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Christopher Fowler
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Great Britain
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The pubs are open in Old London Town for the moment, and they're very quiet - a joy for the drinker, a nightmare for the publican. Workers simply aren't returning to their offices, and that means the central London mental health support services, of which pubs must be the biggest, don't have their custom. Yet it's summer and outside drinking is the norm, so there are plenty of safe spaces to enjoy…
19 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
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Yesterday I woke up unable to breathe. The doctor thought I'd caught COVID so I ended up in A&E. After I tested negative for the virus it was decided to look for something else. As the day wore on I underwent a battery of tests. Canulas were fitted, much blood was taken and a CT scan revealed a surprising pre-existing problem exacerbated by my recent health trauma. A specialist was consulted, a…
25 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
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HRH likes a tipple, and her choice of poison is of course her own mother's ruin, gin. So it makes perfect sense that the Queen should start selling Buckingham Palace gin, described thusly on the label; 'Lemon, verbena, hawthorn berries and mulberry leaves are among the 12 botanicals hand-picked for the gin in the Gardens at Buckingham Palace, which span 16 hectares and provide a habitat for 30…
45 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
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Lockdown is clearly over in people's minds. These are the lovely students of King's Cross living on the BOMAD in sumptuous flats their folks will flip the second they've all finished their degrees in advanced macramé. They're phantom residents as invisible to us as tourists. The stars of the Great Pause have been the enterprising local kids who found ways to keep shops and services running, like…
19 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
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The command has come down from on high, against the advice of scientists. We must all rush back to Oxford Street, hurdling the partitions, one-way systems, guards and staff armed with antiseptic sprays to...er, browse for knick-knacks. My mother-in-law in Australia tells me they had near-riots when the shops reopened there, people fighting to get in. The McDonalds branches opened at midnight and…
38 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
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I wasn't capable of building models without gluing my eyelids. Like many of my friends, I grew up without a television. My grandmother disapproved of shouting and running on a Sunday, and never bought a TV because she thought it would irradiate the brain and destroy the art of conversation. When she finally succumbed, she hung a cloth over it and put a vase of flowers on the top, as if hoping to…
36 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
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On one level at least, lockdown has not been as awful as I'd imagined. Suddenly there's time to focus and consider what's important, and as Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis pointed out, it had nothing to do with courage or fortitude but decency and respect. The importance of things has reshuffled itself into a new order. Out go fads and fripperies, the luxury of choice, the complaining that…
14 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
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My friend Dan decided to by a flat near us in Barcelona and told his wife to only look in the areas he had marked on the map. Why those areas? They were all a certain height above sea level. How we laughed at him. He was right, of course; Barcelona was extended into the ocean and soon could be reclaimed. That's why the inland cathedral is called Catedral Del Mar; it was once on the coast…
6 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
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While many of the palaces of the maharajahs survived in India, it has been more normal globally to wantonly destroy the artefacts of other faiths. British soldiers may have chiselled genitalia from non-Christian statuary and smashed up the old Chinese Summer Palace, but they did it while singing of doing good deeds in God's name. In Smyrna the sectarian violence continued beyond the destruction of…
7 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
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Did you ever have the feeling that you arrived too late in this world? The Britain into which I was born felt very much like the aftermath of cataclysmic events; post-war, end of empire, a nation with its glory days behind it. Today's young must be feeling something similar, arriving when the climate is beyond control, wildlife is dying, leaders are extremists and the lack of unity between nations…
32 comments

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