Simon Round

American author enjoys Test of character as Ashes writer

By Simon Round, August 26, 2013

W hen Durham County Cricket Club chiefs decided to recruit a writer in residence for the fourth Ashes Test at the Riverside ground in Chester-le-Street, their selection might, on the face of it, have seemed a tad bizarre —a Jewish American former professional basketball player.

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Wide-eyed about Google Glass

By Simon Round, August 23, 2013

When Google Glass was launched in 2012, everyone checked out the prototype interactive computer headset, which is attached to a pair of spectacles, said “how clever” and returned to their iPads.

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David Bernstein: It’s been a game of two halves

By Simon Round, August 22, 2013

For England football fans, there were two memorable images from last year’s European championships.

The first was the sight of the England squad deep in contemplation as they toured the Auschwitz death camp site.

The second was the players looking deeply confused in the quarter-finals of the tournament as the Italian team gave them a masterclass in ball retention.

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Man in the kitchen: not burnt at the steak

By Simon Round, August 5, 2013

I know quite a few people (OK most of them men) who whenever they see steak and chips on a restaurant menu, just cannot help but order it.

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Man in the kitchen: kids' grub to grab me

By Simon Round, July 22, 2013

Many parents do not relish cooking for their young children, who tend to be fussy and unadventurous — and that is not a great combination for a chef.

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Talmud is the Wisden of Solomon

By Simon Round, July 14, 2013

On Wednesday, the cricketers of Australia and England took to the field at Trent Bridge for the first Ashes test. Many JC readers, including me, were unfeasibly excited about it. In fact, British Jews can count themselves as among the most fanatical of cricket fans.

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Butter them up nicely

By Simon Round, July 11, 2013

Perhaps for the first time in human history, the ability to cook is no longer an essential survival skill.

There are so many ready meals and takeaway options that the ability to remove a hot container from a microwave without burning your hands (not as easy as it sounds) are the only techniques you need to master.

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Man in the kitchen: shwarma for cheats

By Simon Round, June 27, 2013

A t some point during an alcohol-fuelled evening out with friends, a man’s thoughts inevitably turn to shwarma — the Middle Eastern version of the Turkish doner kebab, which has become ubiquitous in Israel.

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Man in the kitchen: Another slice of life

By Simon Round, June 14, 2013

My dad was no cook. He needed precise instructions about oven temperature, pre-heating and preparation before he even attempted to bake a potato. However, in his 50s, he decided it might be a nice idea to bake a loaf of bread. This was a big jump for someone who had difficulty boiling an egg, but he duly found a recipe and baked a loaf — and it tasted quite nice.

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Burning the bush at both ends

By Simon Round, June 10, 2013

There have been many health hazards associated with being an observant Jew over the centuries. Of these, my perception is that lighting Shabbat candles comes relatively low down. Aberystwyth University thinks differently. It has ruled that it is too risky to have Orthodox Jews stay in accommodation on campus unless they agree not to light candles there.

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Man in the kitchen: No more burnt offerings

By Simon Round, June 6, 2013

This first column is really not about the kitchen at all. Because at this time of the year - weather permitting - a man's thoughts turn to the great outdoors... and creating a fire to cook on.

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Poor bare, forked males

By Simon Round, April 11, 2013

If you buy only one quirky, surreal collection of comedy short stories about relationships this year, make it Simon Rich’s The Last Girlfriend on Earth (Serpent’s Tail, £9.99).

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Stephen Grosz: telling tales from the consulting room

By Simon Round, March 14, 2013

There is something mildly thrilling about sitting in the consulting room of a famous psychoanalyst and asking him a few searching questions about how he feels about the success of his recent book and his motivations for writing it.

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Dame Vivien Duffield puts the final touches to her project

By Simon Round, February 28, 2013

Dame Vivien Duffield claims she is tired. The new Jewish community centre for London, to be known as JW3, is approaching completion and Dame Vivien, honoured for her massive philanthropic efforts, says that this may be her last big project.

However, when she discusses JW3 and the influence she hopes it will have on the community, she seems to lack nothing in energy.

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Cholent: the Ashkenazi secret key to a long, long life, says Israeli scientist

By Simon Round, February 21, 2013

Eating cholent has long been seen thought of as the traditional, if not the most dietetic, Shabbat lunch.

However, new research, centring on the Ashkenazi slow-cooked mix of beef, potato, pulses and other ingredients, now points to the exciting possibility that cholent, if eaten in sufficient quantities, could be the key to a longer life.

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TV review: Alex Polizzi - The Fixer

By Simon Round, February 14, 2013

If ever there was a business in need of a fixer, the Alf Onnie curtain shop in east London was it. There was the horrendously jumbled store – so cluttered that only the rats that infested the premises seemed to know their way round. And then there were the three Freedman brothers who ran the shop their grandfather, Alf, had founded in 1920.

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It’s time to polish up your Polish

By Simon Round, February 11, 2013

So now we know for sure what many of us have suspected for a long time - that there is an awful lot of Polish people in this country.

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Radio review: Ajax - the Jewish club

By Simon Round, February 7, 2013

Fans of Dutch football club Ajax call themselves the “super Jews”. They wear scarves adorned with Stars of David and display Israeli flags in the Amsterdam Arena where the team plays .But Ajax is not a Jewish club. Only 500 of the weekly attendance of 50,000 is Jewish.

This was a fascinating and disturbing investigation into why Ajax fans have adopted this spurious Jewish identity.

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TV review: Yes, Prime Minister

By Simon Round, January 24, 2013

Around 26 years after the last episode of Yes, Prime Minister aired, it is back, with the same writing team but a different cast — Henry Goodman replaces the peerless Nigel Hawthorne as Sir Humphrey and David Haig is the bumbling PM Jim Hacker in place of the much underrated Paul Eddington, both the original actors sadly no longer with us.

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Francesca Segal: the Costa Prize-winnning novelist following in her father's footsteps

By Simon Round, January 24, 2013

The most surprising thing about Francesca Segal was that she was in her 30s before she published a novel. Aged three, her imaginary friend was the secretary who would take dictation for her. When she was six, Segal would hand stories she had written over to her father — Erich Segal, the author of Love Story — to take to his publishers.

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