This House

After a shift in 2012, I caught a live-stream of James Graham’s ‘This House’, broadcast from the Royal National Theatre. Two scenes in particular struck me at the time and stayed with me for six years. The first was how a camera on guide ropes was used to swoop in over the Commons benches during…

Tesla Town

About 18 months ago, my only notion about the existence of Oslo was that it was filled with incredibly friendly people and expensive beer. The account came from my parents, who travelled around the fjords a few years ago. I had no burning desire to visit, having been relatively ignorant of its history and culture….

Manc Delusion

“Ring-a-ding-ding regime change A long way overdue But the dogs are gone and it’s pale and strange With a whole new kind of you” — John Cooper Clarke My mate Ste and I stood with our backs to the wall in the innards of Mayfield Depot, waiting for the bard of Salford to take the…

Ceramics and Bulls

Where Madrid’s travel routine involved a 45 minute round trip into the centre of town, Seville’s short stay could not have been more immersed. Many of the World’s top cities have come under fire in recent years over their endorsement (or lack of intervention) in the vacation rental market. 5 years ago, Airbnb was far…

Madrid

Word to the wise, if you want to stay central when visiting Madrid, book early! On the contrary, do as ourselves and venture out a little. We stayed in Coslada, a interesting municipality with its own identity and strangely youthful population. Away from the tourist eye, it provided early respite before heading into the busy…

Mars

What’s the big infatuation with Mars? Talk about running away from your responsibilities. Have we sniffed out some oil? It’s hundreds of millions of miles away, takes months to get to and hasn’t been proven to sustain life. Not to mention it’s pretty dull. Very dull, actually. There’s probably not much to do after drawing…

There goes the neighbourhood

In 2010, George Monbiot partook in a risque comparison between newly released blockbuster ‘Avatar’, and a period of history of which I had no prior comprehensive knowledge of: the 17th Century European-orchestrated genocide of Native Americans (ooh, that’s a bit wordy and forbidding) also known as the ‘Civilisation of the Western Hemisphere’ (much better). Between…

Americana

“Do you want the 32-ounce, or the large?” “Shit, how big is that large?” “You goin’ to want to pull yer car ’round back, I goin’ start the pump”. Bill Hicks viewed his country through the eyes of a travelling Englishman, who saw the ridiculousness in America’s fixation with excess, and exposed it in a way only an outsider…

Et tu, Britain?

Over the past week, I have seen many aspects of the political sprectrum at its worst. The deception, the propaganda, the outright lies. A population torn, a cabinet destroyed, a currency devalued and a future undecided.  Neither campaign particularly covered themselves in glory, using all too familiar tactics to persuade, scare and grovel (I’m pretty sick of…

A note on neologisms

Occasionally a newly coined word, phrase or acronym derived from the Internet will make its way into everyday conversation. It’s a form of dialogue which I have yet to come to terms with. I find it downright bizarre when a respectable media outlet popularises a term which originated online, usually conceived on a Reddit or…

He was only a hobo, but one more is gone [Part 1]

Amidst the ongoing economic resurgence of Manchester, something lurking in the city’s underbelly is beginning to ruin Osborne and Wharton’s tea party. Ali explained the concept of ‘Swan Upping’ to me this weekend – the annual census of the swan population. It’s a majestic and well regulated tradition, dating back to the twelfth century, when…

The Bees – Laline Paull

‘The Bees’ by Laline Paull is the kind of book I dreamt of writing as a child. But rather than Apis, Aves were my infatuation at the time. Hand in hand with my mother, my short walk to school included a stroll along a beck, home to a variety of lower classification birds. I was…

The end of Peep Show: What’s next for British Sitcom?

It may not be the most pressing issue at the moment, but the harsh fact is that Peep Show is kaput, leaving a requiem of great British comedies in its wake. Admittedly, the long-standing series had run its course, and I think most would agree that the time was right to wrap it up –…

The King of Spin

  While the public still await the outcome of the ‘Chilcot Inquiry’ into our country’s last illegitimate conflict, and before we have even established the official name of our enemy (is it ISIS, ISL, I.S, Daesh?), the UK have already began their next pursuit into uncharted territory with a fresh bombing campaign in Syria. You…

Planning your ‘root’

My Grandad was one of the most fascinating, yet innate beings I have ever known. He had an intellectual mystique of which he called upon on demand, sometimes to enlighten one of a particular topic subject, often to contest and correct a previous remark. It was the most sinister form of rhetoric, but usually went…

Canis Majoris

Let me be clear from the start. Dogs can be a handful, especially when those who purchase one have little more than a dewy-eyed reference of what it takes to look after pets. There seems to be a perception that usually comes about through frequent viewings of generic family films where the parents, ‘Daddy’ (wearing…