IT'S NOT DARK YET illustrated by Bob Dylan

IT’S NOT DARK YET

Afdera Fonda knew everyone. She was the daughter of Baron Raimondo Franchetti, the explorer and ambassador to Abyssinia considered the one man who could unite the North African tribes behind the Axis Powers in the Second World War. The bomb that killed him in a plane flying from Cairo to Addis Ababa had been planted […]

PUTIN’S WAR MUST GO ON - illustrated by Vladimir Putin pointing at his eye.

PUTIN’S WAR MUST GO ON

Putin’s war must go on if he is to achieve his long-term and widely misunderstood intentions. Had Russia set out solely to seize Ukraine, destroying its infrastructure would have been an absurd and reckless policy costing decades and billions in reconstruction. But the land battle is secondary to Putin’s goal to demoralise the west and […]

Boris Johnson plays the guitar showing that nobody tells the truth

NOBODY TELLS THE TRUTH

Nobody tells the truth in politics because people only listen to what they want to hear. And politicians only say what advisers tell them the people want to hear. Lies corrode like rust. We – the voter, the optimist, the bloke with his elbow on the pub bar – hang on to illusions … Take […]

Girl writing on a wall illustrates the 3 key elements of the great short story

3 KEY ELEMENTS OF A GREAT SHORT STORY

The 3 elements of a great short story are character, plot and setting.  Shorts are a puzzle the reader probably won’t work out until the last paragraph. They weave fine lines more than broad strokes. Short stories make use of suggestion, atmosphere, the subtly implied gesture. Every word is a soldier ant carrying twice its own […]

Image shows BOB DYLAN FOREVER YOUNG performance with The Band

BOB DYLAN FOREVER YOUNG

When Bob Dylan inspires us to stay forever young, he is not pondering the ageing process. You can’t hold back the hands of the clock. A fresh ring appears every year on the tree. The map of our face is being redrawn constantly by life and its myriad experiences.  On the surface, Forever Young is […]

The Queen and Putin rule by divine right.

RULE BY DIVINE RIGHT

In the early days of exploration and conquest, a strong leader would seize new lands and make himself king. He would raise his flag over the vanquished and rule by divine right. Holy men travel in the shadow of kings to proclaim the slaughter Holy War and draw up official documents to legitimise the new […]

Boris Johnson carries a sign that shows that you can Never Trust a Tory

NEVER TRUST A TORY

Never Trust a Tory is not an unreasonable attack, fake news, a cliché. It is an incontrovertible fact that takes us back to 1979 and Mrs Thatcher’s assault on society – which, she said, did not exist. With her close adviser Nicholas Ridley, Mrs Thatcher agreed to a strategy to abolish the NHS that became known […]

Futuristic landscape depicts 5 DAILY WRITING RITUALS FOR WRITING BETTER

5 DAILY WRITING RITUALS FOR WRITING BETTER

I composed these 5 daily writing rituals for writing better after a period of writer’s block – which I didn’t believe in before I had it – and discovered that by creating firm habits, the block like ice in the sun melted and the words began to flow. It’s not easy being a writer. It’s […]

Diane Kruger illustrated WHOM THE GODS WOULD DESTROY THEY FIRST MAKE BEAUTIFUL

WHOM THE GODS WOULD DESTROY THEY FIRST MAKE BEAUTIFUL

“Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad” is a line from the play Antigone, written circa 440 BC by Sophocles and borrowed by writers ever since. “Whom the gods would destroy they first make beautiful” is probably more applicable when you consider the case of the great beauty Helen: the face that launched a thousand ships. Helen […]

THE SECOND SEX MORE RELEVANT THAT EVER illustrated by Queen Leticia and Princess Kate Middleton

THE SECOND SEX MORE RELEVANT THAN EVER

With their bonnets and frills, slender legs and empty smiles, Queen Letizia of Spain and the Duchess of Cambridge are the poster girls for the second sex. The ideals of equality and emancipation women have struggled to achieve for centuries is swept away like a handful of dust every time they slip into their stilettos […]