My three weeks in writing

What with Christmas and new year, I’ve been very lax at updating this. But the past few weeks haven’t been entirely quiet, and the stories that I’ve worked on have included the PCC’s ruling on the Guardian cartoon about Gaza, and the death of the man believed to be the last surviving Briton to have fought Franco. I also delved into the fascinating world of medieval astrology and found out about astrolabes – devices use to study the cosmos – and the work being done to learn more about them.

I contributed a feature on a programme bringing teenagers from around Europe together to learn leadership skills, after meeting the group for an event at the House of Commons, and, staying with parliament, investigated how many Early Day Motions were instigated on the subject of Israel in the last year. The result: 21, at a cost of £6,000 to the taxpayer.

I indulged my inner West Wing fan by writing about Josh Malina’s unusual fundraising method, and covered the news that Francesca Segal’s novel The Innocents – which I reviewed last year, as you can read here – had won its category for the Costa Prize.

With the new year came the Honours List, which we trawled through in order to speak to as many recipients as we could find. Without fail, each one said something along the lines of not deserving it, but being delighted – humility that perhaps shows why they have reached the list in the first place. I also covered the remarkable project carried out by an artistic teenager, who sketched a drawing a day based on current events for the whole of 2012.

Meanwhile in comment, I wrote on how we must not lose sight of what Israel represents and what it should be striving for, and was delighted to feature academic Tony Klug on the essay page with a piece on the two-state solutions and intransigence among leaders.

Having interviewed him last year, my piece on stage and film legend Jack Garfein went in. He was a fascinating subject to interview and I thoroughly enjoyed my times speaking to him.

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