Monthly Archives: March 2014


At first, Visconti was encouraged by the silence in the studio’s big screening room when his film ended. “The full house,” he reported, made not a sound at the final scene in which the black hair dye runs down Bogarde’s … Continue reading

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Kinda Dukish

The best Duke Ellington cover I’ve heard in  a long time, courtesy of the wonderful transatlantic group Django à la Creole, led by clarinetist Evan Christopher, with David Blenkhorn  and Dave Kelbie on guitar and Sebastien Girardot on bass. “The Mooche” is … Continue reading

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I must start by admitting that I have never liked dinner parties, and count as one of the major consolations of age the licence to answer an invitation to one with a flat “I’m sorry, I’ve given up going to … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Notebook | Leave a comment

So you want to be a teacher?

If so, it might be worth avoiding avoiding Chicago. “The video below is not a parody. It shows… a professional development session that will make you understand why teachers are going out of their minds.”

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When an intelligent Japanese travels in Great Britain or an intelligent Briton in Japan, he is struck with no wonder at national differences.  He is on the other hand rather startled to find how like his strange brother is to … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Notebook, UK politics, US politics | Leave a comment

And the clocks were striking thirteen

Glad to see my 1984 suggestion made it into John Rentoul’s list of top ten first lines in fiction. (Translations weren’t allowed, hence no trace of Gregor Samsa awakening from uneasy dreams.) I bought a copy of the facsimile edition of Orwell’s novel … Continue reading

Posted in Literature | 1 Comment

Statistic of the week

Unearthed by Pew Research demographer Conrad Hackett: Cost for a year at: Harvard $56k Nursing home $84k NYC jail $168k

Posted in Economics, US politics | Leave a comment