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

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

Sunday Seven, 14/05/17

Things I’ve loved and learned in the few weeks… Body To Ground EP, Hollie Rogers God damn, this woman can sing. And write. I’m sort of biased because Drummer Boy, erm, drums for her, so I’ve been to a fair few of her gigs now, and she’s rehearsed in our studio (we say studio, you… Continue reading Sunday Seven, 14/05/17

Awareness is not enough

If like me, you spend most of your waking hours refreshing Twitter, on the look-out for cute puppy gifs, excellent puns and headlines to get outraged about, you’ll know that this week is Mental Health Awareness Week. And I don’t want to get all Piers “Sentient Ham” Morgan on you, but I’m fresh out of… Continue reading Awareness is not enough