Archive

graphic of person on a boat

Months of awareness

Last month, this month and the next two are great for practising Latin numerals, as you do: septem, octo, novem, decem (7, 8, 9, 10). But hang on a moment. Decem means ‘ten’, but December isn’t the tenth month. Or is it? Well, it was once, in the original Roman… Read More

World Space Week

Today, 9 October, is the penultimate day of this year’s World Space Week, a UN event launched in 1999. Space Week falls at this calendar juncture because this first October week is bookended by two key dates. The fourth of October 1957 saw the launch of the Soviet… Read More

Autumn equinox

‘The nights are fair drawing in’ is a trope about the weather that applies powerfully as you read this. The nights certainly are drawing in, and indeed, half past two in the afternoon on Tuesday 22 September this year marks the autumn equinox, when day and night are… Read More

From the Tour de France to the lexicon of cycling

During lockdown, with car traffic substantially reduced, many people discovered – or rediscovered – the advantages and pleasures of cycling. Capitalising on that trend while simultaneously aiming to tackle the UK’s obesity pandemic, the government has promised ‘a revolution in cycling and walking’. London and Greater Manchester’s mayors will also… Read More

Getting back to school

As the circling year veers towards mist and mellow fruitfulness, schools in the UK and many other countries are re-opening – or have already – from COVID-19 induced closures. Government and experts agree that restarting education is not merely a pedagogical imperative but a social one. The official statement by… Read More

Eat Out to Help Out: the new scheme for UK restaurants

Talk about mixed messages! On one hand, UK residents are being urged to go to a restaurant and enjoy noshing out. ‘Eat Out to Help Out’, the UK government instructs – healthily or otherwise, according to taste. Indeed, the government is incentivising that message by subsidising a 50 per… Read More

Masks and face coverings: the new normal?

Think of masks and what comes to mind? Does your subconscious link them to glamour and derring-do…or pleasure…or even terror? Perhaps some mythical swashbuckling character from film or fiction …Zorro, the Lone Ranger, even Batman or Robin. Or something more sinister, like Hannibal Lecter? Whatever their associations, getting used to… Read More

One snooker doesn’t make a summer

Ah, summer in England! Strawberries and cream at Wimbledon as sun (or rain) beats down on Centre Court and the boisterous crowd throngs Henman Hill. Or a bracing dip at the lido followed by post-immersion goose pimples making it feel especially wonderful to be alive. Except that this COVID-summer will… Read More