Monthly Archives: February 2010

Art Saves Lives

What you could win - note the Picasso in the top left corner.

Fancy picking up a Picasso for a tenner? That’s just £10.00. Or an early photograph of Kate Moss? Or a limited edition from the late Beryl Cook? Or my favourite, Anita Klein? Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under art, friends, poetry, theatre

A new story

It’s the best way to put off finishing your book – come up with an idea for a new one. You feel much better putting down ideas and scenes and fragments of conversation for the new one. It doesn’t feel like avoidance at all. Which it is. But in a good way.

So I’m at that excited stage. The slog is some way off. There’ll be some research, but it’s manageable.

It has a name Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under My Writing

Is this scary?

Are you sitting comfortably? Too late. It’s already begun.

4 Comments

Filed under life

Election fever reaches boiling point

Vote early. Vote often. (Once per election naturally.) Vote for whoever you want… as long as it’s not the BNP.

This came from Mark McGregor guest posting on Anthony McIntyre’s The Pensive Quill. Good blog in Belfast. Worth regularly dropping in on it.

I may not really be this cynical or realistic. But it’s cold, damp, dark and dreary – with no imminent prospect of change.

4 Comments

Filed under life

When have you last walked out of a film?

Ah Holy God. No! Please no!

When has a film been so tedious, so unimaginative, so stultifyingly boring that you decided life was too short to continue watching? I tend to want to finish what I start, not rely solely on first impressions and give things a chance to breathe and settle. I’m tolerant. But this week I encountered a film that was beyond even my broad Pale.

I’m not complaining. I’ve been lucky lately. I’ve seen Up In The Air this week (beautifully shot, very calming, George Clooney plays a corporate downsizer), Sherlock Holmes (a radical new approach to the franchise which works – full of action, humour, Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law), Astroboy (cartoon hero with machine guns in his butt – the 10-year-old boys I was with liked it) and Caramel (a Lebanese film by Nadine Labaki with no subtitles in English, but full of sympathetic characters and a good trick with a telephone conversation).

But my good run has just come to an end. Drowned in Holy Water. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Film

Bo Selecta

Boa Sr. Andaman Islander and the world's last speaker of Bo. RIP

So that’s that then. You’ll not be hearing any more Bo. In fact, you won’t have heard it spoken for a while, because Boa Sr (pictured left) was the only one left who could speak the language.

However, you can hear her sing in Bo. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under life

Pucker Up

Lipstick in School – A friend sent me this story. Apropos nothing. But I think it’s clever.

According to a (possibly apocryphal and not even new) news report, a certain private school in Newcastle upon Tyne was faced with a unique problem. A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom.

That was fine. But after they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints.

Every night the maintenance man would remove them and the next day the girls would put them back.

Finally the headteacher decided that something had to be done. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under life