I fear for my life more and more these days. My childrens’ too.
Every six weeks, to be precise. That’s when we visit the local Turkish Barber.
We used to go to a unisex salon. It was a safe space to take my children. Sure, there were scissors in use. But we never saw blood spilled, only hair clippings.
The young women who cut our hair were gentle. They spoke softly and asked the boys what they’d been doing at school.
The element of danger was very small. Continue reading
Posted in Life
We’ve just booked flights to Budapest so we can attend the wedding of an old university friend. The flights cost us nothing, because we paid for them using Avios. What are Avios, you may wonder? They’re a loyalty points system operated by British Airways, and they used to be called Air Miles. Continue reading
It was the geneticist, Richard Dawkins, in his book The Selfish Gene, who first proposed the idea of the meme. Dawkins defined the meme as a unit of cultural transmission, an idea, pattern or concept that could be passed from person to person, changing or evolving as it propagates, such that successful memes or their variants spread rapidly, and unpopular memes die out. Dawkins, a scientist and an atheist, no doubt had in mind the notion that scientific and rational memes would steadily gain acceptance, and that religious and superstitious memes, when exposed to the harsh light of analysis and debate would gradually fade away. What a tragedy then, that the memes that seem to spread like wildfire are trivial nonsense at best, or ignorant bigotry at worst. Continue reading
When I was a child, Christmas was a magical time, packed with excitement, wishes for presents, feasts of chocolate and mince pies, and dreams of snow and warm fires. But then, when I had children myself, the magic was pooped on, fought over, cried about, broken into pieces, and became the source of arguments. Continue reading
Once upon a time, many years ago, I worked for a company that did business with South Korea. In my job, I spent a lot of time on the phone to the Korean office in Seoul. I spoke daily to the office manager and his two secretaries and got to know them quite well. Then one day I got the chance to fly out to Seoul for two weeks on a sales visit. I was very excited, and it seemed that I wasn’t the only one. Continue reading
Posted in Life
Tagged Humour, Work
This is something we all do. Me especially. I’m a paint-watcher by nature. Not literally. I have never seen anyone literally watching paint dry. But metaphorically, we do it all the time. Continue reading
Do you know those newspaper columnists who cynically bundle together their previously-published articles and release them as a book? What a brilliant idea! I decided to do the same. Continue reading
When I was a teenager, the films that my friends and I most wanted to watch were marked with a large, lurid “18” logo. There was no explanation whether this was because of sex, violence or bad language (or all three.) We had to guess from the cover. Nowadays, the situation is more nuanced. Certificates are accompanied by explanatory material, justifying the rating. Continue reading
Everything beeps. The alarm clock beeps. My phone beeps. My car beeps.
The washing machine beeps. The dryer beeps. The microwave oven beeps.
Until I worked out how to change it, the dishwasher used to beep.
Sometimes, in the middle of the night, when we are all asleep, the smoke detector beeps.
The TV beeps. The Playstation beeps. On a bad day even the fridge beeps.
I hate it when they beep. Why won’t they stop?
My debut novel, The Yoga Sutras, was published one year ago today. Publishing the book was a huge personal achievement for me, but it’s hardly been a bestseller. In order to punish myself for this failure and engage in some self-flagellation, I’ve decided to take a hard look at reviews of the book and see what I can learn. Continue reading
Posted in Books & Films, Yoga
Tagged Book reviews, Books, Creativity, Fiction, Humour, Philosophy, Self-Publication, Words, Work, Writing, Yoga