Here's a random sample of my postbag: an invitation to a mixed exhibition of nine artists' interpretation of 'focus' through painting, photography, digitisation and computer manipulation; notice of a show of photo-text, photo-document and photo-juxtaposition-cum-montage pieces about HIV and place; and the press release for an installation of scarlet mobility scooters which is supposed to be 'a reflection on age, youth and contemporary Britain'.
A purple-coloured Korean saloon was gaining on us fast as we zigzagged the wrong way up the motorway. My toes ached as I forced the accelerator into the floor. The jeep gamely shuddered and rattled as the exhaust dropped off, the whine of the engine turning into a desperate roar.When I was growing up, my mother had always insisted that passengers in her car clench their buttocks to squeeze a few extra miles out of the tank.
My parents died quickly and hygienically, without any sort of precursory illness. I have no siblings, aunts, uncles or cousins whose descent into sordid infirmity might have obliged me to visit them. I have a small platoon of children, it is true, but they all live with their mothers and have saved me from childhood mewlings and pubescent messiness. As a teenager and famed walker of hills, I piled humiliations on the heads of less robust friends, but at night I would steal across the fields in search of a private latrine pit.
It is remarkable for Britain to be visited by a saint. But that was surely our good fortune last week, when Pius Ncube, the Archbishop of Bulawayo, passed through London. This gentle and soft-spoken former goatherd is a man of great holiness. In a country where churchmen have kept quiet, Ncube has consistently spoken out with extraordinary courage and firmness against the near-genocide that Robert Mugabe is visiting upon the Zimbabwean people.
The history of the Conservative party as the constitutional party has ensured that the issue of Europe is far more troublesome for us than for our political rivals. It was ever thus.The early struggles over entry to the Common Market were fierce, although relatively gentlemanly. Dissent rumbled on in opposition and during Margaret Thatcher's premiership, though it was masked by the size of her parliamentary majority and the belief of the anti-Europeans that the prime minister was 'one of them'.