H-H-H-He’s Back

Sometimes it’s best not to revisit favourite old books, films and TV shows, but my eidetic mind requires that I keep a catalogue of everything that has influenced me – then ideally alphabetise it in storage boxes. Let’s not go there. One’s attitude to these favourite things can change over time. The comedian Tony Hancock, […]

Selling Snake Oil

In yesterday’s news, Donald Trump snubbed a climate change meeting to attend a prayer meeting. Belief, which once drove the world, has turned into a poison that is destabilising our lives. From the overabundance of information that inspires incontinent thinking, to the storming of Area 51 and the bizarre rumours about the MMR jab, the […]

Fire Festival!

No post today – autumn is being celebrated across Southern Europe with fire festivals, and I’m off to one. Back in a day or so. Two words; Dragon breasts.  

Theatre Season: The Good, The Bad & The Overhyped

October in London means serious plays. This year we have Lucy Prebble’s ‘A Very Expensive Poison’ and Nancy Harris’s ‘Two Ladies’ leading plenty of state-of-the-art modern plays. I have tickets for those and ‘The Man in the White Suit’, based on my father’s favourite film (probably because he imagined himself in the lead, a backroom […]

The Men And Women From The Ministry

Further to a recent post about middle-aged men becoming obsessed with military books, I finally finished Giles Milton’s ‘Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare’ with, it must be said, a tear in my eye. This is partly because I connected with the subject matter via my parents, but also because of the bravura storytelling that brought […]

Superblocks And Spaghetti Streets

London is a city that confounds the casual visitor because so many extreme opposites sit side by side. It’s partly the fault of geography; the roads still follow old riverbanks and hedgerows, and never adopted a grid pattern, although many were proposed. Sir Christopher Wren imagined a reconstructed capital full of wide boulevards and grand civic […]

Nerd Corner: Which Is The Best Writer’s Phone?

The story so far: Having had my stuff stolen I’ve been without my phone for two weeks and haven’t missed it as much as I thought I would. Without Google Maps you have to start asking strangers how to get around, and if you say you had your phone stolen they start to think you’re after […]

Late Night Rather Than Last Night

I could think of nothing more frightful than sitting through the Last Night of the Proms. It must have once been a charming event, a letting-off of steam after a long season of concerts. Now it’s a parody, all those stamping sea shanties, all that flag waving colonial nonsense – of course it’s an important […]

Off The Rails

Having just finished the new Bryant & May (except for what I call ‘the gloss’, which is a final  once-over to look at the language and make it a little more fluid and graceful) I was thinking about all the projects I have lined up, and wondering what was my favourite book to write. And […]

The Next Bryant & May Novel Is Finished

The sun was starting to set here in Barcelona – it will set almost an hour earlier by the end of this month, but for now it’s still 27C outside, even though some Spaniards have decided it’s autumn and are wearing black, maroon and grey puffa-jackets. I put the wine in the fridge (Spanish wines […]