers. First, I took a walk along Regent Street on Christmas Eve – there was hardly anyone around, and little movement except the flapping of electronic angel wings. One of the nicest (and […]

On The Move Again

IMG_7728

  London’s winter has been frosty and blazingly azure-skied this winter, and although in my flat it felt and looked like midsummer (no danger of getting SAD there), there was no snow. After a couple of days back in Tallinn, Estonia I rediscovered snow along with the charm of the people, the food, the atmosphere, […]

How Low Can You Go?

IMG_7687

I’m back in Tallinn, Estonia, for the weekend, where it’s currently about, oh, -15C. Tallinn’s old town is not just graceful and evocative of old paintings but f*cking cold, in a ‘bite-your-fingers-off-and-my-God-I-can’t-feel-my-face’ way. My pants are frozen. My iPhone has packed up. Everyone is in furs, although there’s a guy on the corner in shirt […]

Happy New Year!

tumblr_nhg568GgEy1s1x6c2o1_400

This year I resolve to read more novels of every kind, and to ignore all news articles featuring Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and anyone else who has sought to undermine my country. This year I resolve to be kind to people of all creeds, colours and ages, and try to see the world from their […]

Sleeping On The Job

la-siesta

This week I was thinking about our working days. I’d read that UK students had voted to install sleep pods, and that in the US workers are not compensated if Christmas Day falls on a weekend. It has also been announced that the siesta, treasured central plank of Latin countries’ economic plan, is to be removed […]

Now Is The Winter Of Our…You Know

IMG_7599

At dinner with my neighbours last night, film director Mike Figgis told me that he reads five newspapers each morning and it’s a habit that is now taking its toll – I know what he means; between the hungry children of Aleppo and the billionaires’ club of Trump the end of this annus horribilis feels […]

Hygge 2: The Baltic Version

Untitled

As I don’t ski and I have a book to write this winter (‘Hall of Mirrors’) with another to finishing editing (‘The Book of Forgotten Authors’ comes out from Quercus next year), I fancy a break from refurbishing the flat, so we’ll be going back to beautiful Tallinn in Estonia for a few days, then […]