Monthly Archives: October 2013

So you want to be a writer?

Just in case anyone still harbours illusions about the business of getting words down on paper, I recommend Rod Dreher’s long but utterly absorbing post. Key sentence: This is why writers drink: because they desperately need to get out of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s on the screen, therefore it must be true

So Oliver Stone isn’t the only film director to rewrite history in his own image. That’s one lesson to come out of Prospect’s Q&A with Eric Schlosser, author of “Command and Control”.  (“A beautifully written and utterly terrifying account of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thames morning

Sunshine. Slight mist. Perfect start to the day.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Soon it became generally accepted that Tutenkhamen had somehow killed Lord Carnarvon. Howard Carter found it necessary to repeat time after time that Tutenkhamen’s tomb contained no biological booby traps, no poison and no curse, but to no avail. The … Continue reading

Posted in History, Middle East, Notebook | Leave a comment

Felix Dexter RIP

He was only 52. Far too young. Luckily, Nathaniel is immortal.

Posted in Comedy, Race, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Whatever happened to the old New York?

The NY Observer marks a week in which not a single inhabitant of the Big Apple was murdered. Good news, although the paper’s review of the new Norman Mailer biography does leave you hankering for the days when the city … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A teenage wedding in Gaza

From Mohammed Salem’s dispatch for the Reuters Photographers blog. His beach scenes are worth a look too.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


[W]riters tend to be very different from other men, both those engaged in what we call the liberal professions and those who labour in the arts and at other callings. The writer must be a little of all of these … Continue reading

Posted in Brazil, Literature, Notebook | Leave a comment

JFK, Dallas & Oswald’s other target

The other day, just to prove he is human like the rest of us, the estimable John Rentoul posted what looked suspiciously like an incorrect QTWTAIN (Question To Which The Answer Is No): @JohnRentoul “If Kennedy hadn’t been wearing a back … Continue reading

Posted in Film, History, Journalism | Leave a comment


Conversation with a clerk at a megastore, May 2003: “Do you carry a DVD of Erroll Garner?” “Oh, I know that. It’s like, um, adventures of Erroll Garner, right?” “Uh, I don’t think so. It’s something like Erroll Garner in … Continue reading

Posted in Music, Notebook, Uncategorized | Leave a comment