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They’re off! My story RACING MANHATTAN is published today.

I was born into a family that loved horses. My father was an international show-jumper and amateur jockey. My mother was a brilliant horsewoman who had ridden all her life. My brother Philip and I hadn’t been long in this world before we were sitting on a small felt saddle on top of a pony. […]

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‘Tricked once more…’. Happy birthday, Dr Dylan

Today’s the birthday of Bob Dylan. Here’s a piece I wrote in 2005 when Dylan was nominated (unsuccessfully – again) for the Nobel Prize: It was an odd kind of funeral. The deceased had lived a full and somewhat rackety life, and most of those who had come to bid farewell were, like him, brave […]

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Rock and ageism: a sad old bastard with guitar writes…

Every now and then, perhaps once or twice a month, a new cause for concern is discovered. From some distant campus, a research paper is published which reveals that something we had previously taken for granted is, in fact, deeply worrying. Statistics are produced, researchers quoted in the inevitable press release. Sometimes the little gobbet […]

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The underdog bites the dust

It was April 1998. I was living in a flat in London after my marriage had gone belly-up. I had been working on my novel Kill Your Darlings and was so stuck that it felt as if it was killing me. I was not, as they say, in a good place. Simon Kelner had just been […]

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I’ve never felt more like singing the (solo) blues

I am feeling a little bit jilted. An important relationship has recently come to an end. Already I find I am missing the old familiar things we did – our meetings once or twice a week, our plans, our outings, the way things changed between us over time.  It has been a couple of weeks […]

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For a gentler, kinder 2016, it’s time to liberate your inner Corbyn

It is the time of the year when, in homes across the country, moods will be on the turn. The cards, decorations and little lights which, a matter of hours ago, conveyed seasonal jolliness now represent yet another dreary housekeeping task to be completed before the return to work. The pleasure of human company may […]

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Why do it? Notes from a writer’s shed

Beyond the daily grind of the thousand words, there is a rhythm to life as a writer. The commission of the moment (if there is one),  the pressure of the work in progress, the seductive possibilities of those what-if, why-not?, would-be projects that you always mean to get around to writing: these tasks impose a […]

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