Archive for July, 2013

Well, after a week or so of pensively fingering putative buboes, I think I’m in the clear. There’s been no more swimming in gloop, though I am considering a sally to the ladies’ pond later this week – and if it’s raining, so much the better. We Celts are weeds when it comes to sunshine, […]

Oh dear God that was DISGUSTING. Eurgh, eurgh, hose me down, dunk me in chlorine and pump me full of antibiotics. EURGH! OK, the open-air swimming hasn’t been entirely holed below the water line, but it’s certainly lost some of its sheen – tarnished in the murk of the Serpentine. Perhaps I’m being unfair: expectations […]

This is what happens BEFORE girls barbecue: lists are made, cocktails are googled, the BBC food website is ransacked for ideas. And steadily, steadily, through the previous week the mercury climbs until the day of the barbecue dawns (after a night of dreadful anxiety dreams) and at least 66% of the household is uneasily aware […]



You know the way occasionally you read a book, watch a telly programme or have a really interesting conversation that stays with you? For me, Roger Deakin is that life-changer. His book, Waterlog, read in the chill of this year’s painfully long winter and spring, inspired me to try more wild swimming. We used to […]

Eight. That’s eight. Not seven, nor – thank the Lord – nine, but still, that’s quite a good showing to have added that number of pounds to a not-very-big physique in a mere six days. Still, when these eight pounds are placed in the context of the high-end cocktail bars and restaurants of Ibiza, all […]