An evolutionary tale

Once upon a time, there were trillions of balls of dust on a very large piece of slate.

The dust balls had formed from sticky bits of dust and were being blown around the slate by the wind.

There were alternate periods of light and dark.

Food and growth

The slate was covered in dust. As the balls rolled around, the dust stuck to them and they grew larger.


The slate contained some holes. Below those holes was a lake of fire. Some of the balls rolled down the holes and disintegrated in the fire.


In September last year I felt stuck. I was living in East London in a borough called Tower Hamlets. An endearing label were it not for the obvious incongruity between the civility and charm of an imaginary English hamlet and the brutal concrete blocks that marked one of the city’s most deprived postcodes.

My career break, a year full of walks through unfamiliar neighborhoods and screwed up pieces of paper, was giving way to an urge to do something more practical and possibly even spend time in the presence of other humans. …

How I met the career coach

The first two were straight off the top of a Google search. Lisa Larue, from Careerworx and Corinne Mills of Personal Career Management. Both offered free introductory chats and were available the week I called them.

Lisa held a full house: two degrees, three diplomas. I took it as a good sign. At the very least, she had an academic understanding of working life. She’d been a career specialist for the entirety of hers. Lisa’s website described a genuine passion for helping people and emphasised the importance of being happy at work.

Happiness. I…

Advice from a veteran

It might seem dramatic to compare the most talked-about dating app to a battleground. Unless you’ve used it. Scores of men and women drop explosive chat-up lines on each other. Vile perverts fire off lewd comments in every direction. My own tour lasted five years. I’ll never be the same again. The adrenaline. The misery. The infamous lines uttered by Martin Sheen’s character in Apocalypse Now.

“When I was there, I wanted to be here. When I was here, all I could think about was getting back into the jungle.”

There’s no room for cowards and yet they’re everywhere. To…

A wave of excitement washed over journalists around the globe yesterday, as they frantically rushed to their keyboards to hack out the latest “Artificial Intelligence is going to kill us all” style headlines.

Facebook had abandoned a test of its latest AI bots after they started communicating to each other in a way that was unintelligible to observers.

The news that the social media giant had unintentionally created robots that were speaking to each other in their own language prompted a wide range of sensationalistic articles, which had been crafted with nothing but the usual objective in mind; to create…

Behind the roads. Under the shadows of houses and offices throughout London, there run some canals.

As well as hosting a lot of fish and moorhens, the canals contain several hundred boats, which are inhabited by the 0.0001% of Londoners who choose to make their homes upon the water.

The streams are slow-flowing and full of algae. Flies buzz around the water’s edge. Birds sunbathe on the decks and the summer sun slowly bakes the outside paint until it fades and starts to flake.

All manner of people live on the boats. From investment bankers, to poets and painters. Some…

A review of House of Cards Season 5

The problem with promoting a character to President three seasons into a five-season show is that once he’s been shot and suspected of murder in the fourth, he becomes disposable in the fifth. Even if he’s Frank Underwood.

As what feels like the longest presidential campaign in TV history draws to a close, Frank and his opponent Will Conway partake in a typical contest for the most erratic behaviour, yet the actors’ performances keep us signed in to our accounts.

Conway’s two-year-old-in-a-suit routine is unrealistic but Joel Kinnaman ensures that it’s at…

A way through the forest

There once was an acorn named Jack. Like all acorns, Jack longed to become buried in the soil, so he could turn into a beautiful tree.

Unfortunately, Jack the acorn was plagued by all kinds of debilitating thoughts.

“I’m not a good enough little acorn”

“The forest is a terrifying place”

“What if I never make it?”

The thoughts seemed very real and even stopped Jack from enjoying his time in the forest.

One day, Bill the badger brought Jack a guidebook. “Therapy For Acorns” it read on the cover. …

18 questions

If only.

If only they’d disciplined me. Supported me. Understood me. Financed me. Liked me. Fed me. Quality parenting is like happiness. Unevenly distributed and widely misunderstood. Still, that doesn’t prevent us from analysing the crud out of it.

Due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter, the disclaimer will take up a large part of this page. Please treat the word ‘parents’ or any of its synonyms as interchangeable with the words ‘parent’, ‘legal guardians’ or ‘legal guardian’. …

Here’s what happened

This isn’t a success story, at least not about how I became a millionaire. I’m not a millionaire. I’m just a guy who wrote a journal for 20 years. I have done that though. That’s what this post is about.

We’ve all seen the “Change your life in 7 days” articles, or 30 days. “Change your life” they tell us. The general message seems to be the faster we can change our lives, the better. I once saw an article called “Change your life in an hour”.

Dan Copping

I see things. I write about them.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store