Blogs

A New Dawn for ABCtales

I, Tony Cook, will be stepping down as Editor on October 7th and Luke Neima will be taking over. This is a major step forward for ABC - Luke will be full time and he's committed to taking us onwards and upwards whilst still retaining all of our core values - open to all, free of charge, supportive and community led. I will still retain ownership of the site and will be involved at every step of the business - I just won't be doing all the day to...

Ken Norton 1943 - 2013

I’d never heard of Ken Norton until I saw him fight Henry Clark in 1972. He knocked Clark out in the ninth round. He looked like a film star. He was an ex-marine with rugged good looks, droopy moustache and a physique that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Mister Universe contest. No wonder they called him “The Black Hercules.” Four months later he was fighting Muhammad Ali for the North American Boxing Federation ( NABF) Heavyweight title...

AC Milan 2 – Celtic 0

Last week Celtic were 10/1 with Paddy Power to win in the San Siro stadium. On paper this seems one of those stick-on, home-win, results. But it brought to mind the old days when we used to outplay Rangers, have most of the ball, miss most of the chances and then Laudrup would gallop up the park and score a goal for them. Job done. Celtic had more of the ball against Milan. They had the better of the chances, but they did not overly trouble...

Mayweather v Alvarez

I’d been looking forward to Saturday night for weeks. Floyd Mayweather was fighting Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for the light middleweight title in Las Vegas. It was only available on Box Nation and would cost me a tenner. To be honest I would have paid much more if I’d had to. In America the pay per view price was $79.95. Yep £50! Yet it was already destined to be the biggest pay per view audience ever. That’s how big this fight was. For those of you...

Teenage Exorcists BBC 3 9pm

I quite fancied Peaky Blinder on BBC 2 or even Sound of the Cinema on BBC 4 but I wanted real drama and who could resist Teenage Exorcists -- Brynne Larson and her two best friends Savannah and Tess Scherkenback? As Brynne’s good old dad Bob tells every new audience he meets, he is the world’s best exorcist. To prove his point he can sell his audience DVDs of his top ten exorcisms, his no nonsense books of how to hook the devil out of your life...

The Wipers Time BBC 2 9pm

This is a play on words and the way the working-class soldier pronounced Ypres during the First World War. BBC 2 seems our best bet for this kind of costume drama, with Channel 4 hitting the futuristic buttons with drama such as Blackout-pronounced black---out. I didn’t black – out I stuck with the new dystopian drama, Blackout, to the first ad break. Good man I can hear you say in that Standard English accent used for voice overs and British...

Ukraine 0-0 England; Macedonia 1-Scotland 2.

I had to drink a Christmas bottle of Baileys because I’ve had a bad stomach for about five days to keep me interested. It’s not a real drink, but I usually don’t bother with Internationals. Next Wednesday. A.C. Milan v Celtic. Home win. The real deal. Wish we had Anya and not James Forrest. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m blind. Maybe I’m drunk (but hey, it is Bailley’s, so think again.). The games were fifteen minutes apart so I could watch both. I...

Hugo Hamilton (2003) The Speckled People.

Some books you don’t want to finish and this is one of them. Hugo Hamilton’s memoir is a prize worth keeping. It's a shame it's a library book. Pre-adolescent Hugo tells the story of his father and mother and his growing family in words that bite. His father is a nationalist that refuses to let the children speak English or play with children that speak English or have anything to do with the English even though there are few people in Dublin in...

The Tempest (2010) BBC 2 written and directed by Julie Taymor

I’m not going to tell you who the original writer was, but I can tell you some of his themes involve the fading power of old men, gender swapping, love at first sight and a plot that he’s picked up from crumpled bits of folio that have been lying around his garret. This is no different in that Prospero started off in the original folio and was definitely a man. Helen Mirren is definitely a woman. Her Morgana all those years ago in Excalibur...

Huckelberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn finishes where it started with poor old Huck getting Mothered to death: ‘I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can’t stand it. I been there before.’ It’s been that long since I read this book I can’t remember reading it. Long passages are dialogue thick with the argot of Nigger Jim, Tom Sawyer or the sly old Judge...

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