celticman's blog

What happens after Covid-19?

20 Jan 2020 - USA has first confirmed imported case - From China. 20 Jan 2020 - COVID-19 included in Statutory Report of Class B Infectious Diseases and Border Health Quarantine Infectious Diseases in China - Measures to Curtail: Temperature Checks, Health Care Declarations, Quarantines - Instituted at Transportation Depots - Laws of China - Wildlife Markets Closed - Captive-Breeding Facilities Cordoned Off. 22/23 Jan 2020 - WHO decides not to...

Nicky Nicholls & Elizabeth Sheppard (2018) Not a Proper Child.

Graham Greene’s whisky priest in The Power and the Glory doesn’t drink whisky, but damnation. Author, Nicky Nicholls also drunk of damnation. She drunk so much she found it her only salvation. ‘Needing to drink like I needed to breathe air. A craving so total that there’s no space around it.’ Nicky Nicholls (aided by Elizabeth Sheppard) has all the elements needed to create a successful misery memoir or a work of fiction. In my unpublished novel...

Celeste Ng (2017) Little Fires Everywhere.

Author Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere was published in 2017 to critical acclaim and is still a number one bestseller in Amazon in 2020. It terms of book sales, the author has produced the literary equivalent of Meatloaf’s Bat out of Hell . Being a writer that never writes much now, I thought I’d take a look. It’s a page turner were the end begins at the beginning. I liked it. The review should end here with recognition of that neat trick...

Jawbone (2017) BBC 2, BBC iPlayer, director Thomas Napper.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000gx8n/jawbone Writer Johnny Harris takes the central role of Jimmy McCabe in this smashing film with a boxing background. We’re all familiar with the Rocky theme tune playing in the background and the stereotypical rags to riches story. We know there’ll be a fight and our hero will win. Johnny Harris gives it a bit of twist, his fight is with the booze. He can still shift, but his better days are gone. He...

Boris Pahor (2020) Necroplis. Translated by Michael Biggins, introduction by Alan Yentob.

Boris Pahor (2020) Necroplis. Translated by Michael Biggins, introduction by Alan Yentob. With most of the world in lockdown now is perhaps a good time to spend reading about Boris Pahor in the land of the crematoria. Spare a thought for those in refugee camps and prisons. Necropolis is a story not about them, but about us, common humanity. Pahor writes about his life not in the past, but in the present and also the future, when he’ll be like so...

The Piety of Hand-clapping.

https://www.facebook.com/mary.boyle.9/videos/10159825153012228/?t=0 Piety, as we all know, is a quality of being reverent. We usually associate it with religion. Etymologically, it comes from Latin and is related to dutifulness. It’s not often I’ve seen ideology in action. People coming to their front doors and clapping their hands and supporting the NHS. Our NHS and the support workers. Care workers and what we used to call auxiliaries. Only to...

#Covid-19- a five-point guide for stupid people like me.

A guy told me that a guy he knew said the coronavirus has been engineered. It has, of course, left-wing, radical badgers in their labs far below the earth when they were mixing a batch of bovine TB in the 1970s also created the coronavirus and passed the secret onto their friends the right-wing bats. Because bats knew they’d be ate by some human in the Huanan seafood market in January 2020. Revenge of the bats – COVID-19 is the name of the...

Natural justice

Natural justice isn’t something we spend a lot of time thinking about. Years ago when I was working on the roofs with Kenny Smith he got paid more money than me. Let’s say he got £65 and I got £50 per week. He was a roofer and time-served, could measure the roof out and bang down tiles quicker than a labourer. I accepted he should get more than me, which isn’t the same as liking it. We travelled together on the train and came home together, but...

Robert A.Caro (2003) The Years of Lyndon Johnson, volume 3, Master of the Senate.

At over a thousand pages Robert A.Caro’s biography of Lyndon B. Johnson is a hefty wedge of American history. We know power corrupts, but Caro also argues ‘power reveals’. We’re aware of that iconic picture of Jackie Kennedy standing with the former Vice President of the United States and now President, Lyndon Johnson. Power reveals. (But that was later, volume 4, the new Senator John F. Kennedy only makes a brief appearance, in volume 3, his...

Marilynne Robinson (2004) Gilead

Gilead was winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. I’m sure I’ve read it before. And I keep picking it up and re-reading bits because I don’t know where I left off reading. It’s a story in which nothing much happens but life. A dying man writing a letter to his young son, who’s is young enough to be his great-grandson. It’s 1956 and the narrator is pondering whether he should vote for Eisenhower. And in recalling how his life didn’t amount to...

Pages