Summer Beaches

In the last few years it’s become fashionable to build a beach in an urban area for the summer. It’s been done beside the Thames, and here below, beside the Seine. But clearly, what works in Paris doesn’t work out in Nottingham, the grim Midlands town famous for its terrible hotels and tacky nightclubs (although […]

If Britain Was A Village…

If Britain was a village of just one hundred people, what would it be like to live in? This is a fun article from today’s Independent, and you can read it here. Interesting to note that 78% of the country owns passports (in the USA, only 21.7% own passports) and a third of the village […]

So Farewell Then Holidays

It’s goodbye to this… Hello to this, and this. But there are some fun nights coming up. Don’t forget the Murder One event (see under Films/ Books) starting at 6:30pm, Thurday July 23rd at HOME bar and gallery, 100-106 Leonard Street, Shoreditch, London, near the corner of Leonard Street and Great Eastern Street. I’ll be […]


Further to my ‘Murder Most French’ piece (further down the page), as well as being denied France’s postmodern Agatha Christie movies, we lose out on 90% of all French action movies. The Spanish subtitle theirs, but the French refuse to, thereby losing all their overseas sales. Go figure. One popular series, 0SS 117, has surfaced […]

Murder Most French

The French have a love affair with certain aspects of Englishness. They film and stage Alan Ayckbourn’s plays, and for some while now have been producing graphic novels and films of Agatha Christie’s novels. The films have a twist; they’re modernised, topical and much darker and funnier. But, in a move calculated to annoy murder […]

The Weird Thing About Patriotism

Last night as I stood above the Baie Des Anges watching the festivities for Bastille Day, the music swelled, the sky filled with colour and a pride swelled within my breast. There was only one thing wrong. I’m not French. Although I generally disapprove of the concept of patriotism – especially when it’s combined with […]

Jumping The Thames

That’s stunt rider Robbie Maddison doing a backflip on his motorbike over the opened Tower Bridge just before 3:00am. If he’d gone in, no-one would have found him as the tide moves three times faster than any swimmer.

Three More I Couldn’t Finish

Interesting to see what we can and or will not read. Somebody mentioned Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (sorry, my erratic internet connection here deleted the post) but I persevered and ultimately loved it. However, the three above nearly killed me. Dave Eggars has an ego and a playful post-modernism that shines through his prose, […]

When Do You Give Up On A Book?

Most of my holiday bag is taken up with books. This week I’ve read three; Memoirs Of A Master Forger by ‘William Heaney’, Six Suspects by Vikas Swarup and Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. The first two are easy reads. ‘William Heaney’ is in fact Graham Joyce, a wonderful writer who deserves to be more […]

How To Chop Up A Chicken

I love this guy. In 90 seconds he’ll show you how to carve a roast, and it’s so obvious when you see him do it. (You don’t need to speak French to follow this or any of his other clips from Atelier Des Chefs).