The Right Thing


The House of Lords is the strangest institution. It really is. If you hadn’t already known that, it was laid bare in the BBC’s fly-on-the-wall documentary which showed a world of archaic custom and privilege. It was jokingly described by one Liberal Democrat peer as “the best day care centre for the elderly in London” and much of the BBC footage seemed to put flesh on the bones of that one-lin…

In Current Affairs

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The L Word


In those busy days before Christmas a story snuck into the news which made me do a double-take. It didn’t seem to get that much attention, drowned out in the hubbub of the countdown to the Big Day, but I think it's a huge story. It was reported that the proportion of 25 year olds who own their own homes has more than halved in the last 20 years.  HALVED!  Just one fifth 25 year olds are now ho…

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Old traditions die hard


I have noticed that many of us are very particular and indeed sentimental about Christmas. We’re all very emotionally attached  to our own family traditions and when people from different families come together, for example when they get married, there’s a very interesting little bit of jockeying that goes on as to which partner’s Christmas traditions prevail.  Real tree or artificial tree? Full-…

In Community

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I'm on the train!


I wouldn’t say I was a particularly early adopter of the mobile phone.  Maybe it was the yuppies of the 1980’s with their brick-sized mobile’s or the idiot who would talk loudly and incessantly on the train with the inevitable tag-line “I’m on the train” that put me off.  I could never quite see the immense appeal of mobile phones to my children as they were growing up and viewed the classroom on…

In Community

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Tipping Point


Who to tip and in what circumstances?  It’s a social minefield where you’re constantly torn between not wanting to be mean or offensive (which I can easily be) and not wanting to be ripped-off (where again, I carry the scars!).  All the more tricky in a foreign land where different customs prevail as I recently found out on holiday in America. In the US, the price that you’re shown can often b…

In Economy

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