Kneeling Down

19 09 2010

[You can listen to this episode here, or subscribe by searching ‘James Townsend’ in the iTunes Store.]

It is said to be the oldest profession in the world. This is a phrase that has always lacked, for me, a certain legitimacy. Presumably there are other forms of human employment which pre-date the exchange of sex for material gain. The provision of food, say? Or perhaps protection. Then again, Read the rest of this entry »

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Counting Down

28 10 2009

[You can listen to this episode here, or subsribe by searching ‘James Townsend’ in the iTunes Store.]

Tony Blair is to become the first President of the European Union. At least, that’s what we’re told by people who claim to know these things. Equally, other people, who curiously also claim to know these things, insist that Tony Blair could not possibly become the first President of the European Union. Read the rest of this entry »





Being Ordinary

18 10 2009

[You can listen to this episode here, or subscribe to the podcast by searching ‘James Townsend’ on iTunes Store]

Moving to a new city is probably one of the most exciting things a twenty-two year old can do. The financial burden is relatively insignificant, and there are a thousand and one new things to experience and explore. Consequently, I must offer an apology to regular listeners, if any, who have missed these letters in recent weeks. It turns out I cannot promise to produce every week, but I hope you will excuse me when I fail. Read the rest of this entry »





Dreaming Dreams

30 08 2009

[You can listen to this letter here, or download it by searching ‘James Townsend’ on iTunes Store.]

I have never met Winnie the Pooh. However, I have met somebody who once met Christopher Robin, a close companion of Winnie the Pooh. Consequently I often tell people that when they are shaking my hand, they are shaking a hand that has shaken a hand that has shaken the hand that once held the paw of Winnie the Pooh. Unfortunately nobody ever seems to get quite as excited as me when I tell them. Read the rest of this entry »





Opening Doors

20 08 2009

[You can listen to this podcast here, or subscribe for free by searching ‘James Townsend’ in iTunes Store]

The second week of August is generally regarded to be the highpoint of what has come to be known as the ‘silly season’. That is the period of a several weeks when all the newsmakers – the politicians, the criminals, the celebrities, the actors, the protesters, the campaigners, the fellows at the national office of statistics – and, of course, those of us who consume the news: all of us are on holiday. Consequently there is precious little news to be found. Read the rest of this entry »





Singing Along

2 08 2009

[You can listen to this episode here, or subscribe by searching for ‘James Townsend’ on iTunes Store]

Some of the more attentive listeners to this letter will be aware that I moved out of Nicholas Street some weeks ago. In fact, strictly speaking, you are currently listening to ‘A View From Parham Road, in Canterbury’. Some correspondents have asked what I plan to do about this inconsistency. Read the rest of this entry »





Taking Care

2 08 2009

Political Correctness is a funny thing. It tends to produce the most extraordinary, and often unthinking, responses from the most unlikely of people. I don’t suppose anybody has taken the time to compose a truly thorough definition of the concept, but it seems that everybody has their own understanding of it. Read the rest of this entry »