David Bouchier


David began as a print journalist in London and taught at a British university for almost twenty years. After coming to the United States in 1986 he continued to teach and to publish a regular humor column in The New York Times regional edition.  He joined WSHU as a weekly commentator in 1992, becoming host of Sunday Matinee in 1996. His latest book of essays, Peripheral Vision, was published in 2011. His other books include A Few Well Chosen Words, The Song of Suburbia, The Cats and the Water Bottles, The Accidental Immigrant and Writer at Work. He lives in Stony Brook, New York with his wife who is a professor at Stony Brook University, and two un-musical cats.

There is something special about ancient places and things that are part of our history. The Roman Colosseum, the Alamo, or the Taj Mahal are like time capsules, which is why great efforts have been made to preserve what's left of our past. History is profitable, too. People will cross the world to see certain iconic places, which is why Machu Picchu and Venice are as crowded and busy as Times Square on a Saturday night.

Most of us, I think, remember bits and pieces from our childhood, but not the whole thing. One of the bits I remember is a ritual I shared with my mother three or four times a week. It was called "Going to the shops."

Now, "going to the shops" was not the same as shopping. Shopping was an entertainment, and I never learned to do it properly. But going to the shops was serious.

Tomorrow is Bastille Day, which is impossible to miss if you happen to be in France. There will be parades and patriotic speeches in every town and village, and fireworks and festive dinners too. This year’s celebration will mark the two hundred and twenty-sixth anniversary of the French Revolution, and it has a certain poignancy because the two hundredth anniversary of the battle of Waterloo (which the French lost) came around just four weeks ago.

Pool Party

Jul 6, 2015

Lots of people like to lounge by the pool on a Holiday weekend. But we have no pool and very little practice in lounging. So we were pleased to get an invitation from friends to come and lounge by their pool. The weather was warm, although perhaps not quite warm enough for such an outdoor extravagance. This, I thought, would be a challenge. The last time I lounged by a pool, as far as I can remember, was in 1966 at a cheap motel outside Phoenix, Arizona. I was stuck there for a week by car trouble, and the temperature was close to a hundred.

Local News

Jun 29, 2015

The daily news gets worse and worse. It is almost painful to hear it or read it, and really painful to see it on television. The problems of the world are huge, and there is virtually nothing that any of us can do about any of them. Many people simply switch off and try to ignore it all, and nobody can blame them for that.