Articles

Latest travel articles

In Praise of the Homeland

       Two households: one moving home, the other fancying a couple of shows in London. Therefore we had four granddaughters in the house. Why not go away? – the car has seven seats, after all. […]

In the Lost Land of Middlesex

County of Middlesex: note that this essay does not concern itself with the county of that name in Connecticut, nor with those in Massachusetts, Virginia or Ontario. It is about Middlesex in England. Middlesex: “Land […]

Notes on the Cotswold Way

      I just finished walking the Cotswold Way with a friend, Neil Goodban. We did it on a day-by-day basis over slightly more than a year except for the last two sections which we did […]

Poor Little Orphan Austria

       We were sitting in a common room in 1968 worrying and commiserating with a visiting Czech academic as it appeared increasingly likely that the Soviet Union would intervene to oust the liberalising government of […]

Thoughts in Flanders Fields

       The Flemish town of Ieper (Ypres in French and “Wipers” to a generation of anglophone troops) is finally doing very well out of the war. There is hardly a hotel bedroom or restaurant table […]

 

Latest ideas articles

The Fundamental Flaws in Internationalism

       As I was leaving the polling station having voted in favour of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union my eldest son was passing on his bicycle. Having ascertained what I had done he […]

Jobexit Strategies

       My first boss, the chairman of my department when I was a young lecturer, was Wilfrid Harrison. Even though there was approximately forty years difference in our ages I would have described Wilfrid as […]

The Curious Fate of the Campus Sexual Revolution

       One day in 1981 I noticed that a woman I had passed in the street and tried to greet, the friend of a friend, had studiously ignored me. A couple of weeks later she […]

Brexit: the Wonderful Options

     My first reaction on hearing about the Brexit vote was apprehension about the short- and medium-term consequences. My second was sympathy for the losers (but where was all that pro-European emotion during the campaign?). […]

Taking (Academic) Liberties

        When I was a visiting academic at Stanford in the mid-1970s the game of laureate spotting was a common practice. I don’t know how many Nobel prizewinners were then on the campus – the […]

 

Latest sport articles

On Sporting Retirement

       My most longstanding friend laughed when I told him I had retired from playing cricket. His socks did not come off, but he spluttered into his beer. I half-expected this reaction as he is […]

What is University Sport for?

       When I was an undergraduate I shared some philosophy tutorials with a man called Ray Weedon. I knew that he played tennis and that he represented South Africa in the Davis Cup, but that […]

There’s a Deathless Myth on the Close Tonight: Re-assessing Rugby’s Place in the History of Sport

By Lincoln Allison and Rusty MacLean* (This article was shortlisted for the 2013 Routledge Prize.) ABSTRACT Rugby School has traditionally been credited with an important place in the development of modern organised games. The most […]

When the (Fairy) Dust has Settled

My own magic moment – and everybody was, surely asked about their own best moment? – was Mo Farah’s second gold medal, in the 5000 metres. It just so happened that all twelve members of […]

In Which an Ancient Wish is Granted (and Analysed)

       Thursday, September first 2011, the county cricket ground at Worcester: a splendid late summer day, the cathedral reassuringly distinguished across the river, the ground pleasantly filled by a couple of thousand people. This is […]