My Blog

A Letter From Home, February 1918

A few years ago I discovered a great-uncle I'd never known about had been killed a week before the end of the First World War, aged nineteen. Somehow he'd slipped entirely from the family narrative; even my dad didn't know he'd even existed and this was his own...

read more

The Silvertown Explosion, 19th January 1917

One hundred years ago today, at 6.52pm, the Brunner Mond munitions factory in the Silvertown district of east London blew up. It was an explosion heard as far afield as Cambridge, Salisbury and Southampton and killed at least 73 people. My great-grandparents had a...

read more

The Infinite Sparkle of Bap Kennedy

When news broke on Tuesday evening that Bap Kennedy had died it was as if the world took a blow to the solar plexus. It wasn’t entirely unexpected given the bleakness of his cancer diagnosis earlier this year, but the wave of grief that washed through social media...

read more

The Thrill Of Europe & How To Make The Most Of It

In 1992 I went interrailing with my friend Paul. We’d spent most of our money on the tickets so planned to save what little cash we had left by sleeping on overnight trains whenever we could. We soon developed a routine of arriving at a station in the evening, looking...

read more

The Absolute, Definite Last Word on the Bath Half Marathon

I am aware I have been banging on about this half-marathon as if I’m the first person ever to have run one for far too long. In my defence it’s been in an attempt to distract you with bad jokes while picking your pocket for sponsorship cash. So before detailing the...

read more

What I’ve Learned From Running

It's just days until the race now. I'd like to say I'm in tip-top condition and raring to go. I'd really, really like to say that. It would probably be the case, were it not for a running-induced bladder infection and a sore back, but whatsa guy to do, huh? Whatsa guy...

read more

On Paying A Man To Rub Me: A Week To Go

Last night I stripped down to my underpants and paid a man to rub me for an hour. It’s something I haven’t done since that weekend in Hamburg whe… erm, it’s not something I’ve ever done before, but such is my dedication to getting round this half marathon with a...

read more