Monthly Archives: December 2009

Films Revisited: Number 1

This piece is about the difference between suspense and mystery. It’s BAFTA month, the perfect time to be stuck at home sick with a huge stack of screeners. I try to see most on the big screen but there’s no way you can see them all. So, stricken with man-flu and feeling pathetic, I thumb […]

The Horses Of Camden

Further to the post below complaining about the lack of craft touches in London, I now have to eat my words. The rebuilt stables at the north end of Camden Market are a sight to behold. Virtually everywhere you turn there are massive bronze statues and friezes of horses, ostlers, stableboys, guardsmen and others whose […]

Gilding The Acorn

Dozens of regilded acorns around Devonshire Street remind me of our debt to the Romans in London – these are symbols of hospitality that welcome you into buildings. What’s extraordinary about the city – still – is the sheer wealth of detail you see on buildings. ‘London In Detail’ has over 2000 photographs of the […]

All Lombard Street To A China Orange

It means unfeasibly short odds, ie the wealth of London’s Lombard St (banks) against a cheap orange (ie from China). And it’s from a wonderful new London book (there are half a dozen great new London books out at the moment). Such is my murderous desire to get my mitts on such books that, rather […]

Schoolboy Fantasies

‘Paperboy’, the hardback, has now sold out. The good news is that the paperback is only a few weeks away. The bad news is that it won’t have the end-papers of my notebooks in. One of the things I mentioned in the book is that I got to fulfil some pathetic schoolboy fantasies – writing […]

The (Mean) Spirit Of Christmas

I should have known that when I sent out an eCard (jolly, festive, courtesy of the folks at Elf Yourself) to get around the post problems I’ve been having, people would start sending me ones back. Well, this serves me right. Theperfectgift!

Baddest Santa Ever

The final part of this Bad Santa Christmas gift roundup reaches its nadir. Perfect gifts for anyone who believes that consumerism will find its natural level. Supersize a loved one with a MacDonalds Junkfood Voucher. I love the way this is stamped ‘Sample’ in case I tried to use it. Collect models? Then you’ll want […]

Stewart Lee Live & Awesome

If You’d Prefer A Milder Comedian Please Ask For One is the title of Stewart Lee’s new show. Regular readers know I’m a huge fan of the stand-up, director and novelist, who remains the UK’s smartest comic. His humour is bone-dry and can be an acquired taste, but having just seen him live at the […]

Sometimes You Just Want to Stop Writing & Dance

Look, I know this is a pretty unusual blog for a writer – there’s a certain amount of literary chat, but my passions are for anything legal that gets your heart pumping. Some while back I posted a clip called ‘Time To Dance’, from Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee’s ‘Jerry Springer – The Opera’. That […]

Christmas Movies 4: Lost Innocence

As anyone who has read my memoir ‘Paperboy’ knows, I had an unhealthy obsession with this film at the age of ten. The audio clip ‘Terry-Thomas & Milton Berle’ sums up the once prevailing UK attitude to the US, as Thomas gives Berle a piece of his mind before getting thumped, and the fan trailer […]