Monthly Archives: June 2014

Spot The Difference

The artist got it right the second time around.

A Short Horror Story In 50 Words

Many years ago I was asked to write a short horror story with a catch; it had to be no more or less than fifty words. I have no idea what the book was because I must have torn out my entry from it (clearly didn’t think much of the others) and stuck it behind […]

Re:View – ‘Snowpiercer’

If someone crossed a Terry Gilliam film with a graphic novel, Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Snowpiercer’ would be the result; a sumptuous SF premise with oddball characters that doesn’t go where you think it will – which is rather surprising, given that the Snowpiercer in question runs on a track. The premise: In order to head off global […]

One To Relish?

It now seems that the fixed-line telephone – an object which appeared late in my life (we didn’t have one until I was 17) may turn out to have been a relative flash in the pan after all. My mother bought a Trimphone, one of those phones which was so lightweight that it flew off […]

Rik Hits The Top 40

Shakespeare. Football. It’s obvious that they go together really. And the tragic loss of national treasure Rik Mayall means they finally have their day. With no official World Cup 2014 anthem, after the Football Association decided against releasing a new version of Take That’s ‘Greatest Day’ featuring Gary Barlow and Michael Owen, an online campaign […]

Bryant & May In Shorts

Over the past few years whenever someone has wanted to publish a short story in the crime genre, either for a charity collection or an anthology, I’ve written a Bryant & May story for them. Now I seem to have quite a few in my files. But how to get them to the public? Short […]

What Did Hitler Ever Do For Us?

Ah, the Northern Line, running through London like the digestive-tract of a prawn, unreliable and overcrowded, with stations that still use creaking lifts to escape from platforms. The Northern Line, which is in two entirely separate sections just to mess with our heads, and where you have to go North to go South even though […]

Cataloguing Is My Life

Men like order. Not in an attractive, tasteful way, but in a ‘That badly needs to be alphabetised’ unhealthy way. A female friend was appalled when I told her I spent the afternoon re-cataloguing my DVD collection, and couldn’t decide whether auteur directors deserved to be filed by surnames or by their films. For a […]

10 Great Movies About The Theatre

  At the moment the theatre world is turning to old films for inspiration, but what about the other direction? Once, a huge number of movies were made from plays. In cinema’s early years there was a rush to shoot the classics and the great historical stories in this country; after all, the nation was steeped […]

London Corners: The South Bank

Hardly a corner, and yet in summer the South Bank now holds all sorts of surprises. For years the Thameside area was neglected – it had a power station at one end, in what had long been a dangerously rough neighbourhood, and the walkway passed beneath several dark bridges.  Right into the noughties it was […]