Monthly Archives: April 2011

Too Many Eyes On London

Well, the London Eye pulsed red, white and blue, the partying went without a hitch, and as the country nurses its collective hangover I’m going to a Pirate Wedding today, sans parrot. After two wedding parties, I realised I was the only Englishman at either, and the only one not terribly interested in the marriage […]


Last night we went to a party in a house just off Trafalgar Square, and at midnight we walked back down the centre of the Mall to Buckingham Palace. I’m not much for pageantry but there was something ethereally graceful about seeing the great mall in full flag colours, softly lit, with people strolling about […]

Re:View – ‘The Killing’

*No Spoilers* How do you create a ‘talker’ you can’t talk about? ‘Is this any good?’ asked the girl at HMV as I bought the boxed set. ‘Everyone seems to be asking for it.’ This is the Danish TV thriller that was built almost entirely by word of mouth – certainly without much help from […]

The Royal Wedding Theory

All London is en fete – bunting hangs from every pub. And the comics’ comic Stewart Lee has a theory about Wills and Kate. He says: ‘Jessie L Weston’s 1920 study of Holy Grail mythology, From Ritual to Romance, pictures Britain as a wasteland, an image appropriated by TS Eliot to describe the aftermath of […]

Starting From Scratch

Not content with having four new books out in September (‘Bryant & May: The Memory Of Blood’, ‘Red Gloves’ Vols 1 & 2 and ‘Hell Train’), I now find myself working on three more. The only downside is that each has to be sold, virtually from scratch – but perhaps that’s the way it should […]

Words Per Minute

Court stenographers are to be phased out in the UK and replaced by modern audio recording. Stenographers keep up with the speed of speech, which is often defined as 180 words per minute (wpm). Anyone who has tried to take a note in longhand at that speed will tell you it is impossible. Many journalists […]

Nightmare Movies This Weekend

Writer and critic Kim Newman not only does the best Victorian Gentleman impersonation in the country, he’s also one of the world’s leading experts on horror movies. To celebrate the launch of Kim’s essential horror volume ‘Nightmare Movies’ (published 18 April), Newman and fellow horror expert Mark Kermode take to the stage of the National […]

Where In London?

Pushing it a bit to call it London, but it’s near the Thames. Clue under cursor…

What’s That In Your Ear?

I’ve been listening to WNYC’s terrific Radiolab podcasts for a while, and was pleased to see it in the British press recently, with full-page articles praising the show. While I don’t agree that it’s quite the audio revelation that the Guardian suggests (they rather condescendingly said that audiences below forty would have trouble following the […]

‘You Have To Care’

I posted about this book before, but I hadn’t read it then. I have now. I’d put off reading it for a variety of reasons; too demanding to be picked up for a short time, too precious to be wasted in casual skimming, literally and figuratively too heavy. ‘Finishing The Hat’ is an explication by […]