Archive for the ‘People’ Category

It’s not every day that the telephone rings and the man’s voice at the other end happens to be a legendary composer of film music. But that’s what happened to me yesterday. My home phone rang at 5pm and the caller was none other than John Williams, phoning from the famous Massachusetts music venue Tanglewood where […]

Last Monday, I learned something that I had not known before. I learned it – believe it or not – while visiting a shed on a remote island, almost 1000km north of London in the North Sea.  The shed belonged to an artist living on the island of Bressay, eight minutes or so across the […]

It’s official: I have reached middle age. Kind of.  I say “kind of” because medical diagnoses on the internet are about as reliable as expecting a London bus to arrive on time. Yet, according to‘s Life Expectancy Calculator – which uses “the most current and carefully researched medical and scientific data” to estimate how […]

Last Thursday, more than a dozen of the United Kingdom’s top comedians – including Jack Dee, pictured, Jo Brand, Omid Djalili, Alexei Sayle – put their names to a letter in The Times, expressing their concern about human rights in Iran, particularly the danger being faced by the national administrative committee that has been looking […]

Dancing on Ice


I can honestly say I’ve never been a suffererer of paraskavedekatriaphobia. In fact I’m rarely aware of what the date is on any given day, which makes the phobia even less likely to impinge on my consciousness. Paraskavedekatriaphobia, in case you haven’t come across the word before, is the fear of Friday 13th. According to one […]

On Wednesday 14 May 2008, six members of the informal administrative committee that attended to the basic needs of Iran’s Bahá’í community, were taken from their homes in an early morning sweep ominously similar to episodes in the 1980s when scores of Iranian Bahá’ís were rounded up and killed. A seventh member of the group had […]

Lucky Lilian


Last week, heaven welcomed a new angel. Her name was Lilian Carpenter – Lilian, Lady Carpenter to be precise, for that was what she was – a lady and an angel. A couple of years ago when a long-standing Bahá’í – the possessor of many memories and experiences – was visiting London, I asked him […]