The Fence

Magnifying glass

Tim Minchin has a wonderful song called ‘The Fence’.  I recommend you all go listen and buy.  Without wanting to spoil too much, the chorus is a rallying cry to ambivalence.  Turns out that sometimes thing aren’t just wrong, and aren’t just right, and the world isn’t as binary as you thought and that really, sitting in the middle of things going ‘well yes but I can see both sides’ might actually be a noble calling. Ah Tim Minchin; what words of truth you speak. Complexity!  Ambivalence!  Whoopee!!! There are very few things I absolutely believe in.  They probably boil …

Continue reading

New Old New New Old Labour

big ben

Dear The Green Party, I’m really sorry about this, but I think I might be voting Labour in the next election.  I know, I know, I only joined last year, but in fairness, I did join with a lifetime membership owing to having done a job of such corporate evil that it felt necessary to give a significant chunk of that cash to a good cause, and it was you – so whatever happens, please be happy that you’ve got my money regardless.  I still believe in everything you do, honestly, it’s just that… well… Corbyn’s happened. This is going …

Continue reading



I sometimes sorta meditate. I say this with a great deal of caution, for several reasons. 1.  I ascribe to no spiritual view of the universe.  I believe that death is death, e-coli is e-coli and ignorance is more wondrous when taken as an invitation for exploration and possibility, than when it’s put on a plinth to be marveled at.  For me to use the word ‘meditation’ with all its connotations of Buddhism and eastern spiritual traditions, seems a bit harsh on the dead mystic dudes. 2.  I associate meditation, as practiced in London, with a certain amount of bullshit. …

Continue reading



So there’s a few frequently asked question on this blog, and in the interest of not being useless, I figured I’d try and answer some here, and also put this post up as a page for all and sundry to see what the answers were as of July/August 2015.  Here goes… 1.  No, but seriously, enough mucking about – will there be any more Matthew Swift/Magicals Anonymous books? Short answer: I don’t know. Long answer:  There are no plans at this present time to write more.  This is not because I have any less love for the series – it …

Continue reading

Reasonable Force


Over the last few months, I’ve started getting a bit more involved in self-defence stuff, specifically women’s self-defence.  I got into this through learning escrima – we take some fundamental concepts and apply them for students who have no martial experience whatsoever, in the hope of giving them an idea of what they could do and are permitted to do, both by society and in their own minds.  The aim is to instill a bit of confidence, a dose of awareness and the beginnings of a plan. One question that keeps cropping up is what constitutes reasonable force. As an …

Continue reading