Author: admin

Student journalism: the next generation

My career as a writer is entirely the result of becoming involved in student journalism, which itself is probably the result of the deathly dull engineering course I’d enrolled on. So I was quite flattered to be invited to deliver…

In for the count

A bit of variety is always welcome, and the surprise June 2017 UK general election provided a surprise assignment for me from television news broadcaster ITN. The task: attend the ballot count at a nearby constituency, and be the first…

Next stop Dakar

I never really wanted to be a Formula One driver or MotoGP racer, not really. Maybe a little bit. But as soon as I learned of the Dakar rally I wanted to take part. Ten thousand kilometres from Paris to…

How I wrote a novel in a month

At first sight, it seemed a ridiculous proposition: start writing a novel on 1 November, and have 50,000 words done by the end of the month. That’s nearly 1700 words a day, every day, on top of the regular workload.…

Ducking for a Vulcan

XH558 pic by Russ Swan

I’ve got quite swept up in enthusiasm for the Avro Vulcan, the last airworthy example of which is retiring this year. It’s a remarkable aircraft by any measure, and I have a particular personal affection for the beast. One of…

Up hill and down dale

ALWAYS a time for reflection, New Year, and my recent post about the 50,000 miles I clocked up over 18 months in the Citroen DS4 got me to thinking. In an idle hour (not much productive work to do this…

Citroen DS4: long term test

IT WAS always the wrong car for me, but it came with a job and so I lived with it for 18 months and 50,000 miles. The Citroen DS4 proved to be stylish, comfortable, and economical to run, but was…

My own Bourne identity

IN THE 2002 movie, super-cool uber-spy Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) battles to discover his identity by way of fast cars, beautiful women, big guns, and huge explosions. This has very little in common with what I’ve spent the last couple of…

Open University plays fast and loose

I’M ASTONISHED to see that the Open University has suppressed a comment I left pointing out a basic error on one of its new YouTube videos. Universities are supposed to be about sharing knowledge, not suppressing it, and the OU of…