Monthly Archives: March 2015

A Walk Through Budapest

  It’s time to celebrate Hungary’s freedom at the moment; the streets may be awash with national flags and displays of folk-dancing, but twenty four years isn’t a very long time, and memories of the Communist occupation (replacing the Nazi occupation) are understandably long and vivid. It doesn’t help that you can still see plenty […]

We Are All Children Now

There’s a new book out called ‘Twee’ by Mark Spitz. It’s described as a study of the first cultural movement since Hip Hop, an old-fashioned and yet highly modern aesthetic that’s embraced internationally by teens, twenty and thirty-somethings and even Baby Boomers, creating a hybrid generation known as Twee. Spitz reckons that Vampire Weekend, Garden State, […]

What Londoners Actually Say

I was reading a crime thriller set in London written by a Californian, and it was peppered with the kind of words you only ever find online when searching ‘British rhyming slang’. Never had I heard one of these words spoken aloud in my own city. It set me thinking. Forget rhyming slang (although you […]

How I Ended Up Producing 23 Books In One Year

            …four of which are BRAND SPANKING NEW! Your friendly neighbourhood author is about to attempt the impossible, and I don’t mean watching an entire episode of ‘Gogglebox’. I’ve been writing up a storm for your delectation, partly because I love challenges and also because I feel that right now I’m […]

Starry Eyes

I’ve been waiting for a New Millennial Hollywood horror film now since, well, the turn of the century. There have been a few green shoots in films like the wonderfully bonkers ‘The Nines’ and the hideously claustrophobic ‘Buried’, while most of the really original work has been coming from Spain, South America, Korea and even […]

10 Reasons Why I Won’t Be Buying An Apple Watch

I love Apple products. They’ve changed the way I work, to the point where switching to someone’s PC is like going from a car to roller skates. I have an iPhone 6, a Macbook Air and a regular Apple home computer – my work tools – and they’re intuitive, fast and easy to use. So […]

Mental Movie Moments 2: Tutti-Frutti!

Used as a weapon to draw South American support for the war in Europe, Carmen Miranda had an odd career which saw being forced to her play on her image of a sexualised, then de-sexualised ‘easy’ Latin girl. When photographs surfaced of her infamous wardrobe malfunction (which theoretically should have further played into her sexy […]

The Weirdest Comic Book Ever Published

The most peculiar comic books available to kids were always the lines that caught the spirit of the times. In the conformist McCarthy-era 1950s, the desire for material wealth triumphed over anything too imaginative and strange. Typically popular were the adventures of Richie Rich, the adventures of a grotesquely wealthy blond boy who was forever carting […]

How We See Ourselves

Can we call Martin Parr a National Treasure yet? The photographer has been turning a dispassionate eye on the English for many years now. I first remember watching his TV series ‘Signs of the Times’ (which I would love to see released on DVD – does anyone have it?) and watching couples discuss their homes […]

Why This Book Caused A Very English Outcry

First a bit of an explanation: Because I was born in 1953 I was a New Elizabethan, ie. born in the year of QEII’s coronation. My dates, therefore, match her reign, and I therefore have a fondness for Queen Elizabeth, despite only having ever seen her at the pictures. I mean she was at the […]