This from Japan, where extreme body modifiers inject saline into their foreheads (really – look it up). This device is less invasive, but I’d kind of hoped there would be better uses for technology by now.
Instead the internet age means that Ed Snowden will be waterboarded for revealing human rights infringements and Japanese girls will [...]
We’re now in the top part of Spain, Basque territory, between La Guardia and Logrono, missing out Bilbao and San Sebastian as I’ve been there before (Catherine Zeta-Jones’s party, if you must know – she was very nice).
Instead I’m visiting the other Frank Gehry building, a winery he built that is now an unaffordable hotel. [...]
Low and high art today, starting with the former. Once again the strange European obsession with turning inanimate objects into humanoid sub-species manifested itself in the breakfast display of fruit at our parador. This is what happens when staff have too much time on their hands. I have many more pictures like this. Oh yes.
Having started in Seville, where this bizarre Venetian plaza can be found, we headed for Trujillo, the town where the convent nuns are forbidden any human contact with the world and make money selling wine and bread which they can only serve by placing in revolving shelves in their wall.
Before we left I took a picture [...]
Expect sporadic outbreaks of blogging for a few days while I go on a road trip starting in Seville and ending who knows where. I’m researching a novel and also using the opportunity to escape London as we enter our ninth month of a bitter, bleak Gulf Stream-free winter that makes February in Iceland seem [...]
I’m in a restaurant in Barcelona. Using my newly learned handful of Spanish words, I order what I think is cod, and get eggs in some kind of pink sauce. I think I used the right words but my accent was appalling – not enough lift to the Rs, no lilt – I sounded like [...]
Part of the next Bryant & May novel is set in a London park. I grew up right next to the large and beautiful Greenwich Park – although back then the naval college had no tall buildings behind it. Apparently London has more greenery than any other city in Europe, which surprises me as I [...]
Public lashings, Islamic fundamentalists seizing power, a secular gay blogger getting his throat slashed – few of the million annual visitors to the beautiful Maldives island see the mainland. Instead they’re fed a tropical dream that has nothing to do with the terrible state the Maldives now finds itself in.
Islamic hardliners, many trained in Pakistan [...]
There was a time when I wrote surrounded by huge stacks of books and newspapers. Research was immensely time-consuming, and had to be factored into the writing of any novel, short story or article. Not any more; for first drafts I just need my eyes, ears, an internet connection and my laptop. For second drafts [...]
As you rightly discerned, I Am Not Here Again.
Having finished the first draft of the new Bryant & May novel, I could actually stop thinking about books for a few days and take a break, so I vanished from freezing wet London to sunny Barcelona, and it appears we’re not the only ones fleeing the English [...]