It takes two to tango

Apart from the snow-white attire, it could have been, quite literally, two Old Joes getting together for Saturday lunch and a chinwag. Joseph Ratzinger and Jorge Bergoglio made history at the Castel Gandolfo outside Rome last week when, for the first time in at least 600 years, two popes met face to living face. Watching their rather wooden performances before the cameras (neither…

What a clever big country!

If you worked in the financial sector in the 1980s, odds-on you were classified  as either a YUPPIE (Young Upwardly-Mobile Professional), a  DINKY (Dual Income No Kids Yet) or a LOMBARD (Lots Of Money But A Right Richard Nixon). As I fell short on at least one letter of each of those acronyms I escaped…

Of the people, by the people, for the people

In the early days of my marriage an ageing, newly acquired  relative informed me that - other than the price - there was no difference between Johnnie Walker and Tesco's no-frills, own-brand blended whisky. The market survey was not long in coming when, the following weekend, a visitor involuntarily sprayed the contents of a freshly…

Roman Circus

"He is not the Messiah, he is a very naughty boy". Thus spake Mandy Cohen, mother of Brian, to the ignorant  mob besieging her home,  rejecting  their mindless veneration of  her son. Her statement would have been appropriate at many points in history - the world has had no shortage of false messiahs. The human condition…

Men in Sepia

When larger than life Oscar winner Orson Welles was asked why there had been a self-destructive theme running through his career, he replied that he was like the scorpion who begged the frog to carry him across the river on his back. When the frog hesitated, fearing that the scorpion would bite him, the scorpion…