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The talented Mr Ripley

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The talented Mr Ripley

Eating arrangements, like much else in my childhood, were very controlled not to say regimented, therefore delicious Sunday roasts and, for a short period, grilled sausages, were a welcome relief. Sunday lunch and the atmosphere were dominated by the main course, which might be roast chicken with bread sauce, a shoulder of pork with crackling and apple…

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It’s not you, it’s me

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It’s not you, it’s me

  This is by way of being an apology. Etiquette dictates that those intending to dump their girlfriends or boyfriends should seem to apologise by employing the simple formula, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Passing a few hours online the other day, I happened across a rather attractive T-shirt for sale which bore the message,…

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Ganga’s Motor Bus

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Ganga’s Motor Bus

Twice in my life I have felt very close to my grandfather.  The first occasion was on a bright day in the late summer of 1933; old and very ill, but optimistic as always, he was wheeled out into his Warwickshire garden to sit for a while in the sun with his legs supported on…

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A case of nostalgia

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A case of nostalgia

May was a good month for reminiscences and, interestingly, many of my reflections were in keeping with a recent change. One might have predicted that with age, one’s thoughts of recent forebears might diminish, however, they are now on the increase.    

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The estuary boys

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The estuary boys

Puzzling over accents gives me enormous pleasure. Trying to work out a person’s origins from their voice is an obsession [see In a manner of speaking  Greyhares, 9 September 2012] and there is little more disquieting than hearing an accent that I cannot place, or one that jars.  At the same time, disguising my own voice…

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Surely not the postman?

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Surely not the postman?

As life plods inexorably on its way, one might as well get used to the notion that some of the characters who once seemed to be part of the very fabric of society will recede into the background; they will flicker, fade, and then perhaps disappear quietly for ever. Among them are clearly some figures…

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Cutting the cord

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Cutting the cord

Already this year I have spent three months in France and I plan to be there for at least another two. Next year I imagine it will be even longer. Inevitably, with these extended periods abroad, I began to wonder exactly where I belong – a question which, at my stage of life, comes as…

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The steam age (and my part in its revival)

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The steam age (and my part in its revival)

I have been authoritatively assured that one day, sooner or later, I shall find myself facing the Great Assessor in The Sky. When that happens, I am told, he will have searching questions to ask me, so I had better be prepared.  In particular, he will want to know whether I have achieved anything positive…

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