‘The Truth must dazzle gradually, or every man be blind’

Out and about on dull errands in drizzly unfestive England today, I thought back to last weekend when I was in Paris. The Dickens line, 'a tale of two cities'  has never seemed so accurate. Paris has always been my quick getaway for me time to reboot. I've never taken for granted the miracle that is Eurostar, to hop on a train in London avoiding airport mayhem and arrive in the centre of Paris in less time than it can take to get to Newcastle. I've even been known to go for the day, where a few hours tricking my senses with different food, streets and sights can make me feel like I've had a fortnight a million miles from home. How different these two Capitals have always felt from each other, and now more than ever after the recent killings in Paris. After a peaceful, relaxing and invigorating weekend we arrived back at Gare ...

‘The Longest Week’

By Sunday, August 31, 2014 1 Permalink

If only someone would have said that a penchant for Bach was the hallmark of a maladjusted, commitment averse fantasist I would have perhaps adjusted my classical music playlists all these years. Michael Fassbender's character in Shame, Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs and though rather more caddish than wicked, now Conrad Valmont  in 'The Longest Week'. After what seems to be a flurry of posts about death I thought some cinema might be a nice change. As I have watched a lot of excellent films lately it seems ironic that this review is for a fairly unremarkable one. But it is perhaps easier to write a playful review for a whimsical film than to dissect the deep and powerful ones. Nonetheless 'The Longest Week' kept my interest mainly due to the interesting script. Engaging banter is as rare in real life these days as it is in the movies. I am ...

‘Sex, Lies and Economics’

By Sunday, January 12, 2014 0 Permalink

François Hollande - liar, cheat, betrayer. He could be called many things by his compatriots or critics, but I would hope these derogatory terms would be based on his political, rather than his sexual prowess. Taking a vaguely bemused glance at the 'story' of M. Hollande and his mistress (can one have a mistress when not married)? I feel a bit sad that France has become as puritanical and dull as the ironically sexless USA or UK. And once again, the really important matters of the day are put aside in favour of pointless tittle tattle which to be honest seems almost quaint to me. Now, the first issue I take with this matter other than the fact it is totally irrelevant and a disgraceful invasion of privacy, is one which is weirdly never discussed when writing about the sex lives of politicians or publicly known people. How it affects their partners and families. Mme. Trierweiler, Hollande's partner, ...

‘Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word lacks imagination’

By Saturday, July 6, 2013 0 Permalink

Naughty Mark Twain... One should not encourage incorrect spelling. This matter has recently become my bête noire, and something I did a few days ago is further proof. I corrected someone's caption and subsequent comments on a photo sharing app. So, you know the type of thing, inane banter or the sharing of in depth personal information back and forth between strangers who either type badly or are illiterate. Or both. Adults who use American teen speak, and would abbreviate the word 'so', if it were it possible. The word in question has no American alternative and had been mispelt each time someone made the comment, perpetuating the error, and it was beginning to make me twitch with annoyance every time I scrolled down! So I added the correct form. In capitals. No one seemed to mind or mention it. They probably just wondered why I had written the word in a different form. It all seems so ...