Opinion: Liddle, Padella, Pastor and the no reservations conspiracy

I read an article in The Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago. I say article, in that it contained words printed on the pages of a newspaper magazine, but perhaps ‘piece’ would be more appropriate. ‘Article’ confines it within the boundaries of simple journalism. It’s restrictive. ‘Piece’ is far more generous. It allows the…

Blog: DRY BABY – Why I’m going sober for my wife’s pregnancy.

An Actor Consumes decides to go sober in solidarity as his wife is expecting their second child with unexpected reactions. Babies, booze and Billy Joel My friend looks me straight in the eye, all expression drained from his face. There’s a beat. No scratch that, a pause. A Pinter pause, a protracted silence that’s brimming…

Feature: Wilderness 2016 Part 4 – The End

Sunday ​And so we get to Sunday morning, the beginning of the end, always a melancholy moment of any festival with its back to school feeling and two day suspended hangover. This one begins with the confirmation of what I knew was coming all weekend but didn’t want to admit; all of the girls are…

Feature: Wilderness 2016 Part 2 – Friday Night/Saturday Morning

Arrival ​Like all good festivals, there’s absolutely zero sign of Wilderness until suddenly it’s taking up your entire field of vision, and there’s no denying it looks glorious with leaves in bloom and sun blazing down on the hillside. Anticipating late arrival we stumped up for a pre-allocated plot with its own car park, but to begin…

Feature: Wilderness 2016 Part 1 – Confessions of a Sceptic

  It’s 12:05 on a sunny Friday afternoon in Stockwell and I’m on edge. I’m loading up a car that doesn’t belong to me with hastily packed bags from an upstairs flat in the gated mews I’ve gained access to, and it’s attracting the attention of staff working in the office below, which happens to be a…

Travel: Xiamen, China Part 4 – The Art of Expensive

From this point on my meals begin to blend into each other a little more as I find myself eating alone more often than not, the initial thrill of having an English tutor to show off giving way to the reality of awkward conversations not so much hampered by the language barrier as blocked by…

Travel: Xiamen, China Part 3 – Eat and Greet

Where to begin? I’ll be honest, I don’t know how to approach this. I have tried to come up with a compelling and visionary device that introduces the various meals as disparate strands of a story and ties them together at the end with some kind of masterstroke metaphor which amusingly sums up how tasty…