The nationality of objects

An American singer called Kelly Clarkson, who is apparently really quite successful, bought a ring at auction in England last year. She paid £150,000 for it. For that kind of price, I'd be looking for a blue diamond, but she bought a rather unfashionable 19th century round turquoise in a gold setting. It happened to... Continue Reading →

Othello at the National – quite good

Last night I went to se Othello at the National Theatre, with Adrian Lester. I had seen an abridged production with Lenny Henry in the west end a few years ago, and was lastingly touched by the tragedy of jealous murder and betrayal. Lenny Henry was quite a revelation, his 6 feet five frame so... Continue Reading →

The problem with not working

The less busy I am, the less I take time to write. I spend hours thinking about what I would write, lying in bed when I wake up and excitedly thinking, "yes, that's it, that's exactly what sums up what was bad about Oblivion, I'll write that". Or thinking about more serious topics that I... Continue Reading →

Progress – why?

The recent purchase of Instagram by Facebook amused me, not least the idea that a company valued at 100 times' earnings feels it can spend $1 billion on another company that makes no money at all. Basic economics obviously don't trouble people's consciousness any more now than they did in the South Sea bubble. The... Continue Reading →

The ballerina Marianela Nunez was in Trevor Sorbie this morning, having her nails done. First, I saw a bright pink trainer walk past me; it barely seemed to touch the ground, moving along on springs, rather like people do in Nike ads. The way she walked, and her absolutely emaciated frame, made it very obvious she... Continue Reading →

Why are the French so pretentious?

I am currently watching - well, while I'm not laughing - a French film called "A l'aventure". I can't even begin to describe how unoriginal it is, which would be fine if every frame didn't resonate with misplaced gravitas, as if the story is somehow so artistically significant that the first scene must feature a... Continue Reading →

Woody Allen – always the same

I've very little to write about these days. The new job that I took with a view to earning enough money to take time off has subsumed all my time, energy, friends and hobbies. So the only thing I've really been doing is what I usually do when big voids open up in my life... Continue Reading →

The attraction of David Cornwell

I went to see the recently released film of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with Gary Oldman, and while he was perfect, Colin Firth was very disappointing. For me Bill Haydon was always Julian Sands or Ralph Fiennes. Colin Firth is too heavy set, and even though he is described as "jolly" in the book, Firth... Continue Reading →

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