Author Archives: j futrell

The Quiet Life – or a hell of a holiday by Robin Banks

  I ought have known something was wrong when the guest I was expecting insisted on the telephone that I am a “nasty person”. The woman, her mother and partner, had flown down for a short break and wanted to … Continue reading

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where am I? A very meaty issue?

I don’t know how many times I have driven east towards London over the course of 25 years on the A303, passing Stonehenge making for the M3? Let’s settle for 150 times, it can’t be far off. So imagine how … Continue reading

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The last Port Eliot Festival?

  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed what may easily be the very last Port Eliot Festival.There was a look and feel and smell amid and among the rolling grounds, woodland and elegant Port Eliot House and gardens … Continue reading

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Never Not Never Go Back – a taste of Viareggio

My life is one of stringent rules: Never wear aftershave; always polish my shoes; stand up for elderly people and women with young children on the London underground; never vote tory; spread the jam on top of the cream upon … Continue reading

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forget everything you ever learnt about a balanced diet

Shortly before she died, in a hospital similar to the one I recently  myself in, my mother asked for her Christmas present a Ralph Lauren watch. I’d bought her a watch a only a couple of years earlier yet despite … Continue reading

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An Inconvenient Truth – the end of the high street just a click away

Don’t you ever think convenience is, well, getting out of hand. What began as convenient  – tv dinners for those too rushed to peel the potatoes stepped up a level to embrace teas-mades and bread-makers. Then supermarkets to save the … Continue reading

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I remember monkey bottles, kangaroo tails, and Frank Ifield

  I am fortunate to have worked through a period in journalism when the gifts, the perks – the freebies to apply the correct journalistic parlance – were worth having. My diary is housed within a handsome Papyrus leather book … Continue reading

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The Price Of Fame

It’s flattering to receive an exclusive invitation, especially one from a Michelin rated chef. It reaffirms one’s faith in elitism, that select order of hedonists that has has a lot of bad press recently for being too clever and influential … Continue reading

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A Significant Time

As a rule I’m not one for significant dates. Anniversaries I like because I like being married, and there are thems who are gone whom I miss. As for significant dates along the landfill of life –  you can keep … Continue reading

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Mick Owens – the artful life of a generous man

Michael Owens looms disproportionately large in my life; a presence in four of the rooms of my home to be precise. For a man I shared a house with nearly 40 years ago, and whom for the past ten years … Continue reading

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