Monthly Archives: January 2012

World’s Most Pointless Store – Title Contested

In the last post I pointed out that this accolade belonged to Fortnum & Mason – it doesn’t, of course. That title belongs to M&M World Leicester Square, a gigantic, dead shop dedicated to selling little sugary sweets and plastic containers, and nothing else. As it’s impossible to self-finance a huge site selling this kind […]

The London Only Tourists See Pt 2

There are quite a few huge buildings off Piccadilly that appear derelict now, like this great gas-lamped wall of warehouse-type buildings that look as if they belong in Shad Thames. The block that contains the Hard Rock Cafe (is that even still there? Probably long gone – it’s another place nobody but tourists visit) was […]

The London Only Tourists See

Another good day for a London walk, this time to check out some central London backstreets that few Londoners bother using, mainly because they don’t lead anywhere useful. The only people you see here are tourists examining city guides. Starting from home I walked to Clerkenwell, cutting through Holborn, with a stop for a good […]

Dialogue from ‘The Day Off’

‘The Day Off’ (see previous post) occupies a key position in the history of British comedy. Written by Galton & Simpson, who changed the face of TV humour by writing about the working class poor with more realism and pathos than anyone had previously attempted, they created the script at a high point in their […]

In Which I Meet Galton & Simpson

Last night I went to the National Film Theatre to see Ray Galton and Alan Simpson’s missing Tony Hancock film ‘The Day Off’ performed live on stage, and found myself – as an incredible piece of luck would have it – sitting next to my comedy heroes, now in their eighties, who were interviewed after […]

Is It OK To Like Union Jacks Again?

I like Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks and his jacket, which looks quiet on the outside until you throw it open. The Union Jack may be about to go for a burton, if the Scottish element of the British Isles gives in to the chip on its shoulder and removes itself from the union, but does that […]

Why The Kindle Doesn’t Fit The Crime

Having finally succumbed to a Kindle, and reluctantly agreeing that it’s better (if uglier) than the sleek steel Sony eReader, there remains one massive obstacle for me to overcome. It has no riffle-factor. If you read long novels which are quite complicated (try David Mitchell’s ‘The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet’) it’s impossible to […]

Not Struck On The Donkey Jackets, But Apart From That…

Am I the only one who found this rather wonderful and oddly touching? The shot was taken in the Olympic Park to recreate Georges Suerat’s ‘Bathers at Asnieres’ and uses construction workers from around the project with the bathers replaced by landscape gardeners, engineers, designers and security staff. The original iconic painting was created in […]

More Choice From Less

With Netflix and Lovefilm, Sky and Virgin filling our screens with movies, the more choice we have the less of any interest we get to see. Sky is particularly slapdash about its scheduling, which is filled with no-hoper rom-coms and US flops. It’s not just our attention spans that suffer but the fact that the […]

The Bryant & May Graphic Novel Finds A Home

After much perseverance I’ve struck a deal for the Bryant & May graphic novel – and the result could not have been a better one. It will be published here in the UK by PS Publishing, as their first modern comic. PS are the producers of the great big beautiful ‘Red Gloves’ volumes – this […]