Monthly Archives: July 2011

Test Driving Lion

Okay, so the Lion OS update is up and running, and basically it’s a tidied up slicker version of Snow Leopard, with a couple of fancy new gizmos that are pretty but not very useful, like ‘Launchpad’ and ‘Mission Control’. If we’re staying with the space theme of Mac’s upgrades, surely Dashboard remains the ‘Challenger’ […]

The Forgotten Side Of John Barry

Since I got back I’ve been getting up far too early and listening to rare soundtrack albums. John Barry’s scores are always evocative and powerful, but did you know he also wrote musicals? His track record wasn’t perfect, but some are as haunting as Bond scores. The only ones legally available are ‘The Passion Flower […]

Hell To Pay

In Mervyn Peake’s ‘Mr Pye’, the titular hero grows horns or a halo depending on whether he experiences goodness or evil. I think this settles the argument about the world’s antichrist press baron. Of course, the Devil usually needs a few ferocious female acolytes, which explains the desperate clinginess of Wendi and the Ginger Pig.

‘I Loved Your Worst Book!’

There’s a good article in the Guardian yesterday, asking why authors are always best remembered for the wrong book. It’s not always true, but accurate in a lot of cases. Often it’s because a film was made of one and not the other. The article cites Kurt Vonnegut Jr for ‘Slaughterhouse 5’ when his best […]

The Scandal Spreads…

As the News International scandal unfolds, let those of us with longer memories remember a few salient points about the News Of The World: Over the years it virtually created chequebook journalism. It has consistently manufactured stories, falsified ‘sources’, paid informers, set up fake scandals, encouraged non-existent panics, hired bottom-feeding hacks and destroyed the lives […]

Piracy Gets An Upgrade

As a past member of FACT and someone with strong if controversial views on DVD piracy and releasing schedules, I’ve been amazed by recent changes in stolen movies and books. My own novels are being pirated all over the place, printed pirate books now look better than the real thing (they’re often on better paper), […]

Civilised Luxuries 2

Which word comes after ‘Turkish’? If you thought ‘Delight’ or ‘Bath’, you could be referring to a visit to a Turkish barber in both cases, rather than the boxes of sickly dessert sold in every store. One of the great pleasures of Turkish life is getting freshened up in public. At the barber (better-sounding than […]

Civilised Luxuries

The hamam is a way of life in Turkey. I had my first one in Istanbul and emerged feeling squeaky-skinned and unbelievably fresh. Every town has a hamam – they’re not all pretty, but although some are stunning inside and centuries old. The Turkish Bath goes back to when the Turks arrived in Anatolia, bringing […]

Another English Countryside

I seem to have high-speed connectivity here in a Turkish wood, beside a stream full of ducks in a spot that looks like a summer’s day in England (without the foot of rain) inland from Gocek, and yet I usually can’t get an 02 wi-fi signal round the corner from my home. Based on this […]

No Posts Until July 16th

Because I am here…on my way from Bodrum to Gocek. No connectivity. No long trousers. No heavy thinking for a week. And just in case my eReader fails, I’m taking a stack of books. Don’t get me started. The blog will be back with all-new fun on the week commencing July 16th. Stay tuned.