It’s been a good weekend.  Saturday was slow – mostly.  I started with a training session at 10am, which was fun.  The grass was still damp with dew and looked beautiful whenever we had to lie on our fronts.  My folks came for a visit then I settled down to watch a DVD.  Thanks to a colleague at work I’ve now got a 3-month lovefilm trial, which started with Tideland.  I’ve decided Terry Gilliam is a director I prefer reading about than watching (it’s probably not a good sign that my favourite Gilliam movie is Lost in La Mancha).


I was up way too early this morning for my visit to London to celebrate Mr. Punch’s birthday.  I picked up some interesting books and watched a few shows.  The last one I saw disappointed me by ending with Mr. Punch being taken to hell by the devil – but I did see a baby fed to a crocodile.  I resisted the temptation to buy the ready-to-go rig and set myself up as a professor.  For a start, I’d prefer to make my own outfit.  And I need to practise with the swazzle before investing the money.


I crossed Londonn in the beautiful weather and met nwv at Tate Britain where she wanted to see the last day of the Peter Doig show.  While the display was better than Iron Man, I always find painting difficult to respond to.  There were some fantastic pieces, such as those inspired by Friday the 13th and his ‘Man dressed as a bat‘, a bold reinvention of the Batman character.


Mr. Punch’s Birthday – 11th May 2008

For various reasons I won’t be down in Brighton this weekend.  However, I do hope to make it to the Covent Garden Puppet Festival and May Fair on Sunday.  The event is held annually to celebrate Mr. Punch’s birthday, and features a church service with a reading by Mr. Punch himself.  Getting to the festival is likely to be a chore.  I checked the train times and reaching Euston for 10am requires leaving Coventry at 10:21 the night before, which means a bus journey is in store (and this is actually the normal Sunday service).  I’m determined not to miss this, despite the failings of public transport.

If anyone fancies meeting me in London for coffee and puppets on Sunday, drop me an email or comment.

When Tuesdays are Mondays

Had a lovely bank holiday weekend.  We celebrated my neice’s first birthday with a barbecque at my sister’s house.  I met lots of lovely Melbourne folk and ate many vegetarian sausages.  I also found myself covered in Black Forest Gateaux – babies have little talent for feeding themselves cake.  Their method seems to involve grabbing two fistfuls of and cramming it into their mouths.  And over my trousers.

Here is a photograph of one of the presents I bought for my neice, courtesy of Ikea.  Yes, it’s a frog with a rat in its mouth:

Watched a couple of movies over the break.  Iron Man was very OK – I had a good time watching it in the cinema but would hate to have to watch it again.  I also finally say Beowulf, which was fantastic.  The movie did a good job of solving the problems of the original story’s structure.  I found an excellent negative review by The New Republic, which seemed to hate Beowulf for many of the reasons I loved it.

Managed to restart work today without too much of a bump.  Planning to relax a little, then head out for training.

PS – NIN have released another album online, this one, The Slip, available for free.  After Radiohead’s conflicted attitude to independent online distribution it’s good to see a major band do it properly.   

Rainbows in Coventry

Coventry is an odd place to have ended up.  For a start, it’s the most inland city in England, quite a change from Brighton.  I came here for the work and a change of scene but find I actually like it.  There are a few good places to eat and, despite its
reputation as a Ghost Town, the city is beautiful in places.  It’s quiet too and I’m getting some  good work done.

Coventry is also distinguished as the birthplace of Clint Mansell and Philip Larkin, and was where some of The Italian Job‘s car chases were filmed.  And it has better rainbows than any other place I’ve been – the photograph below shows a double-bow photographed from my study window.


Brighton Grafitti

Some grafitti I saw on my last trip to Brighton:


I stayed in the old house near the level on Saturday night.  Some children (well, I assume it was children by the handwriting) had chalked messages and slogans on some of the houses.  Among them was a line from Red Dwarf.  I’ve no idea why they should quote that on a wall.


Some links

Pissing it down

I’m a little proud of myself tonight.  After my last session at BritMilFit I signed up for regular classes.  They told us after the session that we might ache for a day or two.  It took me three days to get back to normal.

Despite that I decided to try going twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays.  When I arrived home tonight it started raining.  In the past I’ve not gone running on damp days but decided to go out anyway – if I only train on dry days it will take me longer to get fit.  I took my umbrella and set off for the park.

I didn’t mind training in the rain as much as I thought I would.  It was pissing it down and within minutes I was as wet as I could get.  And the rain cooled things down, which may well make it more pleasant than training in the height of summer. 

I avoided exercise for years and to find myself doing press-ups in the pouring rain is quite a change. 
The only drag was having to walk home afterwards, but at least I had my umbrella.  I came home, ate an apple in a hot shower, then cooked the green soup I prepared last night.  Right now, life feels pretty good.

Literary Adventures

One of the great things about creative writing is that it doesn’t cost very much.  Anyone can grab a pen and some paper and write a poem or story.  You can publish on a blog, print off some pieces at work, or read at an open mic night.

Or you can spend money on it.  Creative writing courses are springing up everywhere.  There are workshops in scenic locations where successful writers pass on their experience and techniques.  And now there are literary adventures – creative writing workshops in exotic locations.

Many writers make more money from providing
advice and services to aspiring writers than from their books: creative
writing is a pyramid scheme.  I find it troubling that publishing success is the implied or stated aim of many courses (for example, CCE’s Agents and Publishers Day) when it might be more useful to have modules on how to teach creative writing.

A weekend in Brighton

I’m having a fantastic weekend in Brighton so far. I arrived about 6 last night and dropped my stuff off before heading to dpash‘s party. I’d forgotten to post his card and allowed him to gain the impression I’d come to Brighton just to set that right.

After dropping off the card I headed to Brighton marina for a meal with an old friend. We only gossipped a little about the old days, concentrating instead on what we’re doing now, which is more interesting. The restaurant was good, if a little… over enthusiastic. The staff were grinning too much, a little too concerned how out meal was. When we arrived we were offered the choice of two tables – one in the main part of the room or a ‘quiet table’. I suggested the quiet table and then wondered if this was a euphemism. Was the quiet table meant for dates rather than old friends catching up?

Being away from Brighton had made me enjoy it more – bumping into friends on the street, apples from Taj, Cybercandy, Pen to Paper, and the wonderful fashions people wear. Last night I encountered the Critical Mass bike ride and, on the way to Hove, just before midnight, a passing cyclist asked if I knew flying fish don’t actually fly: they glide. My morning run along the promenade was fantastic, beautiful weather and much better scenery than Coventry.

I’m now taking a pause at Beanies before (eventually) heading to a fancy dress party in the house where I used to live. It’s good to be back in Brighton.