Amar’s Story

I was so moved to turn on the television and see Panorama telling the story of a little boy who was badly burned by napalm in Iraq many years ago, reunited with his long-lost mother at last, having grown into a man. That boy was the subject of the first piece I ever wrote forContinue reading “Amar’s Story”

Inside Yarl’s Wood, Britain’s most notorious detention centre

Susan wrings her hands and twitches as she speaks, jerking her head from side to side. She is clearly not well. “I ate washing powder to try and kill myself,” says the nervous woman in her fifties. Her eyes flash wild. “It was all I could find. I wanted to die. I would rather dieContinue reading “Inside Yarl’s Wood, Britain’s most notorious detention centre”

Face To Face With The Body Of Nelson Mandela

So the long journey is nearly over. The body of Nelson Mandela will be buried at last today, in the village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, the place he always thought of as home. Security will be tight and the location is remote. For most South Africans, the last chance to say a personal goodbyeContinue reading “Face To Face With The Body Of Nelson Mandela”

Saving The Life-Savers of Beachy Head

There is a man on the edge of the cliff who looks distressed. He’s pacing up and down the line, just a few steps from the drop. This is Beachy Head, where the ground falls away suddenly, hundreds of feet down to the rocks and sea below. These bright white chalk cliffs are beautiful butContinue reading “Saving The Life-Savers of Beachy Head”

Looking For A New England – In A Full English

The Full English is the one meal England does well, with fat bangers, sizzling rashers and eggs oozing sunshine, strong tea and two buttered toast. This is food that makes you feel good just thinking about it, a platter that pulls on the heartstrings (as well as straining the heart). It’s an icon of Englishness,Continue reading “Looking For A New England – In A Full English”