Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Giftwrapped Lobster

My New York pal Michele gives me this Christmas present: Adoption papers for my partner and I of one Thorny Devil (Moloch Horridus, I kid you not) and one Squat Lobster. Details of the Thorny Devil’s life make surreal reading, from its habit of eating only one species of ant, and consuming up to 3,000 […]

The Pitfalls of Being Funny

They say comedy doesn’t win awards (unless it’s a comedy award in the first place) and it’s true. Books, films and plays that are essentially dramas with lighter moments always lose out to dramas which are played straight. Cases in point; the overrated ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ is so determinedly dour and severe […]

Best New Year Weekend Party Theme

Audiences attending Singer Sam Duckworth’s gig with ‘Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly’ at Brixton Windmill tonight are being encouraged to dress up tonight. The theme? ‘What Beyonce and Jay-Z’s baby will look like in 21 years’ time’. That opens up a whole world of pain even thinking about it.

Back To The South Bank

Having rejoined the National Film Theatre after abandoning it about twenty years ago, I went back for the first time last night for part of the Ken Russell season. The South Bank Centre is still a labyrinthine confusion of tunnels, staircases and awkward corridors that kettle audiences through tiny doors, but at least it now […]

A Less Stupid New Year To All

I’m an eternal optimist. As in the Thurber cartoon, I have ‘the true Emily Dickinson spirit except I get fed up occasionally’. But each year I hope the Western world will be less stupid than in the previous 12 months. Instead, I see Simon Cowell, Alan Carr and the cast of ‘The Only Way Is […]

An Awesome New Year’s Cocktail

Here’s a cocktail I tried in the Far East, although I suspect it’s Australian. For your NYE celebration, try this; Reposado Tequila Citrus liquor Lime juice Madagascar vanilla stick or essence Burnt lemon slices (cut slices and burn outsides with a caramelising torch) Sugar or Honey Infuse, shake up and serve on the rocks. It […]

It’s All Getting A Bit Modern

This morning my moisturiser emailed me. It’s very well, thank you, and would like to be remembered as a New Year’s Gift, whatever that is. My hair product is on Facebook and leaves me little messages. My trousers haven’t started tweeting, but it’s only a matter of time. New year, new tech. Yesterday I watched […]

The Next Big Hollywood Rip-Off

Okay, so you’re just getting to grips with the new range of triple-play DVDs featuring a digital copy, a regular copy and a Blu-Ray version (some of which are now playable in 3D providing you have a compatible TV and a new receiver) and you’re trying to work out if the Blu-Ray disc is region-coded […]

The Library VS The Mobile

Louise Robinson, the new president of the Girls’ Schools Association, says that smartphones and tablets are about to take over from reading books, partly because children will be able to access information more easily in their spare time. She’s certainly right in principal, but then she says children would have to be taught how to […]

News Items That Should Inspire Horror Films

Yorkshire Water is putting fat-eating bacillus bacteria – commonly found in the human gut – in its sewer network in an attempt to prevent blockages, which typically increase by 25% over the festive season. The company began pouring vats of water mixed with the bacteria down sewers at known trouble spots last week and is […]