I recently got into a conversation with members of my family about names. Somebody asked what names we would choose for ourselves. Amazingly it turned out that everybody had one, secretly tucked away.
"Fasten your seat belts, folks. This is going to be a bumpy ride." Of late, those pilot's words have been crackling non-stop over the tannoy in the new Labour jet.
She was just 34 years old, lithe and handsome. I had met her some years ago in Manchester, at Granada studios, feeling her way to a career in television. She wasn't born to it. I guess no one is. She would have had to work harder than most in order to be successful.
In EastEnders recently, Mel asked Dr Fonseca a direct question. "Are you gay?" "Yes," he said. "Good," she replied, and, er . . . that was it. It did not bother her. The good doctor has now only to tell the rest of Albert Square and hope for as nonchalant a response.
I sat on the edge of Mike's bed in the Whittington Hospital on Monday and tried to think of what to say.
On the face of things, the drive against the forces of conservatism goes on relentlessly. Doctors, teachers and every other public-service employee can expect no mercy. But, inside No 10, there are theological-style doubts.
The Sun may be setting on new Labour. The paper's editor, David Yelland, told journalism students at City University that he could see circumstances in which Murdoch's flagship paper would desert Tony Blair in the run-up to the general election.
We were in the Hope when Geoff pointed to a man with a jug of Hoegaarden. "Isn't that thingy from The Cops? Should say 'Hello'."
She calls herself progressive yet adopts a judgemental tone that has the left fuming. Melanie Philli
I remember when the first countryside march arrived in central London, I thought it was a joke.
With the passing of each day, it becomes clearer that mayoralty business is not over until Red Ken sings.
The ideal chronicler of the new South Africa, he deserves to make literary history as a double Booke
Although I find it difficult to listen to In The Psychiatrist's Chair because of the constant sense that I could produce a rather more interesting portfolio of obsessions and phobias than most of the celebrity guests, I was sufficiently attentive during a recent interview with Professor
Real women - what a pain they are. Much better to make them up, I say. Yet we are forever being told what real women and their real lives are really like.
There's been some research into men and depression, which I'll get on to in a moment. However, one of the many causes of my own depression is that I read about all this crappy research, and watch TV documentaries about it, and I believe it all.
Betty Boothroyd has yet to make an announcement about her future, but the horse-trading is already going on at Westminster. It was thought that when she turned 70 earlier this month, Madam Speaker would signal her readiness to step down.
Winston Silcott will receive £50,000 from the Metropolitan Police because he was wrongfully arrested and maliciously prosecuted. The case did not go to court. The police, acting on the best legal advice, decided they could not win and paid up.
Last week I wrote about how Caribbean politicians were manipulating their legal system - and in particular speeding up the procedures that lead to hanging - in order to win votes and buttress their own power.
Is the short trek from the Commons press gallery to be abused at No 10 worth a journalist's shoe lea
In the old days of Fleet Street, when there was a plane crash or some other calamity, you went straight to work. So I wasn't surprised to be ordered into the office on day one of my holiday when Mandy's rehabilitation was announced. lt's dirty work, but somebody has to do it.
It's not good news.
I was deeply moved by Melvyn Bragg's account of his first year as Lord Bragg, published in this week's Observer.
Many of my friends in the law (I was at the Middle Temple once) seem confused at the giant step backwards into judicial murder now practised by their Caribbean counterparts.
Tony Blair may think it a conservative force, but it has been weak in protecting the health service.
As someone who has always been told off for possessing little common sense, I cannot get that excited about a revolution based on this much over-rated commodity. Indeed, it means as much to me as "the radical centre" - ie, zilch. Revolutions are supposed to get the heart going, aren't they?
What with getting up too late for the orang-utan trip because of the hour I'd spent in the middle of the night pursuing a horde of killer mosquitoes with a spray can of Exterminate, I found myself with an unexpected amount of time on my hands this Tuesday.
Blackpool put on its best October sunshine for the Tories, but they hadn't much else to smile about. Vast tracts of the Winter Gardens, packed with trade stands in previous years, were turned into coffee shops. The bars were virtually empty much of the day.
Clive James wrote that he gave up writing his Observer TV column when he started seeing the same ideas coming around and being acclaimed as original. Now it's not just a matter of ideas. Is it me, or are there more anniversaries than there used to be?
By the time you read you this I will be in Borneo. But don't take that as a threat.