For too long have I borne sad witness to the folly of a coffee maker brewing a cup of tea. This isn’t some slap-dash, hasty, get it done fast kind of job; this is an art form. It takes time, precision, and patience. So don’t screw it up.

Start off with a decent brand. My favourite is Twinning’s. Loose leaf is good if you have the time and the inclination, but a bag can be equally delightful. I’m awfully partial to a spot of Lapsang Souchong, but for this example, I’ll give the instructions applicable to a bag of simple, traditional, breakfast tea. Continue reading

There are a lot of misunderstandings regardingĀ self-harm, many of which have lead to ostracising behaviour and unkind prejudices. I try not to write too often about anything personal on this blog, but I was confronted with a reminder of this topic at work today, when a young girl came and spoke to me, and I could see the old, familiar white lines across her wrists and forearms.

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  I went to have my haircut recently; yet another of those tedious tasks that I perform, partly as a sort of ritual to show that I do (or at least, pretend to) take some pride in my appearance, and partly because my hair kept poking me in the eyes, and it was on the […]

 

Sherlock Holmes has been given the Hollywood treatment once again, and like his first outing, this adventure proved to have disastrous consequences for Mr Holmes.

Not the character in the movie, of course… I mean, it had disastrous consequences for the well-loved, British institution devised by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle one hundred and twenty five years ago; it had disastrous consequences for the credibility of one of the most famous fictional characters ever devised, and it had disastrous consequences for the entire reputation of British classic literature.

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When it came on the radio three million times before, I apparently wasn’t paying much attention. Today however, my eyes and ears became open to a deeply disturbing subtext in the famous Christmas song ‘Baby, it’s cold outside’. Don’t believe me? You will. Just look at these genuinely upsetting lyrics.

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A small boy is walking home with some groceries in an Italian village, when he stops and stares at an amazing ray of light in the sky. We see the golden clouds part as a figure falls, literally from the heavens, crashing down into a restaurant table, presumably injuring some bystanders. Everyone, little boy included, gathers around what must be a corpse after such a fall. People are crying and in shock. Then the crowds part, and we see an angel, a beautiful angel, halo and all, rise to her feet as the music begins to play.

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