Jocelyn Stevens

The chairman is running late. Half an hour. His PA has been popping her head around the door every ten minutes to convey his apologies. The sound of him barking out orders carries through the walls and, alongside me on the squeaky leather sofa in the corridor, I sense the spectral presence of employees past: broken and wretched minions summoned here to squirm a while before finding out if they're to be sacked. There is a chill in the air and, to the imagination, the cough of a nearby secretary becomes Read more [...]

Tony Parsons

Tethered to the small basket of red roses on the kitchen countertop is a red balloon - helium-filled, heart-shaped - with the words 'I love you' written across it in silver letters. It's a cameo of kitsch, a miniature masterpiece of sentimentality, yet it is both as dense and delicate in meaning as a haiku. If you had to summarise Tony Parsons, the best-selling novelist and Mirror columnist, in one symbol, it would be hard to improve on this. He has bought it for Yuriko, his wife, because she has Read more [...]