The long wait

Travelling back from London last week, I landed at Glasgow on time so knew I had 30 minutes to kill until I was getting picked up. Plenty of time for a coffee and to continue reading the book that had held me engrossed for the short flight. Seating was at a premium, but I spotted a low, comfy looking seat over by the window, across from a man who was sitting quietly, staring out the window. I enquired if the seat was taken, he assured me it wasn’t. I sat down and, as I tipped some sugar into my coffee he turned to me and asked where I was going. “Ohh I’m actually just back from London, just waiting on …

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Words and books

I’m blaming Stephen Fry. I tried, I really did try and read his autobiography but it just didn’t flow for me. As wonderful a wordsmith as he is, it just didn’t read well, the flow and cadence was wrong and I found myself slowing down to read things in his voice. Whilst I like Stephen Fry, taking him to bed every night got a bit taxing. So I gave up. I stopped. I admitted defeat and stopped reading which isn’t something I’ve done before. Actually that’s a lie, I’ve given up a several books after faltering in the first few pages but that’s different. That’s like taking the first bite of a meal before realising it’s not what you wanted, …

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Chapter 4

‘Why not’, he thinks as he circles the advert in bold red ink, ‘I’ve tried everything else’. Wanted: People who can find lost things. He’d always been pretty good at figuring things out, liked reading detective novels when he was younger, and he never failed to find his Christmas presents no matter how ingeniously his parents hid them. Yeah, this might finally be the job for him. God knows he’d tried just about everything else, and had the scars to prove it. With nothing else catching his eye, he scoffs down the last bite of his pastry, washes it down with the last of his coffee and hustles over to the payphone in the corner. “Yes?” a brusque voice answers. …

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GhostWritten

Ghostwritten by David Mitchell. A quick search confirms some basic facts about this book, including the oft repeated fact that it is an astonishing debut. Written in the style of a series of short stories that share a common thread the writing style never seems forced and flows from tense set pieces to languid descriptive prose without missing a beat, and somehow manages to keep both the stories and the reader involved.

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We didn’t start the fireA while back I said that I was going to use Billy Joel’s track to give my modern history a bit of an updating. Seems I now have another little learning aid based on the same song. I wonder if Mr.Joel thought his song would live on in this kind of way… “‘Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnny Ray, South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio. Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, Television, North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe. [chorus]Rosenbergs, H-Bombs, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom, Brando, The King And I, and The Catcher In The Rye. Eisenhower, Vaccine, England’s got a new Queen, Maciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye. [chorus]Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev, Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc.Roy Cohn, …

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Liquid Oxen

Chinese New Year > Horoscopes > Water Ox Hey only a day late… Happy New Year China. (I really must try and remember these things, or at least remember to set an alarm or something… sheesh)

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Pride Earned?

Should’ve posted this yesterday (also posted on speechtherapy : ) From an outsider’s point of view (i.e. the rest of the world, although I am only speaking for me… obviously) the American ‘pride’ in being American is a strange thing. Tell me, what did you fight for to gain that pride? Who were your rulers? Where is the history of suffering that is now over that still burns underneath your passion for America. We are told that America is the best county in the world. The most powerful, the most successful, etc etc. But why? Where is the substance to this argument? There are more people in China, more inventions created in Scotland (well the major ones anyway), Australians are …

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China

The Chinese president is visiting the United Kingdom (well England anyway). The government is hailing it as an excellent opportunity to bolster trade links with China, and with figures of £2.2 billion being bandied about, it certainly seems to be important. Money is the big issue. Hidden behind ‘trade links’, ‘increased profitability through working ventures’ and various other spin phrases, money is the driving force behind the wooing of Jiang Zemin. So far Tony Blair and his assortment of cronies have managed to appease the general public, and haven’t really screwed up too badly – until now. I watched scenes on the television of policemen tearing down banners, physically restraining, and arresting those people who chose to demonstrate against Zemin’s …

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