Ripeness is all

I’ve been reading Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native for a walk I’m leading. The strange thing about Hardy is that you seem to feel the need to offer an excuse as to why you’re reading him, or maybe that’s just me. But anyway – Clym Yeobright (the ‘Native’) has recently returned to Egdon Heath, where he […]

Are cards taking over the web?

Have you noticed how cards are gaining traction as a new web design standard, a response to the need to make content work across the widest range of formats, from desktop through tablet (landscape and portrait) to mobile – and potential new devices such as Google glass. Benedict Evans pointed to the changing face of […]

Lunch and art: The fictional and real

I’m reading Edmund de Waal’s brilliant memoir ‘The Hare With Amber Eyes’. Very late, I know. But, better late than never. I’ve had the book for quite a while, a charity shop purchase, but every time I picked it up the picture of the netsuke on the cover put me off. I’m still not sure […]

The wit and wisdom of Keith Richards

The 50th anniversary of the band’s first gig hasn’t brought forth the Rolling Stones themselves, but there’s a slew of memorabilia and merch available (as well as, to be fair, some great bootlegs now available for official download from the Stones website). In addition, there’s plenty of biography action, both of the band and at […]

Waiting for the Barbarians

I have always loved this poem by C P Cavafy, about the fear and confusion of change, of the new, of having to take responsibility. The poem has a light touch, sympathetic yet taut and uncompromising, and perfectly satisfies Ezra Pound’s definition of poetry as ‘news that stays news.’ It’s never seemed more timely. This […]

The merry merry month of May

I have been meaning to write about the merry merry month of May, and its derivation, since April. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I haven’t written about it, not simply because I’ve been massively busy with new work, but because it’s just not a question that interests me enough. Look around you is […]

Realism and disappointment

On the art of non-conformity facebook page a few days ago: ‘Every time someone tells you to “be realistic” they are asking you to compromise your ideals.’ The election results for the Liberal Democrats were as ‘disappointing’ as Nick Clegg described them as, after all the speculation the election landscape remains a two horse race […]

Kisses on the bottom

English is such a rich language for ambiguities that you can have almost as much fun trying to write a sentence that cannot be misunderstood, as writing lines that deliberately exploit a play on words. And characteristically, the way we most commonly describe a play on words is ‘double entendre’ which, of course, is not […]

Hello darkness my old friend

Down here the first week of November has been suitably wild and stormy, with a sharp, bright, beautiful full moon occasionally visible, hanging low over the trees in the darkness, and casting its quiet, implacable glow against the scudding clouds blown across its face. A view like an old negative held up to the light, […]