Monthly Archives: March 2020

In Rudyard’s Back Yard

‘Do you like Kipling?’ asks the colonel on the 1930’s saucy seaside postcard. ‘I don’t know, I’ve never Kippled,’ replies the shopgirl. But most people had, and they made him one of the most popular writers in England. Remembered mainly for his children’s fables, ‘The Jungle Book’ and ‘Just So Stories’, Kipling developed an image […]

Seen & Noted: ‘Dead Fashion Girl’, ‘The Candidate’

  The sheer volume of entertainment and leisure options available to us now is so unprecedented that it’s hard to find a way through the information overload. I rely less on press critics these days, but there are certain bloggers I trust who seem to have similar ahem, ‘eclectic’ tastes to mine. Ultimately I always […]

Where Shall I Set The Next Bryant & May?

Dear diary, this week was rather more up and down than I’d hoped for. I bounced back from a debilitating virus that had lingered since January only to be knocked over by a courier bike in Bloomsbury, and am now laid up with a torn thigh muscle. But I’m doing better than my freelance friends […]

So, What’s Your Blog About?

Last week somebody asked me ‘Is your blog just about, you know, books and stuff?’ I replied, ‘It’s about books and readers.’ ‘Well, then it could be anyone or anything.’ ‘Exactly.’ But to define it in my own head I took a screenshot of my most recent media upload page. Looking at it, I suddenly […]

Working From Home During A Cataclysm

You sit alone all day with imaginary people. If your company decides you’d be better off working from home, there are a few things you need to know. As a veteran homeworker, I’m in a position to help you adjust. First of all, remember that working at home means never being far from the fridge. Do […]

Making Friends With The Apocalypse

My friend Dan decided to by a flat near us in Barcelona and told his wife to only look in the areas he had marked on the map. Why those areas? They were all a certain height above sea level. How we laughed at him. He was right, of course; Barcelona was extended into the […]

Doomsday! Apocalypse! A Postscript

While many of the palaces of the maharajahs survived in India, it has been more normal globally to wantonly destroy the artefacts of other faiths. British soldiers may have chiselled genitalia from non-Christian statuary and smashed up the old Chinese Summer Palace, but they did it while singing of doing good deeds in God’s name. […]

Doomsday! Apocalypse!

Did you ever have the feeling that you arrived too late in this world? The Britain into which I was born felt very much like the aftermath of cataclysmic events; post-war, end of empire, a nation with its glory days behind it. Today’s young must be feeling something similar, arriving when the climate is beyond […]

Yeah, But Apart From Shakespeare…

Every now and again someone asks, ‘Why is all the attention on Shakespeare?’ And it’s true that the canonical Shakespeare tragedies and comedies are endlessly revived ahead of his contemporaries. The Bard’s pre-eminent glory tends to eclipse the splendour of his fellow dramatists, who don’t get much of a look-in. When you’ve a mountain in […]