Category Archives: Research

Least Used Station in Buckinghamshire

It was my birthday a few weeks ago and my old school friend, David Wilkinson, sent me a most unusual and interesting present. It was a link to the YouTube video below.   It’s part of a series of videos … Continue reading

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Fish, Chips and A Pint of Ale

I caught the start of one of those property ogling TV programmes yesterday. A pair of high-flying lawyers wanted to move out of their flat overlooking St. Paul’s to live a life of bucolic bliss in the New Forest. While the … Continue reading

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Cereal Offenders

Shoreditch was in the news last weekend when the organisers of the ‘Fuck Parade’ pelted the Cereal Killer Café at the hipster end of Brick Lane with ‘paint and cereal’. This must be one of the first times that Cornflakes … Continue reading

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A Day of Two Halves

I hesitated outside the venue, sweat beading on my brow, nervous about what would await me inside. I stepped over the threshold, walked into the bar, checking the place out – fairly empty, a mix of tourists and ale drinkers … Continue reading

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Shoreditch and the City — Killing the Hipster Goose?

The first part of my novel — and some of the later action — is set in Shoreditch. I first got to know the area when I was taking the City University Certificate in Novel Writing (now the Novel Studio). … Continue reading

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Before I Die

For the last few months the day job has led to me working most days in Southwark — right by the Thames — a stone’s throw from the Tate Modern and Globe Theatre and in a building that actually preserves … Continue reading

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December is for Displacement Activity

No wonder NaNoWriMo (see last post) is held in November. Getting 5,000 words down, let alone 50,000, in December would be a challenge for me. I wonder whether all writers regard December as a  month to (apologies for the pun) … Continue reading

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Le Grand Départ

My novel is set partly in London (the City and über cool Shoreditch) where you only have to walk down the street or take a bus to realise there’s an abundance of non-native inhabitants. And it doesn’t need a UKIP party political … Continue reading

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The Sad Demolition of the King’s Head, Old Vine and Windmill

The Angel  is partly set in an outwardly idyllic English country pub — thatched roof, low beams, flagstoned floors and looking out through its mullioned windows on to the village green with its cricket pitch and duck pond. It’s a … Continue reading

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Falling, Yes I Am Falling

The photo above is not, as my friends at Love Art London tweeted, me doing a ‘flying squirrel impression’ but me being a serious, living artwork in Amy Sharrocks’ studio in Chelsea — and she’s a real artist! To my … 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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Alexis Cole — Transcendence

One of the questions that recurs in my novel is the importance of  location — especially for artists.In my novel Kim is a German artist who has arrived to London from Berlin in the expectation that it’s the place to … Continue reading

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Looking At The View

I was walking to the station a few days ago — the long way round because the footpath over the fields is too muddy (see the melting snow in the photo) and noticed a wonderful sunrise emerging over the tops … Continue reading

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Parallel Lines

Last week I ventured into deepest Stoke Newington for another fascinating Love Art London event. I wasn’t sure what to expect in advance of visit to Rana Begum‘s studio. The Love Art London website promised that ‘tightly controlled compositions, hard-edge … Continue reading

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There’s Nothing Quite Like A Flaming Pudding

My novel has a lot of food in it — and probably one of the most consistent pieces of feedback that I’ve received from the many and varied people who’ve been kind enough to read parts of the manuscript (or … Continue reading

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Shoreditch Blonde

  There’s a report on the BBC website today about the increasing fashionability and popularity of craft brewing in London. Its main focus is the Beavertown Brewery in Hackney where the brewer is Robert Plant’s son. A few years ago … Continue reading

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Beaten To It?

…but hopefully not with a paddle. I spotted this in W.H.Smith at Northampton services on the M1 last weekend. I’d realised my novel’s title is a bit of a hostage to fortune. I like it because it works in conjunction … Continue reading

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Know What You Write

I’ve recently been writing a new scene for the novel involving street art. As readers of the blog will know, I’ve spent plenty of time recently learning about street art and observing it around Shoreditch (on Thursday this week I was … Continue reading

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A Flying View of London

This weekend I visited the latest fascinating addition to London’s skyline, a construction that would probably have attracted a lot more attention had it not opened immediately before the Olympics — an event it was partly conceived to serve. Its … Continue reading

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The Accidental Street Art Photographer

This weekend is one of the biggest in the London art world with the huge Frieze exhibitions in Regent’s Park and many associated events. In 2010 Village Underground started to host the Moniker art fair, which is a showcase for … Continue reading

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