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The Most Magical Film of Them All

Frank Capra’s masterpiece is a devastating critique of small town America, but also a celebration of Christmas hopeSo Christmas and its usual schmaltz is upon us. Miracle on 34th Street and The Polar Express have, of course, been showing on Channel 5 since early September, but today marks the day in the film calendar. Forget The Force Awakens (tour de force that it was) and…

Bookshop Guide: Oxfam, Thame and Aylesbury

Oxfam Bookshop Thame

In the month in which the number of pound shops in Aylesbury trebles, it’s time to get thrifty and grab a bargainCharity shops and books are all too often a depressing combination. Tucked away in a corner, generally beyond the sherry glasses, 70s tea sets, brass holiday souvenirs and other unloved chintz, charity shop books…

Bookshop Guide: Waterstones, Oban

First in a new mini seriesOban is a quite remarkable little town. Nestling beneath the strange folly of McCaig’s Tower, (picture a Roman arena or a mini Colosseum plonked on top of a small hill and you’ll get the idea), the town’s setting is picture-perfect, occupying a wonderful, sheltered bay.  In winter, the town’s population shrinks to a mere 8,500; in summer,…