Linden Kemkaran

Should you buy a vineyard?

Sometimes you only realise a trend is happening when you inadvertently become a part of it. Last summer we moved house within the southeast from town to country, having deliberately sought out a property with land that would be suitable for planting a small vineyard. A lot of the big English wineries like Chapel Down

I’m an Aga convert

I never thought it would be possible to feel such emotion about a lump of hot metal but I am in love and like all new passions it’s threatening to become all-consuming. I find reasons to drop it into conversation, I seek out others and join groups on social media that share the same predilection

A school phone ban is long overdue

Around the time my eldest son started secondary school, I had a worrying glimpse into his private life. We’d put him to bed at 9 p.m. but asked that he leave his mobile, one of my old iPhones, downstairs next to me. I was horrified to see the non-stop barrage of messages coming in as

My family and the scars of forced adoption

I was nearly 40 when I discovered that I had an older brother. My lifelong family position as the eldest of four evaporated in a flash one Sunday afternoon in 2008 when my mother called us all together at her house, saying she had something she needed to tell us. She opened a box file

What’s the problem with Anthony Ekundayo Lennon identifying as black?

Anthony Ekundayo Lennon, the white director who has identified as black, is on the receiving end of a backlash from black and ethnic minority actors. They are aggrieved that Lennon has taken a black person’s place on an Arts Council England-funded programme. The Independent’s Paula Akpan lambasted Lennon, “you don’t get to pick and discard which signifiers of

The delights of divorce

Looking around at my immediate group of female friends I notice a marked difference between the seven or so of us who are married with kids, and the three who have left their husbands and are going it alone. Guess which group appears to be more content? Yes, it’s the divorcees. I have been a

The royal wedding exposed the media’s tokenism

I was lucky (or unlucky, depending on your sensibilities) to be in a prime spot for Saturday’s royal wedding. Wearing my BBC producer hat, I worked on the huge outside broadcast on the Long Walk in Windsor. Thursday and Friday was all bunting, dogs sporting union jack collars and the Household Cavalry rehearsing. I interviewed

Is church the last bastion of boredom?

I was listening to Thought for The Day on Radio 4 the other morning. Well, I say listening, as most parents will know, that is something you can do only in an empty house. What I mean is: the radio was on, a religious man was speaking and I caught probably every fourth or fifth

A mixed-race princess is just what the Royal family needs

We’ve had a brown president in the White House and today, that palest of institutions, the Royal family, is formally admitting a mixed-race girl into its bosom. Wow, just wow. I do wonder, speaking as a mixed-race girl myself, does this acceptance of colour into one of the world’s oldest monarchies mean that brown people

Critics of grammar schools are wrong

Bright but poor kids have been failed for decades. Since the abolition of grammar school expansion some forty years ago, an educational bottleneck has been created, through which children from disadvantaged backgrounds cannot squeeze. State primary schools are banned from teaching how to pass the 11-Plus test, leading to the creation of an incredibly unfair system.