After a gap of 30 years I wondered if I’d enjoy seeing the famous musical Cats as much this time round. I saw it in the early 1980s and it was a very special night out. The show was a huge success. Its first run in London lasted 21 years and it was a long-term hit on Broadway too. Over the years it has been performed in many other countries, been seen by more than 73 million people, and won many awards. Now it is at the London Palladium for a short and final season. I had organised for 14 of us to go to a matinee. Would it live up to my memory? Continue reading
I wander in awe around the city,
Those artisan arches and avenues,
Classic sights along the snaking Seine,
Pausing to admire the iconic tower.
I hadn’t noticed the smog until the taxi driver mentioned it. We were on our way from Kuala Lumpur airport to the city for a night’s stay before continuing on to Borneo. One of my travelling companions asked if we would be passing any major sights, if so, would he point them out. The driver’s reply was alarming. It would be hard to see anything from a distance. The whole city was covered in a smoke haze. It had been like it for weeks.
He explained more. The haze happens every year. It drifts across from Indonesia; from Sumatra and the Kalimantan province of Borneo. It’s caused by ‘slashing and burning’ – a cheap way to clear land. Some farmers might adopt the technique but the finger of blame mainly points to the palm oil producers creating space for yet more plantations. Continue reading
This is one of the best books I’ve ever read: beautifully written, moving and informative. The story is rather unusual – the training of a goshawk – but its many layers cover themes that are common to us all. Continue reading
… and how I lost my birthday money.
As a child I loved the TV programme The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Illya Kuryakin and Napoleon Solo were my absolute heroes. Each episode excited and entertained to the full as they battled those evil enemies from T.H.R.U.S.H. Continue reading