Freedom Day?

It doesn’t seem much like freedom. If I were out, I’d still be wearing a mask and taking precautions. But I can’t go out. It’s 30 degrees outside and I’m self-isolating. This self-isolation is for a good reason. My partner, who has been in hospital, has to return for further tests, though only as an… Continue reading Freedom Day?

Education – what is it for?

I was already an adult when ideas about education changed. It was as though we’d gone back in time to a view of education not unlike the one Dickens satirised in Hard Times. In the second chapter, under the title ‘Murdering the Innocents,’ the reader is introduced to the approach to education exemplified by Mr… Continue reading Education – what is it for?

The return of Robin Hood?

Nottingham Castle has an exciting history. It’s not only been the (possibly fictional) scene of Robin Hood’s encounters with the Sheriff of Nottingham. It’s been the real-life scene of many sieges and rebellions. Though Charles I raised his standard by the castle at the start of the Civil War in 1642, the city supported parliament… Continue reading The return of Robin Hood?

London in layers

The view changed over the years. Storms came and trees were felled. Flocks of sheep stopped roaming the park and polo-players moved elsewhere so that later generations of children could no longer collect broken mallets and balls. The primary school I attended was renamed and re-roofed. But sometimes at night the grunt of deer and… Continue reading London in layers

At a distance

Lockdown began – the first lockdown – and I was in the wrong place for any writing. Or if I was in the right place, the books and resources I needed weren’t there, the libraries and archives were closed, and I had to put my main project aside. And I didn’t feel much like writing.… Continue reading At a distance

Standing at the Crossroads

I didn’t want to believe in it. Sure, there could be occasional instances of racism, misogyny, class hatred and so forth – but how could it be embedded in an institution or system? After all, we’re good people – aren’t we? When I was young, I didn’t want to believe that I could ever be… Continue reading Standing at the Crossroads


Three years ago I was in north Northumberland with my partner. It’s an area of the country I’ve visited many times, but always in Spring or summer. I’d like to think I belong there but I don’t – not now, though I sometimes dream of moving there and watching the landscape change through autumn and… Continue reading Travelling