Invisible Ink Authors Become Visible

‘Forgotten Authors’, the column I write for the Independent On Sunday, is now appearing semi-regularly, whenever Katy Guest, the literary editor, can squeeze it in. One of the pleasures of writing this column is discovering authors I’ve never heard of, but who have been recommended to me by friends. Lately, we’ve also been seeing the […]

Your Christmas Movies 2

It’s time we added some other movies to the Christmas Comfort list. How about A Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Barbarella (come on, it’s pretty tame now and it has a snow scene), Tim Burton’s second Batman with the Penguin, the Dino De Laurentiis King Kong? Personally I’d choose A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas […]

Your Christmas Movies

A recent online discussion about nestling in front of the TV during a grey cold Christmas raised the question of comfort movies – stuff you’ve seen a zillion times before but would rather watch instead of, say, ‘Transformers 2′, and this gem of a dance sequence came up. It was just a low-budget British kids’ […]

The Circle Turns Tadpole

London Underground’s Circle Line is about to grow a tail connecting it to Hammersmith. Does this mean the end of the legendary late-night pop-up Christmas parties? Will Londoners find new places to throw their short-warning bashes? I’m available to try out any place in the central London area…although one visit to the sub-zero Ice Bar […]

Has New York Lost Its Cool?

There’s a row brewing on the internet and in the press about New York’s high prices driving out its creative types. The New York Times says: “The sudden downturn has affected the very industries that give New York its identity — finance, media, advertising, real estate, even tourism — with real prejudice. The result is […]

No Sex Please, We’re Underground

They say a man thinks about sex every seven minutes, but London Underground has long been exercised by the thought of anyone thinking about sex on their platforms. I once spent the night gluing bits of paper over two thousand posters due for London Underground after their board decided it was too risque, and now […]

The Nuts & Bolts About Books

I like small books. They’re greener, more portable, cooler, easier to hold and more collectable. Last night I attempted to fall asleep reading a jumbo airport-bought novel and nearly knocked myself out when it slipped from my hand. Why don’t publishers restore the small format to balance eReaders and bring back this most desirable object? […]

Grooving With Comics

My friend Michael A Gonzales sends me a site that should have all old-school comics fans salivating. You just click on the pages to expand and read. A terrific reminder of how energetic and exciting comics were before they had to carry the burden of social issues here.

No More Money For Old Rope

This is a sad story. The legendary Indian rope trick is supposed to be a myth – the version of the story most commonly told has a young boy ascending the rope, only to vanish. The magician calls after the boy and, receiving no response, angrily climbs the rope himself. After he too vanishes, pieces […]

Don’t Post In Time For Christmas

As I wait here for deliveries, and am greeted by my unfailingly cheerful postie, I wonder how he must feel working for such a hopeless company. My local post office (popular, busy) was closed down. Now I have to go to what is probably the only hybrid Post Office/ knick-knack shop/ mobile phone unlocker/ chicken […]