My Big Gap Year: Buddha Can You Spare A Dime?

Dispatches from Poppy Spalding


This week, I'm in Tokyo: home of sushi, tiny things and my all-time favourite movie: Bill Murray's Lost in Translation. This movie has never been more relevant, not just to me but to the entire world, most of whom don't understand Japanese. My experiences here have taught me we have so much to learn from Bill, and also from Buddha.

One Woman's Week: The Age Of Reason

By Karen Fenessey

I MUST admit I am becoming steadily more bamboozled by British society. Whatever happened to the veneration in which we once held our monarchy? In days of yore, people had a much better sense of humour and any decent citizen would have let a tiny spot of racist horseplay slide. And if they were to take offence at the monarchy, they would be severely punished - just look at bonfire night. And Ireland.

My Big Gap Year

Dispatches from Poppy Spalding


THIS week finds me in Bangkok international airport, en route for Japan. My parents have forced me to abandon my beach hut in Phuket and go somewhere they can keep tabs on me. Once again, they’ve totally overreacted to some minor thing and say I must ring in the New Year with my Dad’s ex colleague, Mr Willets, and his Japanese wife. They say I’m putting my health at risk by beach hut living- even though I was learning important lessons about Christmas.

One Woman's Week: Road Worriers

By Karen Fenessey

AS an educator, I believe life should be a constant learning process and so I recently began driving lessons. Unexpectedly, driving has not only taught me so much about how to operate a car, but also about society. In particular, it has opened my eyes to the wonderful world of opportunity which is enjoyed by the disabled, but I must ask: should they really be allowed on the road?

My Big Gap Year

Dispatches from Poppy Spalding


LAST week, I had meant to go to Cambodia to further my investigations into Gary Glitter, but reconsidered after reading on My Space that DJ Rico was playing practically a stone’s throw from my hostel in Hanoi this weekend: Saturday night at the Lotus in Bangkok.  Coincidence? I think not.

One Woman's Week: One Giant Leap For Cheryl

By Karen Fenessey

I THINK it's great America has taken a small step for man by electing a black president. But amidst all the hilarity, I must ask: when will enough be enough? How far do white folks have to go to convince the world we're sorry about slavery? And meanwhile, what about the compelling racial saga taking place right here on our own doorstep: Cheryl Cole's legendary heroics on the X Factor.

'Nam That Tune

My Big Gap Year with Poppy Spalding


This week finds me in Hanoi, Vietnam - a place I've no real need to come to as I practically spent most of my childhood here. Not physically of course, but my Uncle Steve used to make us all watch Platoon every time we went over his house so I know this place like the back of my hand.

One Woman's Week: Born Free

By Karen Fenessey

AS an educationalist, it is my solemn duty to defend the state of our children's stomachs. Therefore it is incumbent upon me to point at all of those who support universal free school meals and call them 'Joey'.

Bail Outs? I Shit 'Em

By Mervyn King Governor of the Bank of England SO I barrels into the back room of No 11 and that swivel-arsed sock-banger Darling is sitting there in his nappy as usual, and the Mad Jock is standing over him with a cosh, looking for all the world like he’s moved himself back in permanent. Cock. Thought I’d seen the last of him, the shitting twat muffer.

My Big Gap Year

Dispatches from Poppy Spalding

Friday: Beijing

This week finds me in the capital of China – somewhere I have dreamed of coming ever since the age of five when my parents bought me my first round of banana fritters.

'I Was There'

Paul McCartney at the 1985 Ryder Cup

I WAS kind of, you know, playing around in me studio one day when I took a break to have a sandwich. I always think it's a good idea to have a sandwich at lunchtime, whereas some people okay, prefer a bowl of soup, but in those days Linda and myself were like, dead against the eating of soup.

One Woman's Week: A Hole Lot Of Injustice

By Karen Fenessey

WHO remembers the death of Mother Theresa? Did you even know she was dead? The reason people cannot remember the untimely passing of this mammoth Catholic in 1997 is because it was rudely eclipsed by the expiry of Lady Di and her Pakistani lover.