Power-down Christmas!

If my mother had warned us in advance that she had no water and low voltage electricity when she woke up on Christmas Eve, we would have flushed her out of her rural dwelling and dragged her off to spend Christmas somewhere else. Maybe this is why she kept very quiet! I... Read more


Le Sport

Le Sport

Sport. It doesn’t sound much in English, but try it in French – ‘Le Sport’ – so much more glamourous. In France anyone can go out for a gentle jog and say they enjoy ‘Le Sport’. So let’s forget about ‘taking exercise... Read more


Pannacotta with Raspberry Jus

In a festive mood, Calvin Barden turns his attention to pudding. Cooked cream sounds so much better in Italian, so here is Panna Cotta. The raspberry juice is the perfect accompaniment, and you can make it as sweet or sour as you like. The recipe is followed by the vide... Read more


Happy – Pharrell Williams

Why is this song making people so happy? It seems almost guaranteed to lift the mood. Is it delivering some kind of chemical fix? Certainly its catchy tune and beatific lyrics seem to be irresistible; the YouTube Official Music Video is getting a million hits a day, and... Read more


Music: The Blues Band

Music: The Blues Band

It’s inspiring to see what five fine musicians can achieve with only ‘a modicum’ of help from the record business. The Blues Band has ploughed its own furrow from ticket and CD sales for the last 35 years thanks to a loyal fan base who were last night... Read more


Walking in the Pyrenees – The Lakes

The Pyrenees are tempting at any time of year, but if you are a redhead who melts in the mediterranean sun then early October is ideal. Warmish days, often sunny, give way to clear nights full of stars. The proprietor at Les Colomers said it would be best to visit befor... Read more

Cartoons by Alun

Facing the Facts

Ever wondered about the face you see when you look in the mirror of a morning? So has our cartoonist, the ever-observant Alun Evans. For more of his cartoons visit our Cartoon Gallery… where you can enjoy all the cartoons we’ve published so far! Alun’s career has taken... Read more


A Cure for the Broken Hearted

At this year’s Latitude festival our correspondent Calvin Barden was offered a seat in the back of a converted ambulance to receive a literary cure for his troubles. He reports back …. Take Bibliotherapy to receive a Novel Cure, all dispensed  from the back... Read more


Film: Cuban Fury

This sounds like a post-apocalyptic missile crisis, when in fact it’s a rom-com with a bit of Salsa dancing thrown in. So why the title? Well, Cuban Salsa is the form of salsa which gives the male dancing partner the most opportunities to show off to the woman. Pr... Read more

Art & Culture

The Art of Friendship

In a world of electronic wizardry, the joys of writing a simple postcard can be overlooked. So when designer Diane Welstead stopped running a business full-time, she vowed she would make time for Friendship. Seated comfortably in her French farmhouse with a labrador at... Read more

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