The Slow Lane: A refugee’s tale of darts and bad sherry

A country’s values come into focus when seen by an outsider, contrasting them with his native country

The Slow Lane: Ghosts of school days past

As I approached the hall where the relics of our vintage were assembled, I heard an unspirit-like roar

The Slow Lane: Dumplings and humanity

Taipei’s MRT is the only underground railway where someone has offered to tie up my shoelace

The Slow Lane: Where myths match reality

The story of Sisyphus compares quite well with the experience of zero-hours contracts

The Slow Lane: An urban stage for nature

The Guandu Nature Park in Taipei has an importance out of all proportion to its size

The Slow Lane: Gifts from the court of Federer

The extraordinary thing about Roger Federer is that he still loves playing tennis after all these years

The Slow Lane: Who is the greatest painter of them all?

Rembrandt and Velázquez were contemporaries, but in other respects could hardly have been more different

The Slow Lane: Have you got your shame face on?

Feelings of shame, unlike other emotions, are difficult to hide

The Slow Lane: Winter as a wonderland

‘There is a unique beauty to this time of year. Everything looks ghostly in the dense, opaque air’

The Slow Lane: True nature of the new greens

Have we gone from protecting nature to managing it on behalf of the Earth’s dominant species?

The Slow Lane: Class acts

Mussorgsky and Toulouse-Lautrec reached out to people treated as extras rather than full human subjects

The Slow Lane: An appeal to our modern-day prophets

Too many poets have turned inward, speaking to their fellows rather than to the wider world

The Slow Lane: The big questions of sport

This is about reminding ourselves that we are animals, not adjuncts to computer terminals

The Slow Lane: Ancient lessons for modern lives

There are profound reasons for studying the languages, literature and civilisations of the Greeks and Romans

The Slow Lane: Common censorship

Three recent decisions have brought this issue into focus – and all three are lamentable and incoherent

The Slow Lane: Ripeness on the tree of life

Victor Erice is one of those rare film directors who show time passing apparently at its own pace

The Slow Lane: World leader in the art of living

Paris is organised around culture to a degree unimaginable in mercantile, muddled-up London

The Slow Lane: The secret garden with healing properties

Kew may be 70 times bigger than the Physic Garden, but historically Chelsea is the mother ship

The Slow Lane: The large curse of small-mindedness

Few British politicians have ever engaged with the vision of Europe as an idealistic project

The Slow Lane: Memories from a seat of yearning

The bench became a symbol of a certain sturdy, durable idea of England and of Britain


Harry EyresHarry Eyres established the FT’s Slow Lane column, which celebrates the creative use of down-time, in January 2004. Before that in a varied journalistic career he was a theatre critic and arts writer for The Times (1987-1993), wine editor of Harpers & Queen (1989-1996), wine columnist for The Spectator (1984-1989) and the first and so far the only Poetry Editor of The Daily Express (1996-2001).

In addition to his journalistic work Harry Eyres is a published poet, editor of LSE Environment, the newsletter of LSE’s Centre for Environmental Policy and Governance, and teaches London theatre for a consortium of American universities. He wrote the Beginner’s Guide to Plato’s The Republic for Hodder & Stoughton’s Beginner’s Guides to Great Works series.

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