On the 343

In 2012, the number 343 bus caught fire outside my bedroom window in southeast London. Caught fire might be misleading. Rather, it exploded, rattling my windows, waking me up, and drawing most of the … Read article


I drove past Fung’s a few days ago. Of course, it isn’t Fung’s now. It’s an empty building surrounded by weeds, an ugly breezeblock shell. There’s plywood over the sliding doors, and a spind… Read article

Silent Motorcade

One of the most iconic amateur films of the last century was Abraham Zapruder’s footage of the JFK assassination. At only 26.6 seconds it has grown to become a visual touchstone of 1960s America, sp… Read article

Turnspit Tykes

I know every dog owner thinks theirs is special – but my cairn terrier really is. So monstrously wilful is this outrageous beast, so magnificently unconcerned with pleasing anyone but his fat furry … Read article

Rufus Emmanuel

Rufus Emmanuel is the name of a nasty little creep I met at a party. He’s nine years old, small for his age, tastelessly dressed, and he responds to everything I say with, ‘Really? That seems unli… Read article

Making Of

Jon’s initial plan is to smear a teddy bear with dog food and drag it through the streets of Kilyos. The town is full of stray dogs, so he hopes that by the time we get back out into the countryside… Read article

Tin Men

At the time, he hadn’t realised how serious the situation had been. ‘If anything happens to me,’ he remembered his father saying. ‘You have to look after your mother and sister.’ He was 11… Read article

Paree, Paree

She professed to love this country more than any other. But I sensed that for her, as for M. and Mme Verdurin, the great thing was not to contemplate the country as tourists, but to eat well there, to… Read article


I never used to get angry. Though there were, certainly, days when a certain thing, perhaps this thing or perhaps that other thing, might have piqued me like a mosquito. Of course there were. I’d … Read article

An Awkward Silence

It started on the morning of Armistice Day. Amid the distributed hubbub of Twitter, a few people began to voice surprise at a series of messages posted from the official account of the Public Order Br… Read article

Lunchtime, Ukraine International Airlines

We are high in the sky, not far from Chernobyl, as the three-eyed crow flies. I am staring out of the window, wondering how a landscape so unremittingly flat and dull could be known as steppe, when lu… Read article


In the analysis and discussion of recent events in England, many have struggled to identify causes, and provide explanations and understandings of behaviour that most hardly recognise. This frustratin… Read article

Ex Libris

There’s a dirty little game to pass the time in libraries. It takes two or more participants, an interest in foreign spines and a nose for the obscure. One player shuffles off for a stroll in the s… Read article

Rush Hour, Nairobi

Nairobi is often described as the hub of East Africa, but if there’s a wheel attached to it, there’s no way it can be revolving. Not at the moment, at least. I am sitting in three lanes of traf… Read article

On Writing and Not Writing

For as long as I have wanted to be a writer, I have been on the verge of giving up writing. In the last five years alone, I have made time not to write: a collaborative prose ramble around London’s … Read article