Review: “When the Lights Went Out” starring Natasha Connor and Kate Ashfield

I moved to Yorkshire in late 2011. Since that time, I’ve found much to admire: the area’s diversity, its many examples of beautiful 19th century architecture, the fine local ales and the friendliness of the people all do much to recommend it. In July, I went to Dublin and while there I attended a whiskey […]

At the Olympics

Eric Idle, accompanied by a proverbial crooning “fat lady”, has sung his song. The Olympic flame has been extinguished. The athletes are heading for home: Heathrow has even set up a special terminal for their departure, the front façade of which features a picture of a Guardsman saluting and “Good-bye” painted in white letters. I […]

A Season of “Mad Men”

I wish I had something profound, brilliant and original to say about the London Olympics. However, a quick examination of the morning papers suggests that all the best superlatives and metaphors have been used, nearly every last sporting cliché has been deployed, and even fake sideburns, à la Bradley Wiggins, have become an essential fashion […]

Review: “The Dark Knight Rises” starring Christian Bale, Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway

Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy has dramatically altered how we view “superhero” films. Prior to “Batman Begins”, there was an expectation that such movies would be as lurid as their printed counterparts; the audience’s suspension of disbelief was taken for granted, their willingness to accept a villain, say, who had fallen into a vat of […]

Review: “Richard II” starring Ben Whishaw, Patrick Stewart and David Suchet

My Fourth of July was not spent imbibing American patriotism; there were no barbeques or fireworks, no Star Spangled Banner hanging from my window, all of which would have stood in stark contrast to what turned out to be a grey, rainy Yorkshire day. Rather, I experienced two ends of a spectrum of English life. […]

Review: The Eurovision Song Contest, Baku, Azerbaijan, May 26, 2012

I don’t remember the first time I saw the Eurovision song contest; I presume it was not long after I moved to Britain. I do recall being appalled: bad, tuneless song followed bad, tuneless song. Worse, the performers were often off key, as if they hadn’t sufficiently rehearsed or were tone deaf. What on earth […]

Review: “American Pie: Reunion” starring Eugene Levy and Jason Biggs

The first episode of Michael Palin’s “Ripping Yarns” began with a quote from G. K. Chesterton: “The follies of men’s youth are in retrospect glorious compared to the follies of old age.” I didn’t expect to think of this when I bought my tickets to see “American Pie: Reunion”. I thought I’d get a dose […]

Review: “The Iron Lady” starring Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent

[AMAZONPRODUCT=B004U5BYZQ] Generally speaking, I only write reviews for films and books which I’ve enjoyed. Part of it comes from being a writer: I’m loathe to criticise others’ artistic endeavours given that I work so hard on my own. The other reason is that it’s all too easy to succumb to the pleasures of writing negatively: […]

The Sorrows of Catalonia

Last weekend’s edition of the Financial Times led with three articles about Spain. They catalogued nothing but misery: a quarter of Spaniards are unemployed, the country’s financial position is worsening, Spain’s bonds have been downgraded by two notches, Spain is crying out for help, seemingly into a void. The FT’s attention is justified; Spain is […]

Memories of Turkey

“Did you enjoy your stay?” The question, posed by the young lady stationed at the reception desk of the Paloma Renaissance in Beldibi, carried no hint of being rehearsed. Doubtless it was something she had been trained to ask: the query’s formulation was as professional and crisp as her tan jacket. Nevertheless, she looked hopeful […]

Me And My Blog

Picture of meI'm a Doctor of Creative Writing, a husband, a son, a brother, an uncle, a published novelist, a technologist, a student, and still an amateur in much else.

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