Blogs

A Bronx Tale, BBC 2, 11.30,

Released 1993, written by Chazz Palmaterri directed by Robert De Niro and starring Robert De Niro and Chazz Palmaterrri. It’s 1960 in the Bronx and everything is Italian. Lorenzo Anello (Robert De Niro) drives a city bus for a living. His son Calogero (Francis Capro, aged 9) sometimes jumps on and accompanies him, to chat about baseball and be with his dad. But he’s a smart kid. When his dad drops him off and waits until he goes upstairs to the...

FA Cup Final: Wigan 1 Manchester City 0.

I got up late. Laughing Boy phoned and asked if I was going out to watch the football. Usually that would be a given. Celtic’s last league game at Parkhead this season. It’s on Sky. The pubs are open and I could expect to be steamin-drunk by half-time since I’m a bit of a lightweight and that’s 45 minutes of valuable drinking time. But I couldn’t be arsed, which is the Celtic equivalent of a mortal sin and despite ten minutes of badgering I...

Bankers, BBC 2 9pm

This is the first of three parts. ‘Fixing the System’ focussed on the fallout from the London Interbank Offer Rate (Libor) Scandal and in particular it focussed on Bob Diamond at Barclays, an unapologetic banker’s banker. In old- fashioned times a promissory note could be exchanged for an equal amount of gold coins, money was issued by the mint. Money was something you could get your hands on. Shaving a bit off Her Majesty’s currency was liable...

Ben Earl Trick Artist. Channel 4, 9pm.

The trick was I watched this at 10pm after watching The Genius of Marie Curie. We all know that she won the Nobel for Physics and later the Nobel for Chemistry, and the half-life of uranium is 16 000 years. What is the half- life of TV fame? Ben Earl’s TV stunts are undoubtedly brilliant. I can’t explain them, but I can’t explain a lot of things. I can’t explain, for example, why Kylie is so cute, but her sister isn’t. I can’t explain what I...

The East End Butcher Boy by Joe Lawrence (Jolono)

I read this on Kindle. I prefer paper but it was kinda apt reading it electronically as I'd already read most of it on abc tales. It's a short book; a few hours reading. But since I love books that's not a chore and this is a love story. It's a page turner in a book without pages. Young Joe, aged 14, got a part-time job as a butcher's boy. His gaffer was Roy and he showed him all the world had to offer- and it was there for the taking -for those...

John Niven The Second Coming.

Malcolm Bradbury ‘The History Man’ and creative writing tutor to a shedload of novelists, suggests that if you get to page 25, or thereabouts, you’ve made a commitment to a book and are likely to finish it. I used to be like that, feeling guilty if I started a book and never finished it. I started Siri Hustvedt, What I Loved, three times, but never got beyond the first two pages, now I know it’s good, very good indeed and I’d have berated myself...

Dave Allen: God’s Own Comedian, BBC2, 9pm

I used to watch Dave Allen at Large with my family. It was one of the few shows my Da liked. There was a checklist of things he liked. One of them was being Irish. Check. One of them was being Catholic. Check. Another of them was being Irish and Catholic. Check-check. It also helped that Dave Allen looked a bit like his best mate McBride with the coal-black hair and a subversive attitude to authority. It was all well and good to mock the church...

The East End Butcher Boy

24th April 2013. A date that wil stay with me for a long time. It's the day my book was available on Amazon. It took a year to write and then another year to re-write and edit. But at last its out there. http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-ke... I've also put a couple of vids on youtube to promote it. Here are the links http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxltlSu89lo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmTcZy4NNdc...

North Korea: A State of Mind BBC 4 10pm

written by Daniel Gordon and produced by Nicholas Bonner. This documentary is like a visual diary, it begins February 2003 and ends April 2003. It follows young gymnasts and their families as they prepare for the Mass Games in Pyongyang. Two million people live in Pyongyang and one million take part in the games which includes mass parades to celebrate the auspicious day of Kim Jong- Il's or Kim Jong il's beneficent leadership. Both are...

Daniel Woodrell (1998) Tomato Red; (2006) Winter's Bone.

Both of these are short books. I read Tomato Red in about three hours. Winter's Bone is about the same length. Both are situated in small Missouri towns, but in Winter's Bone Ozak is almost a backwood identity, and Ree Dolly Jessup is part of that crazed religion of don't tell and take care of your own kin. It's told in the third person. Here's how it starts: Ree 'Dolly stood at break of day on her cold front steps and smelled coming flurries...

Pages