Catriona Olding

My nights with the eagle owls

Provence Summer has arrived. The evenings are warm enough to sit out on the balcony terrace and watch the lights come on in the village below. Each night at ten, the great limestone cliff, into which my little house was built, is floodlit for a couple of hours. On cue two huge baby eagle owls

Macron’s game: can he still outplay Le Pen?

45 min listen

This week: Macron’s game. Our cover piece looks at the big news following the European elections at the weekend, President Macron’s decision to call early parliamentary elections in France. Madness or genius, either way the decision comes with huge risk. And can he still outplay Le Pen, asks writer Jonathan Miller. Jonathan joins the podcast

My dreams of Jeremy Clarke

The other week my eldest daughter and I were staying with friends in Richmond for the launch of Jeremy’s third collection of Low Life columns. The night before the anniversary of his death – the day of the launch – I woke at 2 a.m. and unable to sleep was back in the cave holding Jeremy’s

Veep show: who will Trump pick for his running mate?

47 min listen

This week: Veep show: who will Trump pick for his running mate? Freddy Gray goes through the contenders – and what they say about America (and its most likely next president). ‘Another thought might be buzzing around Trump’s head: he can pick pretty much whoever he wants because really it’s all about him. He might even

How a hitchhiker gave me a glimpse into my past

On the mantel shelf of the cave there’s an invitation to my middle daughter’s wedding in August. This happy event is causing anxiety on several counts, not least finding something to wear. I hate shopping. Algorithms send me dozens of hideous armour-plated mother-of-the-bride outfits daily but I want to know what Kate Moss would wear

How to choose a better death

In 1984 I was a third-year student nurse. The last secondment before my final exam was gynaecology. The wards were housed several miles away from the friends and familiar faces of the Edwardian general hospital where my training had been based. It was an unfriendly place. The staff had little time for outsiders and none

Remembering Jeremy Clarke through his books

On a hot afternoon in October, I joined a lunch party. By the time I arrived, the company was on coffee and liqueurs. A pretty woman in her seventies mentioned an academic friend who was downsizing and how the prospect of getting rid of thousands of books had upset him so much he sought help

Life with Low Life: my happy years with Jeremy Clarke

‘Am I gonna die today, Treen?’ I kissed his cheek. ‘Darling, your oxygen, blood pressure and pulse are fine and you’re a good colour. Since you woke up you’ve had a poached egg on toast, plain Greek yoghurt with berries, granola and maple syrup, a Snickers bar, a piece of fruit cake, a baked fresh