Showing posts from August, 2013


Walking down the street this afternoon I found myself in a part of town that I hadn't really visited that much of late, although it was an area I used to frequent more when I first moved down here some fifteen or so years ago.  Fifteen years!  Quite absurd of course to consider that such time had passed. It only seemed like the other day that I made my way down to the coast from London and... Actually no. I realised that it did seem like a long time ago. The biggest difference was how I felt. Walking down that street again evoked in me a Proustian rush, I recalled just how free and excited I felt back then. I'd made a big change to my life and uprooted myself. The possibilities appeared endless, above me an infinite blue sky that reflected my state of mind. I instantly became depressed. Things were so much more negative and gloomy now, the world a far more depressing place. What was it that had changed so much so as to skew my outlook to such a large degree? Aside from

Beware of the Cliffhanger!

Recently Channel Four screened an interesting drama - a bizarre eight part story from France called The Returned (Les Revenants) . Like many TV viewers in the UK over the past few years I've found the subtitled European drama on offer quite gripping and what with the supernatural elements of the show that were obvious from the trailers, I made sure I watched the whole series. It was as good as I hoped. For me the fact that it was made in a different country and therefore in a different language probably added to its otherworldliness, but nevertheless it certainly didn't need any help in that direction, being both alarming and disturbing in equal measure.  I had never seen anything quite like it before although - like many contemporary shows - it could be said to have some of the DNA of Twin Peaks in its genetic makeup. The show thrived on mystery, often the viewers being left to work things out for themselves. Personally I have always found drama that does this far more in

Imaginary Ends

Aside from all the science fiction I consumed, when I was a child my favourite books were those in which children visited other worlds - not via spaceships, but by using magic. Although to be honest I didn't see that much difference between the two methods of travel in my mind and as far as I was concerned Narnia may well have simply been in a parallel dimension. I particularly enjoyed the alchemical feel of The Magician's Nephew - there was something pseudo scientific about the whole method of travel between worlds, with the logic of the green and the yellow rings and the Wood Between the Worlds with its portals into other universes. Furthermore when Digory and Polly discovered Charn my SF heart leapt at the description of its sun as a red giant with small blue dwarf companion star; likewise at Digory catching a glimpse of Jupiter "quite close - close enough to see its moons" whilst travelling back to London from the Wood Between the Worlds. As far as I was c

Don't Do It Again

Our memories are a very useful manual on how not to live your life. Never mind the rose tinted spectacles, for a lot of us the events that really spring into sharp relief are those viewed through blush-tinged goggles. We torment ourselves over and over again over how much of a fool we made of ourselves in such-and-such situation, despite the fact that ninety-nine per cent of the time the only person that remembers these faux pas is ourselves. There is one exception to this rule. When we get drunk and make a fool of ourselves there is a tendency of some people to never let us forget it. However this behaviour is most often observed in people who often do the same thing themselves and their attempts to get everyone else to remember that time you went swimming in the fountain in the town square at the end of the evening are merely an attempt to divert attention from the fact that they pissed on a policeman's shoes the week before. But most of the time we're the only ones cri

Speak out

Firstly I'd like to make it clear that by writing this I am in no way implying that people taking part in today's boycott of Twitter are in the wrong. Freedom not to speak is as important as freedom to speak. This is more an explanation as to why I'm not taking part. Not that anyone would really notice or care one way or another whether I took part or not and this in itself is probably pertinent. Of course the fact that I (and many others) feel the need to explain why they're not taking part is in itself interesting.  Despite statements that people are free to do what they want to do (or not do what they don't want to do) I feel an unspoken implication that the good people are taking part in the boycott and that therefore if you don't take part then... Not that anyone is actually saying this or even thinks it - it's just an unavoidable side-effect of what's happening. Perhaps a side-effect that exists only in my head. But it's there. I can'