Uncle Jack A few years back, I had the good fortune to get to know my wife’s great-uncle, Jack. We would see him whenever we went to visit her family in California. Jack was well into his 80s and he lived in a little studio apartment that stood over the garage of the family’s beach house.… Read More Lola Jacuzzi and life’s whirlpool of regret
It’s a Wonderful Life. Elf. Miracle on 34th Street. Die Hard. They’re all classic Christmas movies, but that last one seems to give some people trouble. Not everyone recognises Die Hard as an actual Christmas film. If you Google the phrase “Christmas movies” you’ll see Die Hard on pretty much any list that comes up.… Read More Yes, Die Hard *IS* a Christmas movie. Here’s proof:
I have just finished watching Netflix’s new horror series The Haunting of Hill House. I found it intensely captivating and not just because it is smartly written and well produced. No, there is something else that deeply resonates with me about Hill House – an unexpected sense of familiarity. Believe it or not, this TV… Read More The haunting of Spring Street House – a real life ghost story
It wasn’t too long ago that there was a lot of online chatter among conservative American evangelicals about how they believed that President Barack Obama was the anti-Christ – the personification of the devil on earth. If you don’t recall, or you’d like a sampling to remind you that this really was a thing, have… Read More Uncovering the anti-Christ. Yes, really. I’ve figured it out.
When I was a kid, I remember thinking about my father: “Were you ever young?” I love my dad, but he is and has always been a bit of an old fogey, and I used to wonder at what point he became that way. I understood, of course, that he had to have once actually… Read More A cantankerous hullabaloo about some fatherly malarkey
A friend told me this story once. This friend is a nice guy, very amiable and easy-going. He also happens to be tall – very tall – 6 foot 5 inches. His height should be entirely incidental to any tale he might tell, except in the case of this one particular story he told me, it… Read More How to win a bar fight with Boris Johnson
There’s a mostly-forgotten little comedy from 1977 called “Oh God,” about a supermarket manager, played by John Denver, who gets regular visits from God. It’s not a particularly famous or memorable movie, but one scene has really stayed with me. It’s not a big moment, but I think about it from time to time, even… Read More I know this much is true, but I wouldn’t mind asking God for his take on it
We’re looking around for a secondary school for our daughter and it’s very stressful. There are so many admissions requirements to meet, exams to prepare for, tutors to hire and finally, applications to submit. But you do it all because you’re terrified of what might happen otherwise. If you miss one little deadline or make… Read More How to raise a happy, unsuccessful child
There’s an old joke that I always thought did a good job of capturing the frustration we feel when we want to be known for one thing, but wind up being remembered for something else. A man walks into a bar and sits next to a talkative old drunk, who introduces himself as Fergus. The… Read More You might remember me as that splat the rat chap. Also, I killed Jesus.
Today, I went to Canary Wharf to meet some friends at a pub, in order to collectively celebrate Mother’s Day. It was one of those very modern, family-friendly chain pubs where the menu features British standards such as fish and chips alongside twists on dishes from other countries and cultures. Vietnamese spicy chicken wings. Harissa… Read More I don’t think this song means what you think it means