Monthly Archives: February 2008

February Books 20) Improbable Frequency

20) Improbable Frequency, by Arthur Riordan and Bell Helicopter very kindly sent me the script for this excellent musical comedy, set in 1941 and concerning the adventures of an innocent code-breaker sent to Dublin by British intelligence, who ends up … Continue reading

1 Comment

February Books 19) Humility Garden

19) Humility Garden, by Felicity Savage I can’t remember who recommended this to me or how; for a first novel, published when the author was only 20, it’s pretty impressive, a portrayal of a viciously political city with interlocking dynamics … Continue reading

1 Comment

February Books 17- 18): Two Sarah Jane Smith audiobooks

17) The Glittering Storm, by Shaun Lyon 18) The Thirteenth Stone, by Justin Richards These two audiobooks are both based on the recent TV Sarah Jane Adventures, and are read by Elizabeth Sladen. I have a particular concept of what … Continue reading

1 Comment

The Companion Chronicles, series 2

Having mostly enjoyed the first set of these, I can say that the second set is of the same order of quality. Mother Russia, the first of the new set of Companion Chronicles takes us to almost the same time … Continue reading

1 Comment

Dustin’s triumph

I was just updating Anne about the Prophecy of Father Ted coming true, and finished by telling her the name of the successful song. Her comment: “Well, that will be the only time that phrase is heard all evening…”

1 Comment

Four Eighth Doctor audios

I have rather run out of enthusiasm for the Eighth Doctor stories, which seemed to me to start very well and then go into a bit of a drag. These four, from late 2004, were the last “new season” presentation … Continue reading

1 Comment

February Books 16) Matter

16) Matter, by Iain M. Banks The latest Culture novel by Banks; speaking in Brussels a couple of weeks ago, he said that he felt he is mellowing as he gets older, and the book is strikingly domestic – I … Continue reading

1 Comment

The Sarah Jane Smith audios, series 2

I wasn’t overwhelmed by the first series of Sarah Jane Smith audios, but the second run is brilliant. Clearly Big Finish have rather hit their stride with the various spinoff series, I Davros also being a pretty unqualified success. And … Continue reading

1 Comment

Logopolis, Kinda, Snakedance

Those of you who care will have noticed that I’m working my way through classic Who in vaguely historical order; so since I finished the first three Doctors last year, I’ve been gradually ticking off the Tom Baker stories. The … Continue reading

1 Comment

The Friday question: money

One of the restaurants where I sometimes eat lunch contacted me to say that they had made a mistake and billed my credit card €2260 instead of €22.60 last time I was there with a friend. Apparently they couldn’t just … Continue reading

1 Comment

Getting up in the middle of the night

I’m going to bed now, because F wants me to wake him up in the middle of the night to see the lunar eclipse. I’ve seen several in my life, but it’s different when you are eight. Indeed, since there … Continue reading

1 Comment

The Four Things anti-meme

The four things meme has been going round again; my answers to it now are not sufficiently different from when I did it two years ago to be worth recording again. But here’s a different version, seen on a locked … Continue reading

Comments Off on The Four Things anti-meme

Interview with Maglor, son of Fëanor

has published an interview with Maglor, son of Fëanor. (Hat-tip to .)

1 Comment

More media

Did another debate on France 24 last night, visible here – my Russian and German co-panellists actually succeeded in making the Serbian ambassador look moderate! (My preparation for it was a bit less frantic than last time – I had … Continue reading

Comments Off on More media

Request

Does anyone have access to the NYRSF from 1992? I’d like to get hold of an article from it.

1 Comment

Kosovo and Cyprus

A lot of my work involves steady slogging against the prevailing political winds. So when I get not one but two favourable gusts filling my sails on the same day, it is definitely worth noting. Kosovo has declared independence, after … Continue reading

1 Comment

February Books 15) The Megalithic European

15) The Megalithic European, by Julian Cope Like Ian, I recently acquired this book and have been browsing it in preparation for further excursions; it’s long been a fascination of mine. Cope has some thoughts about sacred landscapes and what … Continue reading

1 Comment

Bernice Summerfield, Season 2

As sometimes happens, I’m catching up with my Big Finish audio listening. I got through the second series of Bernice Summerfield audios, none of which reached the heights of the first series. The Secret of Cassandra was a nice set … Continue reading

1 Comment

February Books 14) Dublin Castle and the 1916 Rising

14) Dublin Castle and the 1916 Rising: The Story of Sir Matthew Nathan, by Leon Ó Broin This is a good example of how to take a rich and largely untapped vein of source material – the private papers of … Continue reading

1 Comment

This evening’s Youtube browsing

Famous music in 5/4 time

1 Comment

Morning time

So, for the first (and therefore only) time this week, my train connections worked out perfectly on my way to Brussels, and we were just pulling in to Schuman station, right next to the BBC studio… …when the Today programme … Continue reading

1 Comment

UK/Irish readers awake in time tomorrow morning…

…may be lucky/unlucky enough to hear me pontificating on the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4, about 0830 UK time.

1 Comment

The experience thing

Bumped up from a comment to someone else’s entry, asking to what extent the previous political experience of US presidential candidates has correlated with their ability to do the job: WikiPedia has a handy ranking of all US presidents which … Continue reading

1 Comment

Two glorious Youtube videos

Saw both of these on the f-list over the last few days, can’t rememeber where, sorry for not hat-tipping but these are too good not to share. Salvador Dali on What’s My Line, some time in the 1950s Frank Zappa … Continue reading

1 Comment

Church and so on

There has been much fuss while I was (ironically enough) in Rome about the Archbishop of Canterbury’s remarks on Islam and Sharia law in the UK. The Archbishop’s own website tries without success to clarify. The key problem is that … Continue reading

1 Comment

That Doctor Who meme

Lots of people are doing this long Doctor Who meme, so I will too. Most people are posting it in locked entries for whatever reason, but I won’t! 1. When did you start watching and why? Way way back in … Continue reading

1 Comment

February Books 13) The Time Out Guide to Rome

13) The Time Out Guide to Rome Invested in this in Brussels airport, and it was worth it – good background essays, very good restaurant recommendations, a sensible approach to navigating around the sights. My one complaint is that the … Continue reading

1 Comment

Weekend in Rome

A rather glorious break in Rome, leaving the in-laws in charge of the small beings and exploring the Eternal City ourselves. I’d been to Rome a few times before; once as a baby, because my grandmother lived there at the … Continue reading

1 Comment

February Books 12) Interzone: The 5th Anthology

12) Interzone: The 5th Anthology, edited by John Clute, Lee Montgomerie and David Pringle A collection of fifteen short stories published in Interzone in 1989-90, some well-known names represented (Brian Aldiss, Kim Newman, Ians Watson, MacLeod and MacDonald) and one … Continue reading

1 Comment

February Books 11) Algernon, Charlie, and I

11) Algernon, Charlie, and I: A Writer’s Journey, by Daniel Keyes This is a really good, short account by Keyes of the genesis and later history of his classic story, Flowers for Algernon. There are quite a lot of insights … Continue reading

1 Comment