Monthly Archives: August 2021

Surviving Chernobyl

Billy Bunter’s Big Blowout Recently I went to a party where there were lots of old friends I hadn’t seen for a couple of years. It was lovely to see them after lockdown, and there was so much of them to see. They were, well there’s no other way of putting this, fat, but dare I […]

The Matchbox

It was larger than I remembered. Deeper, with bigger matches. The box was a gift to me – it’s the first matchbox I’ve ever received – from my lovely neighbour Lou. It says on the front: ‘Quis Separabit’ – ‘Who will separate us?’ from Romans 8:35. It refers to the union and is usually decorated […]

Why Does Dracula Never Grow Old?

He’s the IP that never needs fresh blood. His fans still lap him up. What’s the appeal? The thirst for new material from the old Hammer Films studio is extraordinary, and an entire industry built up around this esoteric corner of the entertainment industry. The above volumes have been republished with new sections bringing the […]

It’s All Just Words

Pressing The Nib I’m bored of writing about illness so let’s discuss more interesting subjects. Did the above sentence bother you? The ‘of’ instead of ‘with’? I notice the Youngs are using it. Does it matter? The flickering intricacies of the English language would test the patience of a poet. We learn to write in […]

Still Pinching Myself

Simple Joys Tinto de Verano is the perfect summer drink; everyone orders it in Spain yet its ingredients are basic; red wine, ice cubes, lemon/lime soda, slices of oranges and lemons. It’s just something that tastes of summer. I’m drinking it during my one-week holiday (the first this year) in Barcelona, a trip thrown together at […]

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

So This Happened At 7pm Monday night, Pete and I were at an impasse, arguing about possible ways of escaping the country. Sick of the dark days and apocalyptic storms and floods, tethered by commitments, we tried to find a travel date but couldn’t find a day before October. I felt that given my condition […]

The Adventures Of Phileas Brain-Fogg

I wait impatiently for my brain fog to lift. I am Phileas Brain-Fogg. My mind is a tabula rasa, each day vanishing into grey smoke. The howling wind and rain outside, constantly tearing at the new planting in its determination to point out that last year’s pleasant  summer was a freakish anomaly, never lets up in […]

Dear Diary 1: I Hate Your Perfect White Pages

I expect my readers to be a little smarter than average. Dear Diary, it’s Friday August 6th, and I’ve started feeling like Joan Crawford trapped in Bette Davis’s house in ‘Whatever happened to Baby Jane?’ But at least she got to be in Santa Monica. I’m in King’s Cross. I am a prisoner. The Prisoner. […]

Flop Films Re-Assessed

We got to five on this site last time around: I reviewed very obscure films to the complete disinterest of my readership. Here was I eager to discuss bonkers storylines with anyone who’d listen and you lot were like middle-class housewives at a book club; two minutes of interest followed by a heated discussion about the […]

The Marble Arch Mound

I normally have a certain admiration for pointless follies and architectural foolishness. However, this story features something far less loveable. Oxford Street has for a long time attracted a rougher clientele than Regent Street or Bond Street. As its fortunes declined into discount stores new ways were sought, most of them misguided, to bring back foot […]