Monthly Archives: December 2015

Star Wars & Me

This is about ‘Star Wars’ from the London end. One evening in 1977 we gathered in the Blue Posts, a strange rockabilly pub at the bottom of Tottenham Court Road that looked like a one-storey plank shack (eventually torn down and replaced with a concrete box housing the Muji store) and grabbed a few beers before […]

My First Panto

…as an adult, at least. As a kid I went all the time, but if you don’t have children you forget what they’re like, and if you go with someone who has no cultural reference points for such an event – well, you have a hard time explaining what the hell is going on and […]

The Homeworker’s Cookbook 1: Spicy Chicken & Egg Soup

Wherever you are in the world and whatever you’re doing, if work at home it’s still very easy to stop eating properly. Where I live in London (between three major stations) I’m surrounded by takeout joints, 90% of which are either cheap, pretty good offerings of world cuisine, or total rubbish like McDonalds, so I […]

The Play Wot We Wrote

I don’t know what it is with me and trains. When I was a little kid I saw ‘Dr Terror’s House of Horrors’ (which should have been called ‘Dr Terror’s Train of Horrors’ – an indication of what a sloppy piece of what it was) and was fascinated by the ghost train at the end […]

What A Bullfight Sounds Like

In the back-alleys of my overstuffed iTunes files I recently found all my old voice memos, from a rainstorm in Sri Lanka to kodo drummers in Japan, and this, matador Padilla’s return to the bullring after being gored through the eyeball, complete with cheers and a brass band. If you audio-scripted it you’d be accused […]

The Place Where There’s Too Much Christmas

Every country has one; in the UK apparently a horrible-looking Christmas shopping outlet called Bicester Village attracts Chinese tourists to its high-end shops, and I sure that every American state has at least one place that overdoses on yuletide shopping opportunities, but when I chose Strasbourg in north-eastern France for this year’s Christmas market weekend, […]

Putting The Walls Back Up

At the end of the film ‘The Big Short’, the narrator explains what actually happens after a credit crisis; the banks make more money and the blame passes onto the poor and immigrants. With Donald Trump now exposing his true identity as a lunatic fascist and one in three French votes falling to the equally […]

When Brilliant Filmmakers Play Safe

Looking back from the eighties to the present day, one trend is obvious – the great directors who emerged then have all have all got fat and rich – and dull. Robert Zemeckis, whose every film I loved right from Used Cars to Death Becomes Her and the Back To The Future trilogy has made […]

The Greatest British Novel – A Travesty

So, the BBC commissioned 81 respected book critics (odd number and no details of the selection but never mind) from around the world to help decide the greatest British novel of all time – I know, the whole thing is spurious to say the least, but it’s a fun talking point – and each one […]

What He Did In The War (Interactively)

Like most Londoners I never get around to doing the things tourists do. I had mentally ticked off the things I never wanted to do again, like Madame Tussauds and the ‘Blitz Experience’, both overpriced and awful, the former now for celeb-struck gawkers and the latter an ‘experience’ (mercifully now shut) in which you found […]