This is

Blogging like it’s still 2002! I’ll be ahead of the curve when it becomes cool again.

And this is me…

I am a carbon-based bipedal life form. I write things (usually words), I take photos, and I make mixtapes with Ableton Live – all with varying degrees of lack of success. I’m quite camera-shy.

Blogging like it’s still 2002!

But at least I’ll be ahead of the curve when it becomes cool again.


Idea to Execution: “Think of a town”

This exercise is from episode 1 of the podcast ‘Start With This’: “Pick an idea that you’ve had for a while. Take exactly 1 hour to work on it. Then put it out there.” It features a king, a bulldozer, and a copy of Blur’s “13”.

Last night a journal saved my life

Mine and Adrian Mole’s birthdays are a few months apart and I have always felt a kinship to him, quite apart from being the only person who recognises Adrian as the greatest poet in the English language.

On the removal of body hair

In which your author tries to convince 400 kids that I shaved my legs to improve the aerodynamics for competing in the triple jump.



Return of the black eyeliner pencil (part 2)

An unknown alternative band from the UK called Placebo released their fourth single, “Nancy Boy”, on 20th January 1997. Sounding suspiciously like Gazebo’s only record “Lardy Boy” it reached no 4 in the UK hit parade. Destined for pop’s dumper up until that point and only future appearances on ITV to look forward to, Placebo have their ripped-off version of Gazebo’s “Lardy Boy” entirely to thank for all their success.

This is… Return of the black eyeliner pencil (part 1)

1989 saw a wave of optimism sweep the planet. The Cold War was ending, Bowie’s “Heroes” helped bring down the Berlin Wall, apartheid was being dismantled and military dictatorships were ending in South America.
The Cure saw this worldwide mood of boundless positivity, thought “fuck that”, and released their gloomcore epic ‘Disintegration’.

“Sugar Paper Theories” and the Reykjavik Confessions

There was huge pressure on the Icelandic Police to solve the mystery of Geirfinnur Einarsson’s sudden vanishing. One day, an officer asked Erla Bolladottir if she knew anything about his disappearance. “Maybe”, she said. The following day, the lead investigator turned up at the tiny apartment she lived in, saying, we will help you remember what happened to this one too.

In the name of the Father and the Holy Ghost

In which your author attempts to prove that there’s literally nothing that you can’t apply a Freudian reading to, even a half-arsed science fiction film like “Contact”, if you’re prepared to look hard enough between the lines (and maybe smoke a little crystal meth to ease the way).

On Prometheus

Hesiod, Aesop, Ovid and a number of other classical writers all contribute to the colourful legend of Prometheus in some way. Even given their lack of science fiction knowledge I’m quite confident that all of them could have written something much better than this truly mediocre prequel.

One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway

This affecting book narrates “… a ghastly story of family dysfunction, professional and sexual failure, grotesque narcissism and the temptation of apocalyptic delusions…” but reveals little about the failure of the various systems that could have prevented or assisted with this tragedy.

Bar by Bar

If you read the sports sections of the Guardian, you’ll have seen either the Minute by Minute reports done for football matches or the Over by Over for cricket matches. Good writers borrow but great writers steal, so I stole that idea and gave it a twist – reviewing a song bar by bar, just for the smeg of it, as a gimmicky way to discover new music. You’re welcome.


A traveller’s guide to fugue

I never travel that far, she said, but far enough that there is still time to change things, if people listen. The future is close. Listen to my stories, she said to me. Listen to them and write them down, and after I’m gone you must publish them by whatever means you can.

A film noir Adrian Mole

Like a John Huston gumshoe he lived in crumpled suits and was always uncomfortable; a film noir Adrian Mole. Despite his almost totalitarian ordinariness, his friends quietly remarked between themselves that utterly bizarre things kept happening to him.

There are no clocks or calendars here

A hand yanked his head back before a practised blade flashed across his throat, so sharp that there was no real pain. “Sorry,” came the voice in a whisper, “but you’d have done the same.”

He was quite beside himself

Yes, he was now inside a sewer but at least he had his train fare again. He had little experience of sewers but this one felt softer and warmer than expected. Nervously he squeezed the hand clutching the coin. Still there! He was so happy he was quite beside himself and, deciding to risk opening his eyes, was surprised to find that this was literally true.

The wisdom of Solomon 2.0

The law says, ‘Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea’. A defendant cannot be found guilty without guilty intentions, a guilty state of mind. This is the legal test that should preclude an innocent person from being imprisoned, but does it ever take the ‘justice’ out of the ‘justice system’?

The Bug Squad

With the UK on the verge of a vicious civil war Minkowski and Porter are hiding out in adjacent tower blocks, providing sniper cover for groups of civilian refugees as they try to make their way towards the harbour. Since the last attack, Porter hasn’t seen or heard anything of his old friend. As his desperation and paranoia grows and his supplies dwindle he must decide whether to break cover and attempt a rescue. But Porter is worried that attacks from armed gangs are not the only thing that he must be careful of.


Who killed Jack Royal? Part two.

Because the appeal ruling merely found him ‘not guilty’ as opposed to ‘innocent’, the Justice Secretary was able to say that Andrew Adams was not a victim of a ‘miscarriage of justice’ which entitles victims to state compensation.

Who killed Jack Royal? Part one.

Just after half past eleven on the night of March 19th 1990 Jack Royal got up to answer the doorbell at his home in Sunniside, Newcastle. As he looked through the porch window, a shotgun blast fired at close range hit him in the face.

The unlucky life and sad, solitary death of Carole Ann Hanson

Hanson admitted that his wife had nothing to do with the murder and that he alone had killed Christine Beck. He had implicated his wife solely out of selfishness and jealousy. If he were in prison, he explained, he thought his wife might ‘carry on with other men’. If she were in prison, she would have to stay faithful to him.

Mistake or murder?

On average, 37 children die in the US every year by being left in hot cars. Some are left purposely, in the same way as one might leave a dog, by well meaning but busy parents who underestimate the time they’ll be away and the incredible speed with which temperatures can rise to fatal levels. The police said that when 22-month old Cooper Harris died that why, it was for a far darker reason. But were they right?

The question mark against Linda Razzell’s disappearance

On 19th March, 2002, Linda Razzell was spotted by an old friend driving through town. The two women made eye contact and the friend recalls thinking that Linda looked cross, which was quite understandable. According to the police, she’d been murdered by her estranged husband the day before.

The bedsit murder

Looking for work, five friends travelled down from Newcastle to Reading: Clive Scott, Mark Randle, Stephen Muir, Martin Hogg, and David Pickering. They found a house that had been converted to bedsits and each took a room. This was the summer of 1989. By the end of the year, David Pickering would be dead and Ishtiaq Ahmed, the man accused of his murder, would be waiting to go on trial.

Memory, trawling, and misinformation

In July 1978, Thomas Bowman’s 44 year old wife Mary was found dead. 20 years later, during counselling, his daughter ‘uncovered’ memories of that night and said that her father killed her mother. When the body was exhumed and a DNA test carried out, it was discovered that the neck tissue on which the prosecution case rested did not even belong to Mary Bowman.

Black and white photography

Colour photography

Photography 101

Photography 101: Low key photography

Low key has always been my favourite technique, although it’s possible I just habitually underexpose photos because I don’t know what I’m doing. Huh.



With a hat tip to Wendy Cope’s “Faint Praise”.


Epistrophe; being the repetition of a word at the end of successive clauses or sentences.


When you start a line with the same word or words that you ended the previous, that’s anadiplosis.


Have you ever read Mark Forsyth’s book “The Elements of Eloquence”? For a long time I’ve been interested in the origins of language and the ways that our forefathers used it, and this book details many rhetorical devices and other figures of speech that they used.


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