A lonely pelican in a camel enclosure

  In her light-hearted take on positive discrimination in the workplace*, Caitlin Moran wrote that when women are the office minority, they can start to feel like pelicans in a camel enclosure at the zoo: “the camels can’t help but look at the pelican beaks oddly, and go off and do ‘camel things’ in the… Continue reading A lonely pelican in a camel enclosure

The empathy deficit

Recently, I’ve started giving James O’Brien’s show on LBC an occasional listen. I know I shouldn’t – it’s just another cosy nook in the liberal, left-wing echo chamber, really, let’s be honest. And I sometimes find myself wincing at his approach – he does like to verbally pummel his callers, even the ones who agree… Continue reading The empathy deficit

Sunday Stuff – 02/07/17

Let’s take a break from The Politics and talk about the good stuff, the life fuel – food, books and music. Full Moon Fever, Tom Petty ‘Free Fallin” was the first song I ever taught myself on guitar. It’s ludicrously easy (capo on the third fret and the chord pattern D-G-G-D-A) but aged 12, I… Continue reading Sunday Stuff – 02/07/17

On politics and anger

It was about twenty years ago that, following one of her traditional Sunday roasts, my darling Granny managed to serve someone’s portion of rhubarb crumble with mayonnaise. It went down in Parnell-Helyer history, and became a kind of family shorthand for an act of foolishness: “it’s all gone a bit mayonnaise-on-the-rhubarb”. Whenever I recall it… Continue reading On politics and anger

The price of power

There’s a talk by American activist and media pundit Dan Savage about romantic relationships and their “price of admission”. Essentially, the price of admission is the thing(s) you’re willing to put up with to have your partner in your life. It might be a bad habit, an obscure fetish, or a political belief. A friend… Continue reading The price of power

Better than this

I’ve been trying to write about tomorrow’s election for a couple of weeks now, but I’ve struggled. I read Dave Eggers’ 2013 novel The Circle over the weekend – binged on it, really, and if you haven’t read it, I urge you to – and it made me incredibly conscious of how many opinions we now try… Continue reading Better than this

When fear is the easy option

I’m quite excitable by nature – it doesn’t take much to give me one of those mini-rushes of everyday joy*. The mere sight of Brighton’s white buildings against blue skies. Meeting dogs – any dogs – on the street or at the beach. Plump-cheeked toddlers. Pretty skirts and dresses. Pretty skirts and dresses that have… Continue reading When fear is the easy option