The Slow Lane: My rock and awe moment

There is potential for eco-tourism in a former wasteland that blooms with wild flowers

The Slow Lane: The cruel cost of the crisis

Making life more difficult for mentally distressed people, in tough economic times, strikes me as both cruel and stupid

The Slow Lane: A love letter to Scotland

Scotland contrasted so absolutely with the smug, green blandness of southern England

The Slow Lane: The grapes of war

Schools and hospitals moved underground; an opera was held in the Louis Roederer cellars

The Slow Lane: Master of image manipulation

Unlike today’s teenagers, the young Alexander Pope turned his unusual looks to his advantage

The Slow Lane: Plaques to the future

London’s blue tablets are inspirational in recalling people who changed the world

Flex your real muscles

I used to see the rivalry between Federer and Nadal as one between nerve and muscle

Lessons in the key of life

Learning later in life is hard. Bad habits become ingrained and feel like part of one’s being

Celestial observations

Part of Copernicus’s genius was to find the radical potential in the ancient authors

A place for all nations

‘I remind myself not to take for granted the English calm of my London working haunts’

The square necessities

‘Sitting in a square, human curiosity about other people can be satisfied in the most natural way’

Beware of Greeks bearing myths

‘The ancient Greeks were not primitive at all – they knew exactly what they were doing’

Shout it from the rooftops

‘To what extent should climate scientists speak out in the debate on global warming?’

Triumph of the spiritual

‘Spirituality, at its noblest, is not narrow, tribal and defensive but quite the opposite’

Hymn of praise to a beacon of quality

‘The virtues of the BBC still seem to me to outshine its admittedly glaring faults’

We’re looking for a piano

‘The musical instrument has come to be seen as bourgeois and genteel, at home in a million polite parlours’

Why can’t we have happy poets?

‘Great poetry needs to be sprung with tension, not to sag into familiar comfort like an old sofa’

Bath time with arias and graces

‘Rather than Paris, I ended up in Bath, exchanging bohemian liberty for cosy politeness’

Mortal thoughts in a timeless place

‘Those ‘aha!’ moments come more rarely but with special pleasure to the middle-aged’

Poetry’s true objective

‘I’ve been trying to deal with the old subjective v objective chestnut since the age of 12 or 13’

ABOUT HARRY

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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