Australia – Shangri-la for Europeans

I've become quite addicted to yet another daytime TV staple, a reality programme called "Wanted Down Under". It's a rather irritatingly structured show about people who want to emigrate to Australia. They're given an introduction to employment opportunities, house prices, and whatever lifestyle opportunity they think their move will open up to them. They are... Continue Reading →

Knowledge in England

In common with many arts graduates, I delight in accumulating mostly useless knowledge. Since I'm not the brightest person I know, I tend to assume that this is knowledge also accumulated by everyone else. Interacting with a variety of different people suggests that this is not the case, and so I end up feeling bad... Continue Reading →

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 →

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