Category Archives: General Life

Nailing It

As well as being the title of the novel, The Angel is also the name of the pub at the centre of the narrative. It’s a fictional village local somewhere in the Chilterns and, is a little like George Orwell’s … Continue reading

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Eurovision, Bowie and Homogeneity

It’s been so long since the last post I’ve taken inspiration from the chiller at the end of the aisle in my local Tesco and have produced three posts for the price of one. Last Saturday night, primed after a … Continue reading

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London: Thank You For 2012

I couldn’t end 2012 without something for my Shardenfreude followers. I’ve had a fair number of hits on the blog over the past couple of years looking for photos of its construction and now it’s finished and shining like a, … Continue reading

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Bonkers

While ‘unbelievable’ seemed to be the word applied an unbelievable number of times to British sporting achievements, ‘bonkers’ seems the  most appropriate description to apply to the cultural and social impact of the Olympics – especially after that closing ceremony. … Continue reading

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Buckfast or Books?

I’ve sadly under-nourished this blog over the past few weeks for a couple of good reasons and one that’s, unfortunately, not so satisfying. The first good reason is that I’m trying to get the novel manuscript revised after Emma Sweeney’s … Continue reading

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Cash for Access — My Story

This photo might be more relevant for my other novel, that’s currently languishing on the back burner waiting for The Angel to be completed and sent off to its destiny, but it’s certainly topical. It was taken this morning after the … Continue reading

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A Dickens of a Pub Crawl

As anyone who’d watched TV or picked up a newspaper since Christmas will know, 2012 is the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of arguably Britain’s greatest novelist. If you’re a person with more modern tastes in literature you may believe … Continue reading

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Not Balderdash or Piffle

I always thought Victoria Coren — of Balderdash and Piffle and Only Connect was an intelligent person but now I realise she’s a rarer breed — an intelligent person who’s not a cultural snob. In her column from today’s Observer (retweeted … Continue reading

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My Other Magnum Opus

Apart from the two novels in progress I’ve also authored a more prosaic volume over the past fifteen months or so. And — spit on me now — I’ve decided to self-publish it. I don’t have much capital so it’s … Continue reading

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The Documentary on Books I Really Didn’t Like To Watch

A week last Saturday there was a documentary on BBC2 that was ostensibly about the sorry state of the world of books (riven as it’s meant to be by factionalism between literary and genre) but I found that, ironically, the … Continue reading

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‘Peace on Earth and Goodwill To All Men’

Continuing on the theme of end of year greetings and the real Christmas message (not the ‘buy buy buy’ one that Amazon stopped imparting once it realised it couldn’t deliver its goods) here’s a very apt scene that I took … Continue reading

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The Paradox of the Dishy Russian Researcher

I was wondering whether I had something of a plausibility gap in the premise of ‘Burying Bad News’ as I have an MP with an attractive young, Eastern European aide (though mine, Ana, comes from Latvia, which is inside the … Continue reading

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Course Junkie

Not satisfied with having recently finished the City University Certificate in Novel Writing while also doing the dissertation of an MSc in Software Development at the Open University, I’ve now taken the plunge and started an MA in Creative Writing. … Continue reading

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Reviewing the Literature

There are two reasons why the blog has been a little quieter than usual recently. One is that an element of my ‘other life’ intruded – hopefully the side that will continue to pay the bills in future.  I had … Continue reading

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A Great Scene for My Novel Happens in 45 Minutes?

I wonder whether today might be an occasion I could use in my novel — pubs should be doing well out of this great weather and the World Cup. 45 minutes to go until England play Germany — that would … Continue reading

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Everything But The Bar Sink…

…but I did get the dishwasher in! Bearing in mind Judith Murray’s comment that ‘in some sense all novels are historical’, I decided to load my last reading with as many contemporary cultural references as I could think of. ‘Decided’ … Continue reading

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Marlow 5

Not only do I have the election to distract me from writing at the moment but this morning I also ran the ‘Marlow 5′ — a race of 5 miles (or 8km in the more runner-familiar distance) around the streets … Continue reading

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‘I Agree With Nick’

Seems to the new catchphrase of the moment — and very apposite as both Cameron and Brown desperately try to convince Clegg that they do agree with him just enough to get him to drop his core demands and prop … Continue reading

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Masterchef

It’s Masterchef final day and I watched it after Manchester United’s referee-induced ten man capitulation to Bayern Munich — which might bring a smile to Kim’s face but not mine (btw she supports Chelsea). I watch the programme occasionally with … Continue reading

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Diet Pastiche

I’m working to some quite tough deadlines at the moment. I’ve just had to submit a 4,000 or so word assignment for my Software Development MSc. which outlines my plans for the dissertation. I’ve also got a huge amount of … Continue reading

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