Blogs

Burton and Taylor BBC 4, 9pm.

Beautiful screenplay by William Ivory. My partner thought this was a bit boring, but alright. We watched it in separate room, Separate Lives, just like the Broadway revival of the Noel Coward play in 1982/3 that brought them together, and kept them apart. I thought Helena Bonham Carter got the eyes right and the shoulder shrug and played Elizabeth beautifully, without being as beautiful. But not many people were or are. Taylor was part of the...

Timeshift: The Men Who Built the Liners. BBC 4 9pm.

I’ve not only seen this programme before I actually lived it. When I left school hundreds of us sat a test for an apprenticeship with John Brown’s in Clydebank. Needless to say loose Math sinks ships and I didn’t get in, which is just as well. John Brown’s built the The Empress of Britain. Queen Mary. Queen Elizabeth I and II. The latter at a loss to the John Brown’s. In 1936 after its delayed launch and a bailout by the government for Cunard...

Jolono's East End Butcher Boy

Jolono, a fine, talented and much loved member of this site, has published his autobiographical book 'The East End Butcher Boy'. It is a fantastic read and I recommend it highly to all of you. Make it your Summer Holiday reading. The hilarious trailer is on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxltlSu89lo Here's the blurb for the book: Ever wondered what it’s like growing up in London’s East End. Read this book and you’ll find out. How...

Imagine BBC 1 McCullen series editor Alan Yentob, Director David Morris.

Last Tuesday I watched this documentary about the war photographer and photojournalist Don McCullen. Sometimes you like somebody and I liked Don McCullen. I’m biased, of course, his working class roots appealed to me. Brought up in London, I think it was Shoreditch, he won a scholarship to study art, but part of a big family he had to work, bring in money and stumbled into photography almost by accident. His early pictures of the working class...

Wimbledon.

I followed every stroke, grunt and whack, not on the telly, or even the radio, but whilst reading the Sunday papers. With the hot weather all windows and doors were open and Trisha over the back was prone to scream and shout like a five-year-old, with odd bursts of ‘Come on Andy.’ Well, I’m old enough to remember ‘C’mon Irene,’ sung by a couple of curly-haired down- and- outers wearing overalls. It even went to number 1. The last time I watched...

To the one in the mirror

I realized that we are the habits we give ourselves. We lose ourselves into routines. It’s who we are as human beings. Even those with crazy, ever changing schedules are plenty predictable. I’m not writing this to argue about who is more “routine” than others. I’m simply making the observation that we are the habits that we force, or that are forced, upon us. I’m writing this to reconcile myself with the idea that I can’t be a successful person...

Step Outside Posh Boy!

John Niven’s page in the Sunday Mail of what looked like a gallus young girl (but it could have been a boy) holding a home-made placard with the ‘step outside’ sentiment made me smile. Not for long. MORI polls of those under thirty-three show support for Tory leadership has grown. Similarly, one of the poll’s questions:‘is the creation of the welfare state one of Britain’s proudest achievements? And around seventy percent of those over forty-...

The Newton Solution

The Newton Solution By Dara Shikoh 6/20/2013 A planet burning in socio-economical and literal flames, reaches a point in time where evacuation remains the only option, it couldn't be denied that once there was a time when this fire could have been denied access to sabotage our land but that time is now long gone, This fire now burns in every brick which makes every wall of every system that exists today. Every action has an opposite reaction...

Panorama: Elderly Care-Condition Critical?

It’s a stupid question because everyone knows we’ve an aging population and with it comes the blight of dementia. My mum ended up in a Boquanran House and having been behind the scenes in many institutions I know exactly how they work. The product is people. ‘Homes’ are run for maximum profit and that means meeting the barest legal requirements. Panorama had a couple of tricks. One of them was to look at mortality rates. Simple but effective...

Agnethe:Abba and After BBC 1, 10.35pm.

I grew up with Abba. I know that’s kind of sad, I wasn’t a rock- and- roll- wild child, into heavy metal, or even a Satanist. I listened to the charts on the radio, but not religiously. The first album I ever thought about buying was ‘Bat Out of Hell’ and it had been Number 1 for about 50 weeks and I had to ask who the singer was. I was so uncool I watched the Eurovision Song Contest and I remember Abba winning it with Waterloo. Abba have sold...

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