Posted in December 2012

The Ghost and The Darkness

This is another film I have been meaning to catch for many years. It stars Val Kilmer, never a great actor, but Michael Douglas has his moments, and a script by William Goldman based on a true incident in 19th century Africa. It’s also about a bridge builder, so hey, how could I not see … Continue reading

Paul Auster’s Christmas Gem

‘Auggie Wren’s Christmas Story’ his is a wonderful short story by Paul Auster which begins with his local tobacconist offering to show him his photographs, which tun out to be taken at the some place every day, This should be a really boring series of pictures, but as Auster notes, it becomes a sort of … Continue reading

Heimat – The Best TV Ever?

I was living in the boho suburb of Montpelier in Bristol when this German tele series was first broadcast on the BBC, an extraordinary 10 nights in a row, when local pubs were all but deserted. The Brits are not known for their love of foreign language films, but they do like their war dramas, … Continue reading

Trundling Over Bogeys

I am trying to wean myself off reading non fiction, but somehow I keep drifting back to it. I have just started reading ‘The Train in the Night’ by music journalist Nick Coleman, an account of him going deaf in one ear, and how he copes with it. Despite the subject matter, it is a … Continue reading

Argo – My Link With History

This film directed by and starring Ben Afleck has been raved about, largely due to the plot being so incredible you could not make it up. In 1979 mobs were protesting on the streets of Tehran, and when they broke into the US Embassy, 6 of their diplomatic staff fled. They were refused sanctuary by … Continue reading

Animals of the Caribbean

The Caribbean Islands, especially the smaller ones, had few animals when Europeans arrived, as few could cross the water. Trinidad had the best range, including sloth , anteater, tiger cat, raccoon, small deer. Other isles their only mammals apart from bats, rodents included the large, tasty hutia, similar to a of rabbit, and 1 frog … Continue reading

Celebrating Roadies

Today is apparently International Roadies’ Day, in which all music lovers should maybe take a moment to acknowledge the immense amount of hard work they contribute to the art of pop and rock music. I recall my brother told me of a gig he went to – must have been in the early ’70s when … Continue reading

Brubeck and Percussion

Dave Brubeck was one of those rare crossover artists, a fine musician and composer who managed to be popular outside his home patch of jazz, and hel popularise it as a genre. He was most famous for his Take Five’ which turns up in all sorts of sampling, and as a soundtrack to films: But … Continue reading

Sheep and English History

Sheep have played a huge role in the history of England. For centuries, wool and woollen cloth were the major exports, in fact, they played a large but largely overlooked role in the Roman and Norman invasions. Why else would such people go to so much trouble over these rocky backward islands? English wool was … Continue reading