Tom’s Column – October/November 21

I’m Not Sure I’m Ready For Normal Yet by Tom Beasley

Normality is a funny sort of idea at the moment, right? We all want to get back there, and none of us is particularly sure how close to it we’re supposed to be right now. For some people, the government’s incredibly successful vaccine programme and the removal of the remaining social contact rules was enough. When I leave the house at the moment, many people seem to have simply called time on the whole thing, happily rubbing shoulders on public transport and in supermarkets, having consigned their face coverings to the nearest wheelie bin. It seems that for a lot of us the daily figures around new cases, hospitalisations and deaths have begun to lose all meaning. […]

By |October 13th, 2021|Magazine Articles, Regular Features|Comments Off on Tom’s Column – October/November 21

Tom’s Column – August/September 21

‘It’s Coming Home’ Was About Far More Than Football by Tom Beasley

We needed this, right? After 18 months of being mostly confined to our homes watching Line of Duty and trying to avoid ordering takeaways just for the novelty of seeing another person, what we all needed was the collective joy of England going deep into an international football tournament. […]

By |August 18th, 2021|Magazine Articles, Regular Features|Comments Off on Tom’s Column – August/September 21

Tom’s Column – June/July 21

Was The Line Of Duty Finale Really That Disappointing? by Tom Beasley

One of the biggest trends of the last decade or so in popular culture has been the diffusion of TV audiences. Once upon a time, millions of people would tune in to the same channel at the same time to watch Dennis Taylor pot the crucial climactic black ball of a snooker final. Even more strikingly, half of the entire population would watch an EastEnders character hand over divorce papers on Christmas Day. But, with hundreds of channels and dozens of streaming services available at the click of a button, that communal experience is now mostly gone. […]

By |June 23rd, 2021|Magazine Articles, Regular Features|Comments Off on Tom’s Column – June/July 21

Tom’s Column – April/May 21

The Light At The End Of A Very Long Tunnel by Tom Beasley

When I last wrote a column for this magazine, things looked pretty bleak in terms of the coronavirus pandemic. Christmas had been tossed away like an unwanted pair of novelty socks when travel restrictions were imposed at the very last moment, and England was entering its third national lockdown. At the time of writing, in early March, we’re still in that lockdown, but the outlook is decidedly less gloomy than it was at the beginning of the year. […]

By |April 27th, 2021|Magazine Articles, Regular Features|Comments Off on Tom’s Column – April/May 21

Tom’s Column – February/March 21

We Might Be Locked Down, But We’ll Soon Get Back Up Again by Tom Beasley

So that was Christmas. Weird, wasn’t it? I live in the heart of what was Tier 4 and so spent the Saturday before the big day foraging in the aisles of a supermarket for whatever scrap of turkey was left on the shelves, having had my plans for a return to Coventry scuppered at the last moment. The day itself was, thankfully, a lot of fun – albeit more subdued than normal – and New Year similarly passed in an enjoyable flurry of booze, Zoom quizzes and internet-facilitated Mario Kart races. When the clock ticked over into 2021, social media filled swiftly with optimism, as if the horrors of the last 12 months would disappear the moment we hung our new calendars on the wall. […]

By |February 17th, 2021|Magazine Articles, Regular Features|Comments Off on Tom’s Column – February/March 21

Tom’s Column – December 20/January 21

The Feline, Festive Feel Of A Very Non-2020 Christmas Movie by Tom Beasley

My job allows me to do a lot […]

By |December 18th, 2020|Magazine Articles, Regular Features|Comments Off on Tom’s Column – December 20/January 21

Tom’s Column – October/November 20

Face Masks Are The Most Unlikely Political Football Of Our Lifetimes by Tom Beasley

I find myself wondering a lot about how the humble face covering became such a divisive political issue. It’s not as if there isn’t enough going on, even without the whole pandemic unpleasantness. Britain is heading towards a kamikaze break from the EU, America is rampaging into an election in which the incumbent President seems primed to contest a hypothetical defeat well beyond polling day and racially-charged unrest over police brutality is still bubbling under the surface. But the world is getting worked up over a little bit of fabric in front of your face that might save the lives of everyone’s gran. […]

By |October 19th, 2020|Magazine Articles, Regular Features|Comments Off on Tom’s Column – October/November 20

Tom’s Column – August/September 20

Lockdown Is Easing, As Long As You Like A Pint by Tom Beasley

By the time you read this, the government will have deemed it safe for you to go back to the pub. I’m writing this in the dying days of June, after the prime minister announced that a raft of entertainment venues would be able to open from 4th July. It’s a date no doubt chosen for the deluge of “Super Saturday” headlines that, by the time you read this, will have almost certainly greeted the big day, with pints of golden beer undoubtedly gracing most of the front pages. There were probably a few charming images of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel “Man of the People” Johnson grinning while holding a lager as well. […]

By |September 1st, 2020|Magazine Articles, Regular Features|Comments Off on Tom’s Column – August/September 20

Tom’s Column – June/July 20

Quarantine Is Hard For Everyone, Even At The Ice Cream Factory by Tom Beasley

There’s a skit from the brilliant noughties BBC sketch show That Mitchell & Webb Look that discusses the difficulties experienced by an ice cream taster who lives with a paediatric doctor. The ice cream taster, played by Robert Webb, really wants to vent about how hard his day has been, but his problems always seem frivolous next to the fact that the doctor, played by David Mitchell, has to struggle with a ward full of dying children. […]

By |June 29th, 2020|Magazine Articles, Regular Features|Comments Off on Tom’s Column – June/July 20

Tom’s Column – April/May 20

Local Facebook Groups Paint A False, Hysterical Picture by Tom Beasley

This month’s column is inspired by something bizarre and ridiculous on Facebook. I appreciate that doesn’t particularly narrow the field of potential topics, given that Facebook presents a near-constant churn of absurdity, horror and acquaintances posting uncomfortably racist memes. My particular experience, though, took place in the increasingly common arena of the “local area gossip group”. […]

By |April 20th, 2020|Magazine Articles, Regular Features|Comments Off on Tom’s Column – April/May 20
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