Wednesday, 13 October 2021

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see

I've just read Matt Haig's The Midnight Library. My friend Alyson emailed me a couple of weeks ago and recommended it. And I'm so glad she did. It was a delightful read; the sort of novel I'd love to have read and discussed with my old book club back in North Yorkshire. If you've read it, or are thinking of reading it, I'd love to know how you got on with it. And if you are going to get a copy please support your local bookshop if you can - I'm sure Amazon will struggle on if you decide not to use them this once.

Rather than me give away any plot spoilers, here's the author himself giving a very brief synopsis...

Wednesday, 6 October 2021


The first entry in the Nottingham A-Z is Aaron Close in Wilford NG2; the last is Zulu Road in Basford NG7. Guess where I'm walking on Sunday? This cheeky urban ramble is the brainchild of Richard, my psychogeography friend, and promises to be great fun. There'll no doubt be a lot of pointing at stuff and general chitchat, while members of the public look on in bewilderment wondering why we on earth we would find a particular roof detail fascinating or want to take photographs of railings.

For those of you unfamiliar with NG postcodes  Aaron Close* is south of the river (Trent), Zulu Road** is north. Depending on the route we take - and how far we stray off piste - it's around five miles, so not too taxing by any stretch of the imagination. And yes, I have got a boozer in mind at the end where, no doubt, we shall plan our next sortie.

* If you've ever been to the cricket at Trent Bridge you're not a million miles away.

** Not far from where they hold the famous Nottingham Goose Fair.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

What a time to be alive

I managed to get a tank of gasoline earlier today: dropped lucky on a mildly busy Shell forecourt around lunchtime and filled 'er up. My relief was palpable. FFS, how has it come to this? Covid was horrific, but the aftershock following Brexit will be felt for years to come. What a time to be alive. I dread to think what fresh hell will land in our laps between now and the next election. Though whatever does come our way in the next 24/36 months I guarantee it will only make me poorer, angrier and sadder. That much I do know.

On a jauntier note, I hope you like today's photograph; I took it in Lambley - a little village not far from me.


Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Does that make sense?

Cracknell - mint

It won't have escaped your notice that Saint Etienne have a new long player out at the moment: I've Been Trying to Tell You is as diverse as you'd expect it to be yet, at the same time, as familiar as you want it to be. Does that make sense? That's a rhetorical question btw; if I get asked one more time, after somebody has told me the most basic of information, 'does that make sense?,' I think I'll swing for them. Does that make sense?

I fell in love with Sarah Cracknell's pipes a long, long time ago; and still her voice makes me giddy. Even though she never sang on their first single Only Love Can Break Your Heart, I still, in my head, think it's her. Does that make sense?

Anyway, enough of this rhetoric nonsense. This is Sarah Cracknell - taken from, surely, a contender for Album of the Year. I hope you like it.

Saint Etienne - Pond House (2021)

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

The Last Bus

There's a point in The Last Bus, Timothy Spall's new film, where Tom, the pensioner Spall plays, is asked to show his bus pass; you can just make out the year of his birth -1929; a bit of a reach for an actor nearly 30 years his junior? No, not really. With minimal make-up, a stoop and a walking cane the character you see before you is every bit as believable as the numerous BAFTA nominations Spall has received over an acting career spanning more than 40 years (he made his film debut in Quadrophenia in 1979).

It's a beautiful movie; emotional but not mawkish; sentimental but not schmaltzy. And yes, if you're anything like me, you'll be weeping buckets before the closing credits.

The Last Bus - 2021