Monthly Archives: November 2009

Brighton Birthday

Realising that my birthday coincides with the World Horror Convention, I had arranged to throw a party there until the hotel tried to stiff me for the bill. But I’ll still be buying drinks and be signing copies of ‘Paperboy’ and my teen horror novel ‘Hellion: The Curse Of Snakes’.

Things You Could Wish Upon Tyler Brule

Is style guru Tyler Brule the world’s most annoying man? Impossible to get through one of his newspaper columns without being made to feel physically ill at the level of namedropping he manages, Brule builds lists of where to buy sesame-scented candles and macaroons in Paris, or why you must insist on buying hand-painted kid-skin […]

Christmas In Madrid

Tis the season to be travelling to a European Christmas fair for gifts, and as I have old friends in Madrid, that’s where I am. Things I forgot about the place. 1. Nobody eats before 11pm 2. Nobody goes home before 3am 3. You can still smoke in restaurants and bars 4 Everybody, everywhere, at […]

When Trendy Travel Agencies Go Mad

As a relatively seasoned traveller with at least a modicum of eco-awareness, I try to visit places where locals might benefit from my tourist bucks. Travel agents know that I occasionally want to sit in the sun far away from crowds and think up plots for novels, and I’m prepared to try somewhere new. However, […]

Actor Speaks In Tongues

Ian Hart, who is appearing in the West End play ‘Speaking In Tongues’, left the stage and shouted at an overenthusiastic member of the audience last night. It’s something no actor ever does in London, no matter how bad it gets. Now the audience member is threatening to sue for damages because he was made […]

Invisible Ink Authors Become Visible

‘Forgotten Authors’, the column I write for the Independent On Sunday, is now appearing semi-regularly, whenever Katy Guest, the literary editor, can squeeze it in. One of the pleasures of writing this column is discovering authors I’ve never heard of, but who have been recommended to me by friends. Lately, we’ve also been seeing the […]

Your Christmas Movies 2

It’s time we added some other movies to the Christmas Comfort list. How about A Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Barbarella (come on, it’s pretty tame now and it has a snow scene), Tim Burton’s second Batman with the Penguin, the Dino De Laurentiis King Kong? Personally I’d choose A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas […]

Your Christmas Movies

A recent online discussion about nestling in front of the TV during a grey cold Christmas raised the question of comfort movies – stuff you’ve seen a zillion times before but would rather watch instead of, say, ‘Transformers 2′, and this gem of a dance sequence came up. It was just a low-budget British kids’ […]

The Circle Turns Tadpole

London Underground’s Circle Line is about to grow a tail connecting it to Hammersmith. Does this mean the end of the legendary late-night pop-up Christmas parties? Will Londoners find new places to throw their short-warning bashes? I’m available to try out any place in the central London area…although one visit to the sub-zero Ice Bar […]

Has New York Lost Its Cool?

There’s a row brewing on the internet and in the press about New York’s high prices driving out its creative types. The New York Times says: “The sudden downturn has affected the very industries that give New York its identity — finance, media, advertising, real estate, even tourism — with real prejudice. The result is […]