The Pickpocket And Me

The Pickpocket And Me

Evening Standard, November 16, 2010

Having your pocket picked on the Tube might not seem like everyone’s idea of a good start to a day out, but in the end that’s exactly what it was.

It all began in mid-afternoon … read more

Pink Granite Coast

Mail On Sunday, 2010

My father never visited France—although he is buried in the tiny village of Servel, near Lannion, in Brittany. He was on his way to the Far East when he died in October 1944, the huge tank … read more

Christmas Carols

Christmas Carols

We’re hardly the best choir in London. We never rehearse and we only ever meet once a year when we sing Christmas carols in a shopping mall. And although we’re all English, we’re not exclusively Christian.

This year, for instance, … read more

A W-word In Your Ear

Observer Magazine, July 1980

Poor old Elvis couldn’t help it: his eyes glazed over when I started to speak and an expression of strained patience settled across his features. It was the same with James Baldwin and even Georgie Best, … read more

The Making of Trick Or Treat?

The Sunday Times Magazine, September 1976

One lunchtime last summer, Michael Apted and I walked into a crowded restaurant together, sat down, and without looking at each other considered the menu. After a few moments he put his menu down, … read more

Ormskirk – My Hometown

Ormskirk – My Hometown

The Sunday Times Magazine, May 1976

The thing about Ormskirk was the women; they were voluptuous. For 20 years my mother and aunt between them must have clothed more bosoms and more bottoms than any other two persons in the … read more