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Showing posts from 2017

Sunshine and Kings

The difference between Spanish winter and British is not really temperature. A mild British winter day isn't significantly colder than Spain. The difference is light. Winter or summer, there is a lot more light to go around in Mallorca than in London. Lisette, Benjamin, James and I are staying in Palma visiting family. The day we arrived was not auspicious; it was overcast and stormy. The next day however, well... As I looked around I realised I was squinting. The light was too strong. I haven't squinted in London since October. So it's a shame I distrust sunglasses. For some reason I always have. If the eyes are the windows of the soul then it follows that I regard sunglasses as harbingers of suspicion. If you won't let me look into your eyes then part of my brain is convinced you must be up to no good. Probably only a hop, skip and a jump away from pretensiousness too; that most tragic of attributes. Quite apart from the not-so-nice-judge-y aspect, this is a lamen

Four go to Cornwall

Lisette and I have proven ourselves incapable in the "booking holidays" category of competence. After months of attempting to find something we realised we'd fallen at the first hurdle by failing to do the requisite planning-one-year-in-advance. This is alas mandatory now Benjamin is in school and restricting our holiday times to select high priced periods. Why did he have to grow up? So it was, that around 3 weeks prior to us having to explain the meaning of the word "staycation" to Benjamin and James, we received an offer. A couple we knew from church, Peter and Sarah, were going to be in Portscatho, a village in Cornwall and would we like to stay with them? Would we? Popes / Catholics / bears / woods - you get my drift. We set our sights for the Southwest. And so, the four of us came to find ourselves winding our way down a single-lane road with the rain lashing the windscreen of our rented car. Always say yes to a memory. In a gesture towards bein

Father's Day Advice

When I was 16 years old, my father gave me a piece of advice that dramatically changed me. His advice changed my interactions with the world. I rather doubt he thought it would have such impact, but change me it did. Having finished my mandatory schooling, I had recently started attending sixth form college. I was taking A-levels in Maths, Computer Science and Economics. I found I took to the former 2 subjects like a duck to water. They weren't a struggle, they were interesting and I had a natural aptitude. For want of a better phrase, I could "do it". However, Economics was a different kettle of fish. It did not fit in my head. I could not grok it. I sat there, in lesson after lesson, listening hard to Terri Wilcox explaining Keynes, Monetarism, supply and demand. Occasionally she deviated and talked about her beloved Blackburn Rovers. It did not go in. Not the Economics and certainly not the football. At the end of each sentence uttered I found myself more bewilder

The Return of the Flying Scotsman

On Friday night I went to the cinema and saw T2: Trainspotting with a mate. I loved it; for my money it's a wonderful film. Albeit one with a terrible name. I put it to you my alternative title is better... Ish. I went to see the original in the cinema. Like pretty much anyone of my generation I had the mandatory orange posters plastered on my walls. I read the book multiple times. I had the video, the VHS cassette (I'm that old). Hell, I had the green special edition VHS with the deleted scenes. (Which was probably only released because at that time the marketing men realised they could slap Trainspotting on * anything * and make some money.) If I was going out for a night I watched Trainspotting with a drink in my hand before I headed out. It was part of the vague rituals of my life. The film meant a lot to me. It's hard to express just why; excessive exposure has tattooed it into my mind. Part of it may be that the characters feel real. I have the same r

Away We Go?

There's this film called Away We Go . It's about a couple expecting their first baby and wondering where they should live. Over the course of the movie, they travel to different places in North America, spend time with different groups of friends and family. In the end, (spoiler alert) they work out where they think they should be. When Lisette and I first saw it we thought it was fantastic. It's got a great soundtrack. It's got John Krasinski, making me question my own sexuality and reinforcing Lisette's. It has beautiful locations. It has great characters. What's not to love? When we first watched it, the main theme of the film was just incidental to us. "Where should we live?" That's the question. Where should we be now? Where should we raise our children? Where do we belong? Over recent years this theme has become something Lisette and I actively think about. Never Let Me Go We live in leafy Twickenham on the outskirts of London. We hav