What is the distinction between simple profundity and being profoundly simple? This is not exactly the last word in semantics, rather a niggling thought about the way we think.

Sweet! Never was there a confection more sugar saturated nor so gluey gummy. Chocolate perfume it has been called, and not by way of any compliment.

Love is complex and complicates things. However, contrary to the old adage love is not blind. Who knows the beloved so well as the lover? To know the beloved’s true nature is to see and accept the whole gamut of their beauties and strengths as well as fallibilities and foibles.

Lady Caroline Lamb’s famous epigram elegantly sums up the problem of free thinkers: they are ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ as the Lady declared in one instance.

According to the old adage, history repeats itself first as tragedy then as farce. Personally, I think history is not that particular about order and precedence. History, after all, is in the eye of the beholder or, more precisely, the historian. And one should never overlook the possibility of simultaneity, that things are both tragedy and farce at one and the same time.

To paraphrase the classic pop song: men — what are they good for? Currently a consensus appears to be forming around the song’s riposte — absolutely nothing! In which case it may be necessary to issue the time-honoured alert to ground control: Houston, humanity has a problem.

The meaning and implication of Malay-ness is central to the life of Southeast Asia, mainland and maritime. The origin, continuation as well as contemporary efforts to confound the paradoxes contained in Malay history and society are also major questions for the Muslim World as a whole.

Granada! I hear it as musical climax, which somehow reminds me of the fanfare that greets the torreros as they enter the bullring. Then the tune takes off again in that distinctive rhythm of all things Spanish to the accompaniment of castanets.

The clock was running down on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It was time. Resolutely, I stifled the sniffles, pulled myself together and phoned home. I knew instantly something was wrong. It was the way my mother lifted the receiver: ‘What’s wrong, Mum?’ I had never heard the like of the wail of utter desolation in which my mother declared: ‘Laurie didn’t marry Jo – again!’ So it was true. We sobbed together, unapologetically.