Mobile Day 10: Still Elementary, Even Without the Deerstalker

Do you know, I rather loved the new Sherlock Holmes film, despite Guy Ritchie spraying his usual bare-knuckled, sweaty, mockney testosterone all over the screen. I think I loved it mostly because of Robert Downey Jr, for whom I’ve cherished a soft spot since he was the best thing in the increasingly wobbly Ally McBeal. … Continue reading Mobile Day 10: Still Elementary, Even Without the Deerstalker

Mobile Day 6: Keeping with Tradition

I don’t think I’ll ever understand American football. The commentary from ESPN isn’t helping: ‘When you get the third and ten, second and nine, you have more options to drive it down’, the commentator just said, all knowledgeably. Third and ten? Should it be third and tenth? I dunno. Quite a bewildering end to Boxing … Continue reading Mobile Day 6: Keeping with Tradition

Mobile Day 3: Dinner and a Show

Steak dinner... ...Plus the most fabulously intricate Christmas lights ever seen... ...Make pretty much a perfect evening. Especially when you pass classy establishments like this on your way home.

Mobile Day 2: A Scone By Any Other Name

There are strange things you have to get used to in a different country. American taps turn the other way, did you know? I keep accidentally soaking myself when I’m trying to turn them off. And the supermarket was a revelation: you can get things like raspberry-flavoured Philadelphia at Walmart. Initially I found the thought … Continue reading Mobile Day 2: A Scone By Any Other Name

Mobile Day 1: Early to Bed, Early to Rise

It’s 6.19am and I’m wide awake and ready to go: a rare phenomenon that can only ever be explained by jet lag or Christmas morning, and unfortunately the latter is still four days away. However we are now in Mobile, Alabama, perched precariously on the wonderful double-air-bed-atop-two-single-beds combination my lovely mother has set up for … Continue reading Mobile Day 1: Early to Bed, Early to Rise

My Grandmother’s Attic

I wrote this for our short story competition at work. The theme was 'Up in the Attic'. My Grandmother’s Attic I keep a crackly video recording on my hard drive. Grandma Betty, the seventies queen, with purple miniskirt and beehive hair. She skips up the chapel steps with her children and smiles a smile I … Continue reading My Grandmother’s Attic

Christmas is coming/ The girl is going mad

I’ve had one, perfect, Christmassy moment since the beginning of December: walking down a frosty Broad Street to start my present shopping, and hearing the Salvation Army playing their brass-band version of ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’. I’ve no idea why the Salvation Army only employ brass players, nor what they do for the rest … Continue reading Christmas is coming/ The girl is going mad

And beauty comes, like the setting sun

Over the past two radio-less journeys to work, I’ve spent the time memorising Siegfried Sassoon’s ‘Everyone Sang’, a poem he wrote about the moment the ceasefire was declared at the end of WW1. Though Sassoon was back in England by the Armistice, it’s the men in the trenches I visualise in these verses. What must … Continue reading And beauty comes, like the setting sun

Poor Mr Advertising

An ad I found on my Facebook profile this morning: First of all, if this is Facebook's version of targeted advertising, then they need better algorithms. Most of the people I know well enough to buy Christmas presents for don't drink. Second, I'm curious about the logic behind this marketing strategy. What is this mysterious … Continue reading Poor Mr Advertising

I Have A Dream…but you’re not in it.

We saw this, the Fakest of All Fake Abba Tribute Bands, in the centre of Reading on Saturday, while on the hunt for a nice man-coat for Tim. The ladies were dressed in large satin tablecloths and nothing else; the men were in scoop-neck sequined vest-tops. They were advertising the opening of a new Swedish shop, … Continue reading I Have A Dream…but you’re not in it.