Every night at five to nine, I brew myself a cup of peppermint tea, tuck myself into bed, open up my laptop and head over to the ITV website, right in time for the daily live showing of my most...
Tinker Tailor Student Spy
I write this article tucked up in bed with a cup of hot chocolate and Stranger Things playing in the background.
Jean Balchin is on her first cruise - and it all feels very surreal.
I was about 14 years old when, in search of a new Enid Blyton book, I stumbled upon my father’s teenage diaries wedged into the back of a bookcase in his library.
"You are the bane of my existence and the object of all my desires."
Some seven years ago, I was fortunate enough to travel to the furthermost part of the British Isles; the splintery archipelago of St Kilda, abandoned over a century ago.
In 2017, I had the enormous privilege of interning for the Science Media Centre of New Zealand as part of my honours year at Otago University.
Well, it finally happened — I caught Covid.
As any reader of mine has probably realised, my writing in these columns is deeply personal.
On January 18, French actor Gaspard Ulliel collided with another skier at La Rosiere in Savoie, France. Ulliel, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered serious brain trauma and died in hospital the...
Summer is the season for reading, for stretching out on the sand with a new thriller, or retreating from the heat into the cool cocoon of an air-conditioned bedroom with a good romance.
Somehow, I have found myself living in a beautiful but crumbling old manor on the outskirts of Oxford, caring for a 93-year-old gentleman, his house, his extensive art collection, and the...
As an avid reader and aspiring writer, I have read (and no doubt written) my fair share of ridiculous metaphors, similes, analogies and other figures of speech.
Recently, I have rediscovered the joys of listening to a good audiobook as I traipse across the Oxfordshire countryside.
It seems as if every which way I turn, I am met by the calm, impassive presence of Irish novelist Sally Rooney.
Over the past few weeks I have noticed the seemingly inexorable growth of anti-vaccine misinformation and conspiracy theories across social media. Like opening a bag of bread and noticing a few...
Covid isn’t leaving us at any point soon. It’s the unwanted guest lingering in the kitchen, eyeing up the half-full bottle of wine on the counter, and menacingly staring at your elderly grandmother, writes Jean Balchin.
My father has the most impressive memory I have ever encountered.
You may have seen one — a green and yellow sunflower-bedazzled lanyard hung casually around the neck of someone sitting on the bus or pushing a trolley around the supermarket. Perhaps the lanyard...
Two Saturdays ago, while collecting firewood in the back garden, my 65-year-old father collapsed from a heart attack. He was found by my little brother Jack, who alerted my mother, who then called...