Blog / 2014

Christopher Fowler
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Observatory
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This is Chris Fowler. He's not me, by the way. But he bears my name and is probably a lot smarter than I'll ever be. This charismatic guy is a respected American sportscaster working for ESPN who happens to share my name. I have a common name. Taxi drivers make one of two jokes about it, either accusing me of being in Eastenders or playing football. That's usually what we Fowlers do, things like…
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Christopher Fowler
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Observatory
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The news this Christmas that a biblical mistranslation is responsible for the idea of Christ being born in an inn stable comes as no real surprise to me. Because I know Christ was born beside a jacuzzi, and I have proof. If you're looking for really mind-boggling religious rubbish, head for the Catholic Mediterranean countries, where you'll find Christmas markets selling the most unbelievable…
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Christopher Fowler
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Observatory
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I'm seen here having won two awards. I can't remember what they were for, because moments after this photo was taken the plaques attached to them fell off and I couldn't glue them back on. I don't respect awards very much; as a juror on many panels, I know they're at best arbitrary and at worst political. Some festival organisers take themselves very, very seriously. The British Fantasy Society…
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Christopher Fowler
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Observatory
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So said Yoshinori Ishii, the chef showing us the Ikejime method of killing a fish. He paralysed it with a sharp point to the brain, and severed its spine so that its body didn't get traumatised - the difference is visible to the naked eye; the meat looks entirely different to that of most fish, which suffer and have less firm and flavourful meat as a result. Mr Ishii is teaching his method by…
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Christopher Fowler
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Observatory
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I briefly mentioned this in 'Film Freak' but was reminded of it yesterday, walking through Soho on a day when veils of grey mizzle were drifting across the empty streets, and I passed the building where it happened. It illustrates what we put up with then. It was raining hard on that day, too, when a glamorous female MGM executive arrived at our Soho office in a pale blue twin-set with bobbed…
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Christopher Fowler
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Observatory
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There will be no usual post today because I just read that Dan Terrell, longtime friend of this site, has passed away. To have someone you've never met write so eloquently, vividly and intelligently on so many subjects makes that person a good friend. Distance is unimportant - like minds can cross universes. Thank you, Dan, and good night.
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Dan Terrell
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Christopher Fowler
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Observatory
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The nature of present-giving at Christmas is changing. My friends are moving out of London. Quite a few of us now go away for the extended break. The purchase and delivery of gifts is now almost an ordeal. My brother has a connection to a farm but doesn't live nearby, and one Christmas found our gift exchange involving the transfer of meat in a frozen car park. It was like something out of Fargo…
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Christopher Fowler
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There can hardly have been two more contrasting articles about restaurants this week. As London venues continue to open at lightning speed this autumn, food critic Jay Rayner laid into the awful-sounding 'Beast' with a breadknife. The Russian-owned restaurant has opened in London's West End with a bizarre concept. It just sells steak and Alaskan crab (not everyone's favourite combination) at long…
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Christopher Fowler
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Observatory
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Heading back for rainswept Britain after a week working abroad on ideas for a new thriller, I can't help noticing cultural differences . Latins do things their way. Some observations; 1. After stealing your phone they use the sim card to call premium-rate numbers repeatedly until the phone is blocked. This is because they really, really like to talk. 2. Movie poster promises; 'You will soil…
7 comments
Christopher Fowler
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Observatory
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Over the last few years it's been hard not to notice a distinct cooling of Britain's perceived 'special relationship' with America. With different parties in power and discomfort over war policies, the gentle ribbing that always existed between the two birth-cousins has taken a sharper new edge; in the press and popular culture Britain and Europe have been blaming America for the world's ills…
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