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Breaking the blog-a-day spell as warm up to holiday

Posted on 20 July 2009 | 5:07pm

Concerned regulars text, email and comment, to ask whether the blog-free last couple of days signifies some woe that may have befallen me. One of my bouts of depression, for example. Something even worse, suggested others hopefully. Mais non .. am ok, on a scale of one to ten, around about seven in the ok up […]

No hiding place from Twitter, me on the bike, JP in DC

Posted on 17 July 2009 | 6:07pm

I always, always, always wear a helmet when cycling. Always. Except yesterday. And guess which day it was that someone tweeted that they’d seen me out on the bike. Yesterday. Followed by someone who said they once saw me and Boris Johnson out cycling on the same day, though not together. Boris never wears a […]

At last – something Obama cannot do well

Posted on 16 July 2009 | 10:07am

Lesser mortals among the fraternity known as ‘world leaders’ may take a little comfort from the fact that finally, Barack Obama has been found wanting. Luckily for the President, who can make fly-swatting look like an act of relaxed statesmanship, his chink has been exposed not on matters war and peace, life and death, or […]

Will MPs take the lead in the debate on euthanasia?

Posted on 15 July 2009 | 12:07pm

There is something very moving about the accounts of the deaths, together in a private Swiss clinic, of conductor Sir Edward Downes and his wife Joan, a former ballet dancer. Though he was older by eleven years, and frail, it was she who was terminally ill, and their mutual assisted death clearly seen by them and […]

Berlin brothel leads the way to a greener world

Posted on 14 July 2009 | 10:07am

I don’t think I have ever been in a brothel. I say ‘don’t think’ because I did wander into a somewhat sexually charged bar with a photographer colleague in Nairobi once which, he informed me the next day, was in fact a front for all manner of stuff going on upstairs. The hero of my novel, […]

A time for GB to explain the whole picture

Posted on 13 July 2009 | 12:07pm

Today all the focus is on Afghanistan. But it is worth looking for a moment at other situations in which the Government has called on our military to risk their lives. First, in Northern Ireland, and as that part of the UK continues to take steps through normality towards a lasting peaceful settlement, the troops who served […]

All hail Monty, Jimmy and Collie!

Posted on 12 July 2009 | 8:07pm

I thought I would get back from the triathlon (good fun but horrible wind), clamber onto the sofa and fall asleep in front of Australia’s cruise towards victory in the first Test. Sleep? Not a chance. One of the cliche complaints trotted out by people who don’t get cricket is that a match can last […]

First triathlon of the summer for me, education award for Fiona

Posted on 12 July 2009 | 9:07am

The triathlon season is well under way, and today is my first of the summer. However, in part because of a shoulder injury which has prevented me from swimming, I am taking part in a relay, with Olympic gold medal-winning canoeist Tim Brabants the one getting wet for the cause, before I get on the […]

Of Burnley’s friendly and Obama’s wandering eye

Posted on 11 July 2009 | 12:07pm

I know some of you think I am overly obsessed with football, and Burnley in particular. But I normally draw the line at travelling north for pre-season friendlies. I am only going to our first of the season, at Bradford City this afternoon, to get some final shots and interviews for the BBC programme I […]

Two great early morning moments

Posted on 10 July 2009 | 10:07am

I was up north for a wedding yesterday, in one of the most beautiful parts of Britain. Hence the stunning backdrops to telly interviews I did on David Cameron, Andy Coulson and the News of the World phone hacking scandal. ‘Oh Heathcliffe, Heathcliffe,’ or variants on the theme, was the most common text message that […]