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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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That was how my mother referred to idiomatic English, and while there have been dozens of books on the peculiarities of the English language, including fanciful volumes of outdated rhyming slang and even a history of Polari (which was still in common use until the 1990s) few have noticed the everyday oddities because we simply take them for granted. Slang exists without us realising; 'Heard from…
34 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
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I'd forgotten that Bryant & May crop up in my black comedy 'Soho Black'. Of all my books it's probably the oddest man out. But I wrote it for a specific reason; the story is effectively true. Beneath the puns, jokes, movie references and snappy dialogue lies a more serious intent. If you substitute 'serious physical or mental illness' for 'death' in the book it all becomes clear. My agent said, 'I…
6 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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'Do you like Kipling?' asks the colonel on the 1930's saucy seaside postcard. 'I don't know, I've never Kippled,' replies the shopgirl. But most people had, and they made him one of the most popular writers in England. Remembered mainly for his children's fables, 'The Jungle Book' and 'Just So Stories', Kipling developed an image problem that kept his adult work off the radar for sixty years (and…
30 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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The sheer volume of entertainment and leisure options available to us now is so unprecedented that it's hard to find a way through the information overload. I rely less on press critics these days, but there are certain bloggers I trust who seem to have similar ahem, 'eclectic' tastes to mine. Ultimately I always try to keep an open mind. If you like some or any of my writing you may find my…
6 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Bryant & May
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Dear diary, this week was rather more up and down than I'd hoped for. I bounced back from a debilitating virus that had lingered since January only to be knocked over by a courier bike in Bloomsbury, and am now laid up with a torn thigh muscle. But I'm doing better than my freelance friends who are suddenly finding themselves without work because they're employed by US clients who have stopped…
56 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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Last week somebody asked me 'Is your blog just about, you know, books and stuff?' I replied, 'It's about books and readers.' 'Well, then it could be anyone or anything.' 'Exactly.' But to define it in my own head I took a screenshot of my most recent media upload page. Looking at it, I suddenly realised that in my mission to provide information about books in a vaguely amusing fashion I can be…
11 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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You sit alone all day with imaginary people. If your company decides you'd be better off working from home, there are a few things you need to know. As a veteran homeworker, I'm in a position to help you adjust. First of all, remember that working at home means never being far from the fridge. Do not get into the habit of buying biscuits. Before you know it you're on a three packets of McVities…
22 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
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My friend Dan decided to by a flat near us in Barcelona and told his wife to only look in the areas he had marked on the map. Why those areas? They were all a certain height above sea level. How we laughed at him. He was right, of course; Barcelona was extended into the ocean and soon could be reclaimed. That's why the inland cathedral is called Catedral Del Mar; it was once on the coast…
6 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
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While many of the palaces of the maharajahs survived in India, it has been more normal globally to wantonly destroy the artefacts of other faiths. British soldiers may have chiselled genitalia from non-Christian statuary and smashed up the old Chinese Summer Palace, but they did it while singing of doing good deeds in God's name. In Smyrna the sectarian violence continued beyond the destruction of…
7 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
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Did you ever have the feeling that you arrived too late in this world? The Britain into which I was born felt very much like the aftermath of cataclysmic events; post-war, end of empire, a nation with its glory days behind it. Today's young must be feeling something similar, arriving when the climate is beyond control, wildlife is dying, leaders are extremists and the lack of unity between nations…
32 comments

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