The Unpleasantness At The Bellona Club*

“That’s all healing up nicely,” says Jackie the plastic surgery nurse after she’s peeled off the steristrips.  Clipping the plastic stitches with her tweezers, she sticks pink micropore tape over my almost-healed scars. “That’s a relief,” Mum says, looking a bit less miserable for the first time in days. “Oh good,” I say, looking down […]

The Painted Veil*

China 1925.   Toby Jones, Naomi Watts and Edward Norton are in a remote Chinese mountain town in the midst of a cholera epidemic.  They have opium, bamboo forests and possibly pandas, although haven’t seen one yet.  They are carried everywhere in litters on the shoulders of local people, which seems an excellent way to […]

Dirty Harry*

Wake up drenched with sweat but freezing.   “Is that sweat or wee in your bed,” Mum says, at 6.45am or so, when we get up in time for 8.15am Spin. “Sweat, this time,” I say, pulling on my padded-bottomed cycling shorts, fluoro gym top, Mum’s white snow-boots, trousers, scarf, gloves and goat .  “So […]

Mathematical Model Shows What Makes Some Animals Have A Certain Pattern Of Stripes

Since the 1950s, scientists have been trying to model possible scenarios why some animals have certain patterns of stripes. For example, instead of having just a black canvas, tigers have parallel stripes that are evenly spaced and perpendicular to the spine. In quest for the answer, researchers from Harvard Medical School have assembled a range… […]

Tequila Mockingbird*

   Happy Boxing Day!  That’s my outfit yesterday.    Today wore these for Two Hour Boxing Day Spin:    1.  Look at the attached photo: Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a literary twist.   2.  A present from my cousin yesterday.  Cocktails include: Romeo and Julep Huckleberry Sin Rye and Prejudice Love in the Time of […]

It’s A Wonderful Life*

1.  Happy Christmas from lunch with Lily and her family and canine nephew! 2.  Running round the three gardens with this beagle person:    3.  Am having fun. 4.  It’s nearly lunchtime: sprouts, red cabbage, tofurkey, parsnips, potatoes… 5.  Did sprouts My Self.  Am Amazing Underchef. 6.  Not puking anymore. 7.  Wearing this:     8. […]

Gone With The Wind*

“Is that the toast coming up, already?” Mum says, sitting on the arm of the chair, peering into my sick bucket. 11.15 am.  Gone With The Wind Has been playing for forty five minutes or so.  Atlanta is burning.  Am on all fours in front of the television, vomiting into the mop bucket. “Yes,” I […]

Bad Blood*

“Hi, I’m Tanya,” I say, arriving at the new Spin studio at the farm.  “I booked this morning and…” “Hello,” the instructor says, an Italian inflection in his voice.  He’s  short, looks in his late forties and has a moustache.  Clad in tight cycling gear – he looks the part. “Oooohhhh want!” I say, my […]