Springtime Theatrics in Hospital

Springtime Theatrics in Hospital

My dad has spent his life working in the theatre. He’s acted, directed and stage managed; written plays, sketches and pantomimes; taught students, professionals and celebrities, and even met my mother onstage (she was his leading lady, once upon a time). A fortnight ago, my dad rode to hospital in an ambulance. His fibrosis lungs […]

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I Joined London’s #WomensMarch with a Hundred Thousand Others. What’s Next?

I Joined London’s #WomensMarch with a Hundred Thousand Others. What’s Next?

“We only predicted 18,000 people today…” Sandi Toksvig’s voice echoes through the cardboard placards which fill Trafalgar Square. Faces are turned towards the sun; banners flutter below Nelson’s column, flanked by roaring bronze lions made 150 years ago. If I squint, I can see Big Ben in the distance. We are in the midst of London’s […]

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Why Life in Arezzo Really is Beautiful

From the moment I stepped inside Antonio’s small second-floor apartment, I knew I was going to like Arezzo. This jovial Italian B&B owner seemed resolved to ensure that I saw everything important in his home town, even with just eighteen hours at my disposal: so after Antonio had shown me my bedroom (complete with a view of […]

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Love, Loss and Jewellery, Eight Years On

My mum once pierced her ears with a needle and an ice cube. Well, not exactly. Mum was eighteen, travelling in the US, and it was her American friends who happily volunteered to do the piercing for her; Mum’s friend Lainey who slightly misjudged the needle’s point in Mum’s right earlobe and made the hole a few […]

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Che, Castro and the Legacy of Cuba’s Communism

Hugo and Consuela have a framed photo of Che Guevara above their fish tank. This middle-aged couple, my casa hosts in Santa Clara, have just bought three slices of peso pizza from the hole-in-the-wall round the corner. We sit at their small kitchen table, fans whirring overhead: I nibble at a corner of the greasy slice while Hugo sips […]

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An Explorer’s Motivation

Sir Ranulph Fiennes doesn’t like climbing. “I get vertigo,” he says matter-of-factly to the sea of faces in front of him, explaining that for a long time he refused to embark on any possible expeditions which involved heights. That is, until his wife Ginny died twelve years ago, when he set about trying to confront the fears […]

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