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TGIF columns are in order by date from the most recent.

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Flight or fight

ON MONDAY, I woke up in South Clapham, London, and went to sleep in St Anns, Port of Spain. Modern jet travel means one can travel halfway across the world in a little more than half a day. Quick, yes, but is it progress? I will be impressed if I manage to fly back from St Anns to Mayfair.

Travelling by plane always makes me very, very tense even though I genuinely enjoy takeoff and landing (the most dangerous parts) and the actual flight part of it -- the eight or nine hours in a seat in a tube in the air -- is, provided you're not claustrophobic, more likely to induce ennui than hysteria. No, the rough part of any plane journey is getting to and from the airport, even in countries where you don’t have to leave the capital city before 2pm to beat the traffic for a 7pm flight.

The hassle starts long before you wake up anxious on the morning of your flight (if you've managed to sleep at all). Airlines, I suspect, have full-time Difficulties Creating Departments which consider existing systems and see how best they can be made to make the passenger more worried and edgy.

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The small picture

AN OLD PHOTOGRAPH fell out of an old school textbook, Sinews of Empire ‑ A Short History of British Slavery. Taken on one of the few sunny days in England during the winter of 1977, it depicts five young men, aged 18 or 19, a brotherhood of the A’Level class of Bedford College (although it’s hard to reconcile the pot-bellied, bald me of today with the skinny, long-haired kid in the

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Pushing 60, Pulling Stones

THE ROLLING STONES, the Greatest Rock ‘N’ Roll Band of All Time Who Are Not Yet Dead, are the same age as the country of Trinidad & Tobago, 56 years old today, and it isn’t treasonous to observe that the Stones have done far better than us in their 56 years as an independent unit. Individually, the Stones are

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