An Ideal Husband

An Ideal Husband

So how should we regard the delectable Mrs Chevely, with her arch looks and glittering Lamia gown  so wonderfully nuanced by Ms Bond?  Lord Goring has no doubt.   ‘She looks like a woman with a past, doesn’t she?   Most pretty women do.  But there is a fashion in pasts just as there is a fashion in frocks.  Perhaps Mrs Chevely’s past is merely a slightly décolleté one, but they are extremely popular nowadays.’     So is she a clever but dangerous woman who lacks any scruples to get what she wants, an... Read more »

Diogenes in the Age of Reflection

Diogenes in the Age of Reflection

‘You’re rather like Diogenes in his barrel’,  David declared on his fourth visit to my little cottage in Edensor.   Was that a compliment?   Well, on the principle of the glass being half full, I decided that it was.  I quite liked the idea of being perceived by the medical fraternity... Read more »

You shouldn’t ever go back

You shouldn’t ever go back

I rarely watch television.  Most of it is rubbish; idiotic game shows, predictable soaps, tedious news commentary and mind numbing adverts.  But ‘The Song of Lunch’,  the dramatisation of Christopher Reid’s narrative, superbly performed by Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson,  was something different.    Shocking, intense and bleak, the poem is... Read more »

Lost Soul

I’m not sure she knows me now.  Most of the time she sits pulling the hem of her dress across her bare knees, leaning forward and then lying down in her chair, picking at her sleeves, trying to undo her buttons; her face a sad mask of confusion.  She seems... Read more »

The averted face of care

The carers leave notes for each other on the wall above the work surface in her kitchen.  The one this morning read,  ‘If the district nurse or any member of the family ask you to help them move Doris, you must say NO!’  I went through to the bedroom.  Mum was... Read more »

Je t’aime.

In one video,  the artist stopped people in the street and asked them to look into the camera and say  ‘Je t’aime’ (I love you).   Her subjects found it so difficult.  Their body language was so defensive.   They laughed, looked away, crossed their arms, shuffled their feet, lit a cigarette.... Read more »

The Real Thing

I thought it was going to be too clever by half, a criticism so often levelled at Stoppard and parodied in the character of Henry, the playwright.  Was his writing the real thing or just or just the defensive manipulations of an expert wordsmith, obfuscating, confusing, keeping everything ambivalent.  Or... Read more »

The party’s over; it’s time to call it a day …….

It always ends in tears.  Gordon Brown had been at the top of British Politics for 20 years and now he’s gone.  Not only did he resign as Prime Minister, he ruled himself as leader of The Labour Party and said he would step down as MP.  Suddenly people are... Read more »

Lost in Translation; the vanishing cultures of South East Asia.

In the more remote villages, they live in long houses, constructed of bamboo and rattan,  cook on open wooden fires, squat on the dirt floor to eat from a low table and sleep on a low wooden platform.  They wear traditional clothes, grow their own vegetables and hill rice, brew... Read more »


‘Oh, dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.’  It was like a metronome, every second.  Simon worked out that at this rate, she would say oh dear, 3600 times an hour,  up to 50,000 times a day,  15 million times a year.  But the mantra had some more intense... Read more »

A Bridge too Far

Psychotherapy is a strange world.  It claims to help people resolve conflict and change, yet the whole profession is deeply split.  The psychoanalysts, humanists and behaviourists are all convinced their approach is only true one, but when it all boils down, there is more to connect different therapies than to... Read more »