Alongside my fear of suddenly finding myself on stage in the middle of a play and not knowing my lines, I have another fear: of being rung up by somebody compiling one of those questionnaires about "my cultural life" or "what I wish I'd known when I was 17" which appear in newspapers and magazin
Birmingham seems to be hotting up, bubbling and backfiring. First, there was the vicious attack in that city on Chris Cotter, the white boyfriend of the black athlete Ashia Hansen. His enemies attempted to scalp him, Geronimo-style.
Those who know more about these things than I do, a bafflingly large majority, say there is a deep-laid plot to ensure that Gordon Brown never becomes leader of the Labour Party and prime minister of his country.
Ironically, it was someone on this very magazine who told me once that I must never use the word "ironically" in my copy. It was bad style, mostly meaningless, unnecessary, cliched and one of the words that he thought should be banned.
The facts of Iraq's epic suffering are now unassailable. The latest report by Unicef says that half a million young children have died in eight years of economic sanctions. That represents almost 200 deaths every day.
"Something for you to write about," said Geoff, as our sealed glass pod soared high above the Thames on Sunday afternoon.
It's all very well for Tony Blair to keep the punters guessing about whether he will take his statutory paternity leave, but everybody at Westminster knows what will happen. He will have his cake and eat it - as usual.
So now, Stanley Kubrick being dead, A Clockwork Orange has been finally re-released, without much fuss and without gangs of youths beating people to death in the streets - or, at least, no more than usual.
The Family Policy Studies Centre has come up with its very own bouquet for Mothering Sunday: a study that finds marriage has never been so unfashionable, or motherhood so unappealing. The statistics are dire.
On 26 March, the Observer, in the wake of the racist attack on the British athlete Ashia Hansen and her partner, published an article written by Richard Ellis, a white English journalist. Ellis has been married to a black woman for the past 15 years.
The church of the Restoration of the Ten Commandments it is called, a consecrated building surrounded by banana farms, heads of cattle and schools for infants. It sits in the fertile savannahs of Uganda.
He is an icon for the black community, but does he take too many risks in advancing the cause of ant
Geoff rings on his mobile at half-past eleven on Tuesday morning to tell me that he's in Oxford Street. This is not altogether sensational news, in that he lives just off Marylebone High Street and so has only to take a three-minute walk to accomplish such a feat.
"The absence of fear is the finest thing that can happen to a child." So said A S Neill, the founder of Summerhill. Neill the great educator had not reckoned with new Labour, SATs and performance-related pay for teachers.
Nigel Wrench, one of the most famous news presenters on Radio 4, became HIV-positive in 1993 as a result of having sex on Hampstead Heath with a man who didn't want to use a condom.
New Labour's attitude towards the security services is puzzling. On the one hand, it pursues the MI5 renegade David Shayler with a vigour exceeding its prosecution of General Pinochet.
Budget time, and the living is easy. Or at least, the economy is doing very well indeed. Everywhere you look, there are freshly minted millionaires aged about 16, and - give or take a Rover or two - thriving businesses.
"Why don't we put on the wedding video?" asked Ken. After years of reaching for my scarf and gloves at such moments, I was rather surprised to hear myself joining in the chorus of approval. Yes, indeed. Let's look at the wedding video.
Last week, a friend was complaining to me that some people had unrealistic expectations of new Labour and would not be satisfied whatever the government did. She meant me, but I don't think she was right. I have pitifully low expectations of everything.
Once again, a few Labour grandees are raising the alarm about the core voters. John Prescott, Robin Cook and Peter Hain fear that Mr Blair's unrepentant middle-class ethos has alienated the grass-roots proletarian Labour support.
The West Indian masses have taken to the streets, boycotts are taking shape and governments are worried that the current movement may well destabilise the region.
Such fun to see Michael Portillo engaging nose with carpet at Treasury Questions. But the Tories have only themselves to blame. The Chancellor used to let his shadow know, through the usual channels, which questions he would answer, and which he would pass on to his underlings.
I may have started a trend. In normal weeks this column hardly attracts a bulging postbag.
In one of his lifemanship books, Stephen Potter recommends that if the person next to you on a plane asks what you're reading, if you have a newspaper you should reply: "Do you read your press cuttings?" Or, if you have a book: "Proust. In Spanish. Much funnier."
"Women have settled for a fake equality instead of true liberation." Discuss. More than 500 women across the UK did, as part of a survey undertaken by Germaine Greer's publishing house, Anchor.
I have in the past few days been pretty close to the mayoral argument. I chaired a meeting in east London only days after Frank Dobson was named the Labour Party candidate. He did not turn up and sent no apologies. Trevor Phillips, his running mate, replaced him.
Tetchy Tony Blair is not solely motivated by a natural parental concern in his legal action to prevent the Mail on Sunday (or any other newspaper) printing revelations by the family's former nanny, Ros Mark. He is also worried about his image, and that of the First Lady, Cherie.
Yesterday morning, three men in brown coats from London University called round to my flat, stacked 620 books into eight large boxes, and took the lot away to Senate House library for "sorting and disposal".
Last August, the defence minister John Spellar described the no-fly zones over Iraq as "international zones, designed by the international community". This is false.
Do you remember the ridiculous level of coverage when the last Oasis album came out? Newspapers were reviewing it on the front page, acclaiming it as a work of genius.