Flora Neville

The Isle of Grain

Perched on the edge of the Medway about 15 miles from Rochester is the Isle of Grain, a mass of wild marshes and pastures and great industrial infrastructure. Redshanks, curlews and egrets circle and dive around turbines, tunnels and tanks. The enormous chimney of the gas turbine power station stretches up into the enormous sky.


I have fallen in love with the c2c, a whisker of a train that is never delayed. It operates between London and Essex; Fenchurch Street and Shoeburyness. Its name stands for ‘anything you want it to’, according to the company’s website — everything from ‘capital to coast’ to ‘commitment to customers’. Over the past year,

Why Theresa May’s No 10 will be like a vicarage

What do Theresa May, Angela Merkel, Margaret Thatcher and, ahem, me have in common? We are all daughters of the clergy. Thatcher’s father was a lay Methodist preacher, so she’s not strictly in our camp, but the coincidence is close enough to call. When I was young, I secretly harboured the suspicion that I was