04 September 2019 | Diary

Yesterday, I took some raisins from the jar in our kitchen. A single raisin fell to floor and, impossibly, has yet to be found. The same thing happens again this morning. If this continues, we’ll be ankle-deep in raisins and we won’t be able to see any of them.

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03 September 2019 | Diary

I spend too much of the day following news of the Benn Bill, the most powerful weapon at the moment in the arsenal against you-know-what. Rolling news always leaves me feeling slightly demented and incapable of doing anything like work, so I cut my losses and go to the cinema for Once Upon a Time […]

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How I Archive My Paperwork

02 September 2019 | Diary

The new Idler magazine is handed to me by Hanson, dutiful postie to our Scottish Belle Ombre. Hanson’s excited because the chap from Sleaford Mods is on the cover and gurning at us through the cellophane. Tearing off the wrapper, I turn first, as is human and natural, to my column. It’s probably my worst […]

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Some Innocent Blowhole

01 September 2019 | Diary

I go for a lot of walks and, as I do so, I feel a near-constant urge to pick up litter. I’ve considered buying some gloves and bin bags for just this purpose: so that my walks might be more useful than mere exercises in burning calories, collecting steps, and providing an admittedly-important space for […]

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The Doggos

31 August 2019 | Diary

I’ve never been overly fond of dogs but my wife loves them and her enthusiasm is clearly rubbing off on me. Whenever we see a dog being walked, or sitting in a car, or waiting patiently outside a shop, or miles and miles away from us in the distance, or in a painting, or in […]

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The Wedding Cake

30 August 2019 | Diary

Today is my sister’s wedding and, in the afternoon, Samara and I find ourselves alone in a room with the wedding cake. It’s a beautiful, three-tier lemon cake and, so far as I know, none of the other guests has even seen it yet. The excitement is too much for me and I decide that […]

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The Wretched

29 August 2019 | Diary

On an England-bound train to attend my sister’s wedding, fields of harvested wheat zip by and a young business consultant sits at a table across the aisle. She has a tattoo of a pineapple on her inner arm, one of a flamingo on her calf muscle, and a large bottle of Birra Moretti–opened but completely […]

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First Rule

28 August 2019 | Diary

All of the low-use fabric items in our home (bed linens, winter clothes) are neatly stacked and stored in vacuum-sealed bags, which always amuses any friends who happen to notice. They think I’m an anal-retentive madman. While I’d be lying if I said the zip-locked order doesn’t appeal to that side of me, it’s really […]

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The Millionth Me

27 August 2019 | Diary

No more! Please, no more! Alan came over this evening to take some pictures, one of which will become the author photograph for a new book jacket. This meant another session of looking at my own dopey face on a screen for longer than is strictly healthy. While it doesn’t have to be perfect, I […]

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The Sellafield Special

26 August 2019 | Diary

Look at this brilliant-green spongecake I’m about to eat. I’m not sure the photograph does justice to how tremblingly, retina-searingly green it is, but if you imagine a plutonium halo around it you’ll get the idea. It looks like it was baked in the reacor core at Sizewell B. Ah, well. Here goes. Yum-yum-yum. I’ll […]

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