All a Writer Wants to Hear

I'm in Hong Kong for a few days. Here is the view from my window. It's what's known as a partial harbour view.

A British man who works in the Macmillan office here told me a nice story this morning. He has a domestic helper working in his home (this being Hong Kong she is likely… more »

Our little piece of history

The air, over the past few days, has been vile. Back to pre-Olympic smog, despite regulations to keep twenty per cent of the cars off the road Monday to Friday (we can't use our car on Friday, and the inconvenience is already stretching my committment to the environment). You can smel… more »

Reasons To Frown

I've written a blog on the Guardian's Comment is Free site about the stresses on the Communist Party leadership post- OIympics. As the concern surrounding the melamine-tainted milk powder spreads, and all domestically-produced dairy products are removed from shelves, the Communist Par… more »

Who Knew What and When?

The Paralympics ends tomorrow, and already the Olympic decorations are being dismantled.

The facade of perfection also begins to crumble.
Over the past two days, news has begun to emerge of more than a thousand babies sickened by infant formula tainted by melamine. Two babies have died. What is not… more »

Over The Top

We watched the closing ceremony last night on television - a huge North Korean style extravaganza. I couldn't make head or tail of it, although the plethora of aliens in bicycle helmets and glowing green men  suggested some kind of space race theme. (This is entirely speculative, but it&nb… more »

Beijing's New Forbidden City

Discouraged from visiting the Olympics, the city's inhabitants watch them on TV - or rather, they watch an edited version. To read the whole of this blog, go to
Lying directly north of the Forbidden City, Be… more »

The Big Screen

It being Sunday, we did what many families traditionally do on a Sunday afternoon, which was to go for a walk in the park. We'd been told there was all sorts of excitement going on at Ditan, so off we went eagerly, especially interested in the big screen, which relays Olympic action from the te… more »