Blogs

The Mercy, BBC 2, BBC iPlayer, director James Marsh.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000q5z3/the-mercy Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds star in the story of serial British bungler Boris Johnson’s attempt to circumnavigate EEC regulation, buoyed by jingoistic support at home, while sending out false reports of his typical British derring-do, circling the globe far quicker than his competitors from his sinking ship anchored near the Portuguese coast. Based on a true story.

Lauren Groff (2008) the Monsters of Templeton.

I was surprised a panegyric to the Monsters of Templetown by Stephen King was on the back cover and not the front. I’d describe that as bad marketing, but perhaps this was not to confuse the reader, because despite the title there are no real monsters. Lorrie Moore describes the Monsters of Templeton on the front cover as, ‘A bold hybrid of a book’. What she means by that is the stories are factional, and it’s a love story of place as much as...

Will you take the Covid-19 vaccine(s)?

Will you take the Covid-19 vaccine(s)? https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/06/the-vaccine-miracle-how-scientists-waged-the-battle-against-covid-19 Around 20% of us are unlikely to take the Covid-19 vaccine (there are more than one type of vaccine, but it is highly unlikely you’ll get a choice—unless you’re rich—which propriety brand you will get inoculated with). These are a vocal minority, let’s call them I’d-rather- smear-my-face-with-...

An Early Christmas Present

FREE TODAY (Tuesday, 8th December) my e-book collection of Christmas stories, including a number originally published on this site such as The Undertakers at Christmas and my alternative version of the Nativity. Get it here: A Christmas Cracker

Flint, BBC Scotland, BBC iPlayer, narrator Alec Baldwin, writer Richard Phinney, director and editor Anthony Baxter.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000q1km/flint I fiound it strange that a crew from BBC Scotland led by Anthony Baxter should spend five years from 2014 filming a documentary about water pollution in Flint Michigan, the former home of General Motors, and the narrator is Alec Baldwin. We’re far from home. Remember around 25 years ago when John Gummer, the then Tory agricultural minister, fed his four-year-old daughter a burgher to prove the...

Dirty God, BBC2, BBC iPlayer, written by Susanne Farrell and Sacha Polak and directed by Sacha Polak.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000q5vv/dirty-god I expected this to begin with the acid attack. Instead Jade (Vicky Knight) is returning home, but still wearing a see-through face mask until her face settles. Her hopes are pinned on a miracle, that reconstructive facial surgery can return her to the fresh-faced girl she was before the attack. And not this ‘dog’s dinner,’ as she calls it. Hospital staff are supportive but warn her that...

Story and Poem of the Month

Our Story and Poem for the month of November have been picked by london_calling79: As we venture into the unkown depths of a COVID winter we have two heart-warming picks this month to warm your cockles. So cosy up, perhaps in the safety of a virus-proof blanket fort, ignore the inexorable decline of the Western world and enjoy some plain old-fashioned story-telling! For our story pick of the month we present Charlie77’s engrossing opening to...

Leo Tolstoy, Childhood, translated by C.J. Hogarth.

After reading War and Peace I felt that someone should gallop up and hang a medal around my neck. I’m easily confused and Russian names are Russian to me. Childhood is a much easier beast. Short pen-portraits of, for example, ‘The Tutor, Karl Ivanitch,’ ‘Mama,’ ‘Papa,’ ‘Lessons,’ ‘The Idiot’. His is a very structured life. Papa is a little god, all bow before him. He runs the estate with an iron grip. No rouble unaccounted for. Yet, he can lose...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point

Posted by airyfairy on Fri, 04 Dec 2020 It's so great, as we celebrate our twentieth birthday, to see that the quality of work on ABC is as brilliant and varied as ever. Story of the Week goes to Peter Bennett's 'A Hauf an a Hauf'. It takes skill and courage to use dialect as your narrative voice, and Peter manages it brilliantly with characters that leap off the page with warmth, humour and pathos: A Hauf an a Hauf | ABCtales No doubt at all in...

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