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House Arrest: Pandemic Diaries

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Although he refused the former honour 25 years ago, given the quality of many recent elevations to the peerage including one bemoaned in this book, the House of Lords could certainly benefit from both his wit and wisdom. Referring to the knighthood graciously awarded to the former Artistic Director of the National Theatre, one inevitably wonders why, despite his antipathy to the current prime minister counterbalanced by a love of the Queen, this review is not being written about the efforts of Sir Alan Bennett or even Lord Bennett?

House Arrest: Pandemic Diaries (Main) by Alan Bennett - WHSmith

As an over-70, I am officially exhorted to remain isolated and indoors which is to say that my usual going on now has governmental endorsement.Thanks to arthritis I’m now much less mobile than I was. Gone are the days when I could jump on my bike to pop down to the shops, so static semi-isolation is scarcely a hardship or even a disruption of my routine. Himself no slouch when it came to work, George Steiner once asked a Soviet dissident how he got through so much. “House arrest, Steiner. House arrest.” Alas, so far as work is concerned, I haven’t yet noticed much difference.

House Arrest - British Theatre Guide Book review: House Arrest - British Theatre Guide

Tim Clare’s ‘Coward: Why We Get Anxious & What We Can Do About It’ is a clever blend of memoir, science and useful advice


One of the pleasures and indeed consolations of a memorial service is in looking round to see who’s there, not something that’s possible on Zoom. So, ideally it should be a roving Zoom. Not, I’m sure, that Geoffrey would have thought he was worth the trouble.

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