• The noise, the noise.  Oh, the blowing of trumpets.  In the front row of the Internet orchestra are those blowing their own, but these are easily outnumbered by those modelling their brass on John Knox's The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (1558). Every internet rant is a blast that wants to be first, and ranting is such a natural fit to the form that the temptation ought to be resisted.  Over the past month I have resisted ranting about Ryanair, automated sales calls, and two more subjects that are so rantishly scrawled on a scrap of paper I have no idea what they were.  Paddles, apparently, and errors in tenant paranoia.    Whatever was hurting, the pain has

    Feb 26,
  • I've enjoyed the continuing positive reaction to Becoming Drusilla, but we're still spreading the word.  On Monday 22nd Feb Dru and I will be in Norwich at UEA to give the LGBT History Month Lecture.  There is a full month of events in Norwich and we're providing some, though not all, of the T. It is very nice to be invited, and these opportunities to keep going with the book remind me of a misunderstanding I had with Dru on the walk. When we go walking we drink a lot of tea, which means that we're often overtaken by other walkers while brewing up in a cosy hollow or on a friendly flat rock. As the more earnest walkers struggle past I used to shout out

    Feb 15,
  • The Real ThingThere’s an old rugby saying: if you’re good enough, you’re big enough.  The actor Matt Damon would have to be very good indeed.  In Clint Eastwood’s new film Invictus, Damon plays the role of 1995 Rugby World Cup winning captain Francois Pienaar.  He is 5 inches shorter and 4 stones lighter – the All Blacks would snap him in half. At 5’10” Matt Damon is also shorter than Nelson Mandela (6’1”), who in Eastwood’s film is played by Morgan Freeman (6’2”).  Winning the World Cup as the shortest man in the room is the kind of exploit that Hollywood loves. Invictus is based on John Carlin’s book Playing the Enemy, which describes Nelson Mandela’s use of rugby to

    Feb 05,