The Ideas That Didn’t Make It

For every plot I come up with that makes it into a book, there are twenty that don’t make the cut. Because I’ve paced technology throughout my career, I’ve changed systems with each new technological development and have no hard copies or online files from the past, so I’ve not been able to save these […]

Fairy Tale Films For Grown-Ups

The granddaddy of fairy tale films remains ‘La Belle et Le Bête’, but lately there has been a resurgence in a genre that Disney demoted to sentimental kiddie fare for so long. When I look through my terrifyingly vast collection of weird movies, I suddenly realise how few Hollywood films there are. From the country […]

Mission: Implausible

I thought the IMF stood for International Monetary Fund. Then I realised it had something to do with Tom Cruise. Somehow I had missed ‘Mission Impossible’ nos 2-5, after being bored witless by the first one, which for me ruined the premise of the TV series by blowing away the entire team except for little […]

Are We There Yet?

No. And we’re not going to be, either. Sometimes don’t you catch yourself thinking ‘If only I could suffer all the pain of airports without having to go through the boring holiday bit in between’? Well, I just did. Yesterday morning I set off for Marseilles from London. Eight hours later I was still in […]

The Friday Song!

I’m heading off with my downstairs neighbours to Marseilles for the weekend – the English add an ‘s’ at the end for some reason – and I’m not taking this laptop with me because I just delivered the final version of the new Bryant & May novel, ‘The Lonely Hour’, to my agents last night […]

London In Six Pictures No.1

This is going to be a regular feature, because I now have such a vast fund of London photographs that it seems a pity to just leave them inside an electronic folder, never to be seen. I’m going to choose shots from time to time to illustrate different aspects of the city. Today, Englishness. 1. […]

More London Snippets

In 1900 the oldest man in London arrived. He was the mummy of King Mycerinus of the fourth dynasty, and having survived intact since 3633 BC he now lost a finger over the weekend – somebody nicked it. The British Museum has its darker side, and the flaneurs of London were happy to document the […]

London Snippets

Just as you sometimes watch old films for glimpses of a city as it was before, so I love reading old books about flaneurs in London, watching the city’s people and institutions and jotting down their thoughts. There are hundreds of these books and they’re very undervalued by sellers, probably because they can’t imagine who’d […]

Off Topic: The Weekly Round-Up

A new feature – often after a week of chatting to y’all there’s a little more that emerges from the conversation, so in the interests of keeping open the lines of communication I’m going to look back at the weekly subjects tackled. I’ll try to do it always on a Sunday. Middle Of The Road […]

The Middle Of The Middle Of The Road

Are out tastes becoming blander? Are we getting less adventurous? I happened to glance at the London Times’ arts section and found their weekly full-page ads for concerts. The breadth of imagination on display would fit through the eye of a needle. A grisly lineup of ‘Rule Britannia’, ‘Land of Hope and Glory’, fireworks, waltzes, very […]