Monthly Archives: June 2012

London’s Hidden Histories

‘The Secret History of our Streets’ is the kind of old-school documentary series at which the BBC excels. If you live near any one of the six streets being featured over each hour-long episode, you’ll know how accurate the programme-making is proving to be. At the top of my street is the Caledonian Road, the […]

Flaming Hell

Recently I deleted a post on my website. After putting up what I felt was a fair and decent rebuttal to a reader, she got in touch and made it clear that she was not happy engaging in discussion. A quick check through the efiles revealed that she was one of the snarky Twi-hard fans […]

Five Plays, A Tenner Apiece

This is a bit of a good deal. The Michael Grandage Company has launched a season of five plays at the Noel Coward Theatre comprising new writing, classical and twentieth century repertoire. They want to reach as wide an audience as possible with over 200 tickets for each performance at £10 and over 100,000 across […]

Site Redesign On The Way…

Over here at Fowler Towers, designer Simon Moore and I are putting our heads together to take the site over to an HTML5 build that looks clean and is easy to navigate. I’m not convinced we’ll need Twitter and Facebook feeds but we may add them. And that pointless column to the right will go. […]

It Came From Behind The Shelf No.4

Another poke about down the back of the bookshelves produces a file of covers – no point in me saving the Polish edition of ‘Spanky’ – from editions around the world, including Japan, Russia, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden and a few countries I can’t quite place. What’s missing is the staggeringly awful Balkan edition […]

Yet More London Books

Another week, another slew of London books. ‘Ode To London; Poems to Celebrate the City’ is a slim volume perfect for browsing, edited by Jane McMorland Hunter, and is filled with graceful transport posters of the city, as well as some nice choices of London poetry, some very familiar, some not at all. ‘Lost London’ […]

Neglected Films No.1 – ‘A Handful Of Dust’

Satire is not always easy to appreciate. Too broad and it displeases the critics; too narrow and it displeases general audiences. The critics branded Merchant Ivory films ‘heritage cinema’, a lazy catch-all that suggested ladies in big frocks emoting beneath proscenium arches. Their coded meaning was that the films were politically conservative. But they had […]

A Small Joy

A London Sunday in mid-June, the weather threatening one moment, humid the next. After a luncheon at The Jugged Hare of bath chaps and langoustine, and a stroll through the arboretum in the Barbican, I find myself in St Giles-Without-Cripplegate, in the City of London, still one of the most deserted places you could be […]

To Infinity And Beyond Hope

When I was a kid space travel was being suggested as a reality for the first time, but who would go? The greatest minds from our planet, obviously. Ambassadors from the Earth who had earned, through bravery, achievement, diligence, genius and innovation, the right to set forth into the star field as representatives at the […]

Books For Non-Readers

I don’t approve of reviewing terrible books; The William McGonagalls of the world have always been with us, and press space is at such a premium that I usually make sure I’m recommending something good rather than complaining about lousy writing. But over the last few years a pattern has emerged whereby a poorly written […]