Entries by simon

O Tiggywinkle, where art thou?

A young hedgehog rescued by the SSPCA. Their vet had stopped by Linthill, where we were staying, to rescue a wounded buzzard that didn’t, unfortunately, survive. To cheer us all up, she introduced us to Tiggywinkle Jr., who’d been found wandering around a garden in daylight. “You shouldn’t ever see a hedgehog” she told us. […]


High on Oxygène: Jean-Michel Jarre en Monaco

After a few days of scandal and gossip – that spread, like an epidemic, from the boutiques of Monaco to the pages of Mail Online, Charlene – having tried to flee the country – said “I do” and the celebrations kicked off. Rumours of  absurd extravagance: €1500+ per-head dinners; tens of thousands of flowers, rivers […]

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We Have a Chest: Cheryl Cole hits Cannes

  It’s true that you’ve never got your camera to hand when you really want one, and I kicked myself earlier in the week as I happened upon DeNiro, Jude Law and Linn Ullmann exiting the back of the Majestic Hotel, where the Festival Jury had been meeting. Ten minutes later, walking along the Croisette, […]

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Welcome to India

“What’s that smell?” I asked my neighbour as the airgate connected to our plane, and local air seeped into the cabin. We’d struck up conversation during the closing credits of True Grit, and chatted sporadically throughout the eight-hour flight from London (If you didn’t get a chance to see the movie, do – it’s terrific). “It’s […]

Notes from a Lay Bye: Road travel in India

Yup – that’s how they spell it. “Lay Bye”.  Local interpretations of the Indian Highway Code are a source of much-needed mirth at moments of stress. When you’re on any one of the subcontinent’s zillion roads, this means pretty much all the time. Unfortunately, my auto-rickshaw was careering too fast along the wrong side of […]

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Fountains, frozen, the Louvre Paris

And not a drop to drink… This edit was inspired by an extremely severe bout of winter flu during which I lay parched and feverish with my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth, yet strangely nauseated by the taste of water. Hydrophobic, like a rabid dog. Although no dog has ever explained to […]


Love is…in the air

Moments before swooping to their roosts as the sun set on 2010, the last starling murmuration of 2010 formed a heart that beat twice before dispersing into the evening air. A number of theories attempt to explain the birds’ behaviour: the ‘safety in numbers’ principle (self explanatory); or that none of them wants to be […]


Santas’ Secrets: caption competition

At first glance, two jolly old Santas climbing a wall above Sorrento’s night market.  Closer reading of the image poses some interesting questions: why are they wearing those tiny (and empty?) manbags – rather than the usual over-the-shoulder sacks?  Why are they working as a pair? Are they scassinatori – burglars? Is there no end […]

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When the Moon Hits Your Eye

To mark the unusual (every half-century or so) occasion of a total eclipse falling on the Winter Solstice. The chances of your reading this and seeing another are relatively slim; the next will be in 2094. See Nasa’s lunar eclipse group on Flickr for related images, including one of the Washington Monument from a curiously […]