Classroom criminals a busted flush

More convicted criminals than ever are applying to become teachers, and not just drunken drivers. Yet a headmaster thinks poker should be added to the curriculum

Dennis Nilsen dies in prison

Dennis Nilsen, with 15 victims one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers, has died in prison aged 72. He focused largely on lonely, gay young men, got them drunk, strangled them, cut them up, burned or boiled the pieces and flushed them down the toilet. The Home Office will under renewed pressure to release his 1000-plus page autobiography. Watch this space

Write a Novel in a Year

Back in April, 25 aspiring writers got together through the WEA with the aim of collaborating on-line and writing a novel in a year. A tough task. Most published authors talk in terms of three years, from the original idea, through the research, writing, editing and publishing. Only five are left, but they’ve all got good ideas and at least an even chance of getting their work between hard covers

Conjuring the Enfield Poltergeist

A feature film called ‘The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist’, based on a 40-year old story broken exclusively by the Daily Mirror, was released in the UK in 2016. While the film was wonderful to look at and listen to, it didn’t have much to do with fact, a terified family or flying Lego bricks. Visit this page to find out what really happened

Express shelters under Mirror umbrella

Technology is dealing what will be a mortal blow for popular journalism as employed by the so-called ‘red tops’, those once-popular national titles whose daily circulation used to be in millions. Some of my favourite pieces from a happier past can be read here

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing

A rant about the lack of good jazz in Cornwall. Jazz peaked way back in the last century and suffered a Beatle blow in 1963, but it survived and continues to do so thanks to a new generation of talented players. Unfortunately, their visits to this far western corner of Europe are rare

Bridge across the Channel

An obnoxious minority prompted me to give up bridge for five years, but last year a delightful group of French players revived my enthusiasm and since then I’ve taught the game again and played regularly. The French Connection is revealed here along with two much-quoted, but difficult to find hands: the so-called James Bond deal and another that led to a murder in Kansas City. Wherever you’re playing, always be nice to your partner!