Pieces by Tom


The ups and downs of high-rise living (BBC News Online)

Raspberry-coloured walls, chocolate brown carpet, the murmur of a radio. A few paces into Jane Hall's flat you spy a drinks cabinet housing treasures from holidays past - melon liqueur, Grand Marnier and Shamrock Irish County Cream. Then coming into the lounge you are

Confessions of an EU election observer (Sunday Times magazine)

Democracy’s jet-lagged volunteers stumble out of Simon Bolivar international airport into the full glare of the Venezuelan sun. The two security men, locals employed by the mission, hurry us onto the waiting buses, eyes raking the space like Bren guns. We pile on, bemused by the urgency.

Blood, sweetbreads and jeers (Daily Telegraph)

Where Bourdain's prose was like someone pirouetting around an abbatoir with a chainsaw, Buford is more measured, offering the inquisitive view of a middle aged ingenu. In the end it gives us a better picture of how a great restaurant kitchen really feels.

An emissions odyssey in a 1993 Golf (BBC News online)

What do cars actually emit in the real world? It's not easy to find out. What started close to home - will my old banger's petrol engine be better or worse than my father's 2009 diesel - led to an emissions investigation with a troubling discovery about recent models.

My life of shame (Evening Standard)

So how did an intelligent, articulate man with a successful career come to be subjugated by pictures of strangers having sex? With admirable honesty Mike says he's always been fascinated by porn.

The tourist trap (Guardian)

At Linquenda House, Harare's gloomy immigration department, the official inspecting my visa extension form asks me what I do. "I'm a wineseller," I lie.

Channel number one (Daily Telegraph magazine)

At Samphire Beach, a Japanese woman stands in front of Dover's white cliffs. It is 10 past seven on a Tuesday morning. Most people will be having breakfast or getting ready for a day at the office. Miyuki Fijita is swimming to France.

Confessions of an Uber driver (The Times)

In a few hours I will feel elated. Then despairing. But at 11am, as I pull out of my south London street in a Toyota Auris estate, I am trying to feel calm. It’s a new career. I’m about to start my first shift

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