Helen Martin

Helen Martin

Helen Martin: Olympics hype has become an obscenity

THE BBC sent 200 people to London to staff the coverage of "one-year-to-go", on the basis that it was the start of the countdown to what some are saying will be "the greatest games ever".

Helen Martin: Downwardly mobile habits are out of line

THE news that mobile phones may cause cancer after all, and brain tumours at that, must have come as a blow to so many people.

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Helen Martin: The Lycra lobby needs to cut us a bit of slack

IN some ways I have a lot of admiration for cyclists in Edinburgh. For one thing it's not - whatever anyone says - a city built for a bicycle. It's hilly. Of all forms of litter, broken glass is my pet favourite and there's no shortage of that so I'm assuming punctures are an occupational hazard.

Helen Martin: Forget that gagging order and come clean

FEW people are perfect. Many have secrets, large or small, and the revelation of anything about which they feel ashamed will bring loss - loss of trust, respect, friendships or even a marriage, status, maybe a whole career.

Helen Martin: No doubts, a change would do us all good

NOW, I want to you sit up and concentrate. You are soon going to be asked to say "yes" or "no" to the alternative vote, otherwise known as AV.

Helen Martin: Judy's served a fault with PE lessons call

MOST people have a tendency to think they are normal, to think other people share their views and outlook on life, even when they're in a minority. If they are passionate about something, they can't understand why others don't get it.

Helen Martin: You'd have to be a twit to tweet all day

WHAT do actress Maureen Lipman, chef James Martin and me have in common? We don't tweet on Twitter. I'm not great on Facebook either. The other day I noticed someone had wished me happy birthday . . . a year ago. That's how often I visit FB.

Helen Martin: It's the parties that I'll decry if I want to

I am one of those people politicians don't like very much. This is a perfectly acceptable state of affairs because I'm not very admiring of most of them either, but that's really beside the point.

Helen Martin: Iron out wrinkles in attitudes to ageing

GETTING older has never been clear cut. Now it's more confusing than ever. Forget the savings dwindling, the onset of arthritis and the frustration of seeing over- confident younger people repeat old mistakes. That's almost always been the case.

Helen Martin: Pardon me while I stifle a royal yawn

MAYBE it's just me, but I sense a definite lack of breathless anticipation and excitement over The Big Day.

Helen Martin: Our political masters need a reality check

THERE may be some few souls out there who still wonder why politicians are said to be evasive and out of touch. Probably even fewer after David Cameron appeared on BBC's The One Show last week.

Helen Martin: Care for your parents lest history repeats

THE hope of having someone to look after you in your old age is no reason to have kids; certainly not in modern Western culture, although there are still some places in the world where it's an expected - and accepted - obligation of family life.

Helen Martin: Why did they reject this racing certainty?

COUNCIL planning processes and judgements are usually as mentally stimulating as a Mogadon. But the consequences of getting it wrong can be immense.

Helen Martin: Empty shops are real saving grace

IN EDINBURGH city centre, one in 13 shops is now lying empty. This is generally held to be bad news. It's continuing evidence of the economy's downturn, an obvious display of retailers' lack of faith in the future.

Helen Martin: No-one knows their place like a city snob

ANY murder, like that in Chalmers Crescent last week, is a horrifying tragedy. I certainly wouldn't make light of it. But it's often when such acts of criminal violence take place that locals display the most intimate knowledge of local geography and borders.

Helen Martin: Not enough parents in it for the long haul

IF you have ever endured a long-haul flight with a child behind you who insists on kicking the back of your seat, throwing tantrums or playing some ghastly electronic game with the sound effects at full volume, you will sympathise with a survey carried out by a business travel organisation.

Helen Martin: No hiding from our hoarding instinct

THERE'S an oft-used phrase in our family, applied to anything that is, superficially, unwanted: "It'll do a turn."

Helen Martin: Taxes not the answer to stub out smokers

I CONFESS I am still in the grip of the weed. It would be dishonest not to disclose that at the start and that's one reason why I found BBC Scotland's Smoking and the Bandits documentary last week shocking, revealing as it did that Scotland is the victim of an evil and growing trade in counterfeit fags and tobacco.

Helen Martin: Kitchen invader is driving me stir crazy

I HAVE created a monster. That's what happens when you buy a thoughtful Christmas present without thinking through all the possible consequences.

Helen Martin: This investment wins gold in moral poverty

HISTORICALLY, big public spectacles were not only an impressive show of a country or ruler's wealth, but also a political display of strength or power and a means of uplifting the masses and diverting them from any discontent or uprising.

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