Thursday 28 July 2011


The Boy is doing well on his tour of the far East...although their team track record resembles an English World Cup football campaign. He's been promoted to the Firsts, which he and all his family are very pleased about. From this you will gather we have been in regular communication, and as poor communication is usually at the route of all misunderstandings, this is a very good thing indeed. Today is Wednesday, so it must be Kuala Lumpar.

Back in Blighty, we went off to Somerset House for the UK premiere of Pedro Almodovar's new film - The skin I live in. Four of us went, only one of us thought it was brilliant - 'twas I. For me, the evening started brilliantly when the man himself along with co-star Elena Anaya came and introduced the film, and then there was a fabulous fanfare of lights to get the film started. I'd give you a plot outline, but it twisted and turned in almost unimaginable ways and kept us on the edge of our seats (actually, there's no seats, we sat on the courtyard cobble stones) for two hours. The Cat's Mother's face was a picture as we progressed, from excitement through to uncertainty, to bemusement, to horror. We spent the entire journey 'discussing' the pros and cons and ins and outs. Even today we can't agree on very much about the film...the plot, the motivations, etc....but I'm still excited by it, and would recommend it highly even if it is creepy and pervy. At least we all came away knowing a new word...vaginoplasty. I suggest you Google it.

In the meantime, it seems Colonel Gadaffi has decided to take the fight to William Hague. As I cycled along the canal, I cam across this. Military weaponry hidden away in central London ready to strike with 40 minutes notice. I haven't sexed up this report. At all.

Monday 25 July 2011

Lazy Hazy Days

I finished reading a book recently by one of my favourite authors - Jon Mcgregor. I first came across him when I picked up a copy of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, which was followed by So Many Ways To Begin. Both startling good books. His latest is Even The Dogs. Again a startling read, but I would only recommend it if you are made of stern stuff. It's about death through drug and alcohol abusde, told through the words and minds of addicts. I don't know how accurate it is, but it is absolutely compelling, and sad and difficult to stick with. But brilliantly written. On reflection, do go and buy it and read it.

It says something about the way we get news these days, that I found out about Amy Whitehouse from a news alert from France 24...clearly they were slightly quicker off the mark than the Beeb. It was such a shock that I gasped when I read it, even though in reality it wasn't a great surprise...the subject of her impending? inevitable? early death had been conversation in the office last week. That didn't stop it bringing a tear to my eye. And the hope that maybe, just may be she wasn't actually dead. They talk about six steps of separation, and it may well be true - we know well the mother of the girl that ran off with Blake won't be surprised to know there were drug problems in that relationship too.

The Boy and I had both enjoyed a very shambolic performance of hers when we went to V-Festival in 2008...for both of us it was a 'festival' first. If her death proves to be a lesson is in any way to anyone, even just one person, who is an addict of any sort, then it will not have been entirely in vain.

Across the waters in Norway, terrible, terrible news which is still unfolding. Perhaps there two lessons may be learnt. The need for weapons not to be in the hands of any private citizen, and that political and/or religious extremism is only bad.

Bigger events are unfolding elsewhere, with debt-rating agency Moody's declaring Greece effectively in default, which is odd as I thought that the second EU bailout was supposed to stop that. Anyway hats off to Moody's...they certainly don't hang back. But I'm sure we've reached a stage where the authorities may just bite back.

And in America, the budget problems could yet sink us all. No wonder Vince called them nutters...he was right about the Murdochs, and it may just be time to rehabilitate the man.

Our weekend, which we didn't allow the above to take the gloss of in any way, was populated by the Muffins who came down to Brighton. It gave me the opportunity to put on my roller blades for the first time in several years. After a wobbly start I was fine...but I may be somewhat short of being able to skate fifteen miles twice a week round the streets of London. Our two days were spent mostly on the seafront just enjoying a leisurely stroll, without a care in the world. Remarkably relaxing, and of course plenty of time for me to whip my camera out.

If only life could be like this everyday.