School privilege

A new book, Engines of Privilege, promises to explore ‘the irrefutable link between private schools and life’s gilded path: private school to top university to top career.’ As someone who went to comprehensive school, this has been a lifelong fascination. What difference does a school make? Why should the experience have such a lasting impact on one’s progress? Private schools give you confidence and connections. … Continue reading School privilege

Roses are red, but make choices instead

No sooner are the Christmas cards off shelves before we get the onslaught of red heart displays for 14th February. There’s the traditional, the jokey, the ironic cards. The chocolates, flowers and fizz. No. No. No. It’s a no from me. This year I find myself blissfully liberated from Valentine’s Day brainwashing. Because what is V Day? It’s the tired remnants of a time when … Continue reading Roses are red, but make choices instead

Me vs. exercise

January is the time of year when gyms are full of amateurs. People who don’t go enough to know how every machine works, or have a regular workout, or feel comfortable in lycra. People like me. Finding exercise I enjoy has been a life-long challenge. I don’t dispute the benefits of exercise, but sports have never featured in my hobbies. It’s hard to admit this … Continue reading Me vs. exercise

My twenties according to my Internet bookmarks

Digital spring cleaning can be revealing. Going through old bookmarks reveals my preoccupations whilst in my twenties. It’s a time now behind me, so it’s fun to look back at what it shows with my worldly, more wrinkly eyes. A decade of aspiration During my twenties I went from broke student to working home owner. Rather than hedonism and freedom, I aspired to an image … Continue reading My twenties according to my Internet bookmarks

Mrs Maisel and marriage breakdowns

I’ve been enjoying The Marvelous Mrs Maisel (MMM), the award-winning comedy set in 1950s New York. It’s an uplifting watch with great writing and highly recommended. Lots of MMM is colourful, escapist TV. But for me there were moments that triggered poignant memories. That’s because in the first episode, <spoiler> the main character’s marriage abruptly crumbles. It kickstarts the plot for the rest of the series, which … Continue reading Mrs Maisel and marriage breakdowns

The art of relationships

The Modern Couples exhibition at the Barbican is powerful and educational. Go and see it before 27th January 2019. It tells the story of 46 relationships between artists. Each story has dates of the relationship, extracts from personal letters and a selection of art created by all the people involved. Why is it special? I can’t remember reading every single description in an art gallery … Continue reading The art of relationships