Art in Amsterdam article for Railbookers All Aboard magazine

Railbookers, the rail specialist travel agency, publishes a magazine called All Aboard. I have an article in the latest issue on art in Amsterdam, based on a trip just over a year ago which I wrote about for Beacon.

I focused on two galleries. One, the Rijksmuseum, is the obvious choice – although that doesn’t make it any less brilliant, particularly following its recent renovations. The other is less well-known, and is happy to be so given it only has capacity for a handful of visitors each day: the Six Collection, situated in the Six family’s grand house on the Amstel.

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Article on NHS IT and The blunders of our governments

ComputerWeekly.com has published an article by me on the options for NHS organisations on bringing in electronic patient record (EPR) systems, such as big bang (Cambridge University Hospitals and Epic), open source, linking up through a portal and improving imaging (both PACS/RIS and scanning paper records). You can read it here, with copious links to more detailed coverage by ComputerWeekly.com including my piece on Cambridge University Hospitals from December.

The blunders of our governmentsHowever, the clearest lessons I have passed on come from The blunders of our governments, a detailed study of government idiocy by Anthony King and Ivor Crewe. They describe the National Programme for IT (NPfIT), which failed to provide EPRs to most of England’s trusts, as “the veritable RMS Titanic of IT disasters” and “doomed-from-the-beginning”. As they point out, it was started at a meeting “between a prime minister [Tony Blair] who knew next to nothing about computers and a clutch of computer enthusiasts”; it was “wildly overambitious”, “far from being essential” and was apparently never subjected to “a serious – or even a back-of-the-envelope – cost-benefit analysis”. Continue reading “Article on NHS IT and The blunders of our governments”

Two Warwickshire mansions: the time capsule and the gallery

Charlecote Park and Compton Verney were both built as grand private houses, occupied by their founding families until the 20th century. They are now both open to the public, but offer contrasting visions of Britain.

Originally published on Beacon.

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PizzaExpress: Italian food with middle-class British characteristics

The UK’s ubiquitous pizza chain tells you several things about Britain, including its liking for classy interiors, discount vouchers and consistent, comforting food. It can be worth bringing earplugs though.

First published on Beacon. Continue reading “PizzaExpress: Italian food with middle-class British characteristics”

Awe-inspiring place of worship? Visit Salisbury not Stonehenge

Stonehenge’s new visitor centre is a huge improvement on what it replaced, but it remains difficult to appreciate the stone circle with a jammed-up major road just a field away. You can do better a few miles south.

First published on Beacon. Continue reading “Awe-inspiring place of worship? Visit Salisbury not Stonehenge”