Two views of Coventry

Here are two photos I took a while back from Coventry cathedral tower. The first is the view towards my house; the second shows the big blue slaughterhouse


I think I’ve mentioned that Coventry is the most inland city in the UK. Last night, lying in bed, I thought how lovely it would be to walk to the beach and watch the waves roll onto the sea. Homesickness can be a good thing though, because it means you have a home.


Some links – 19th May

  1. I love the idea of secret histories, of unlikely characters shaping events from the shadows.  Jim the Fixer is the Daily Mail’s follow-up to an Esquire article claiming that Jimmy Saville has been an important figure in Britain’s corridors of power, as well as addressing the Knesset after the six-day war.
  2. Recession – who cares?
  3. Our data, ourselves is an essay by Bruce Schneier arguing that "Our data is a part of us".  Implicit in his argument is that something is changing about what a human being is and our boundaries.
  4. Why are we ignoring organised crime – questioning the money spent on terrorism rather than crime which has a wider impact.

Train travel

Public transport on a Sunday is miserable.  I left my sister’s house at 9:30 and won’t be home until 2pm.  That’s four and a half hours to travel about 30 miles.  By car it’s a one hour journey.

Blaming other people gets me nowhere.  Trains have been appalling on a Sunday as long as I can remember.  I made a choice not to learn to drive but that now seems ridiculous.  If I want to travel on a Sunday (if I want to visit anywhere on the weekend) I need to learn to drive.  Otherwise I can stay put, choosing not to ruin relaxing weekends by ending them with the misery of rail replacement buses and waits in bad railway cafes.

Now to kill the next 80 minutes looking round a mall.  It’s hard not to conclude modern life is a waste of time.


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.