Monthly Archives: February 2016

On show

Posing for their owner as I passed by on my bike.

Posted in Cookham, Photography | Tagged ,

Cambridge politicians

The reviews I remember reading seemed quite sniffy or full of faint praise, but in the end I enjoyed John Cleese’s autobiography much more than I’d expected. If he doesn’t come across as the most warm-hearted of individuals — would anyone … Continue reading

Posted in Comedy, UK politics | Tagged , , , ,


So now Donald Trump refuses to condemn white supremacists. I can’t help thinking of one of the items in Bill Crow’s genial anthology, “Jazz Anecdotes”: Bobby Hackett was known for never saying anything bad about anyone. When a friend insisted … Continue reading

Posted in History, US politics, World War 2 | Tagged , , , ,

Toe to toe

“Now listen, you queer — stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in your goddamn face and you’ll stay plastered!” At last, I got round to watching “Best of Enemies”. Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley swap barbs on … Continue reading

Posted in Film, TV, US politics | Tagged , , , , ,

Donald Trump’s way with golf

From a highly entertaining  list of anecdotes assembled by Matt Labash: Despite Trump’s allegedly having a 4 handicap and owning scores of golf courses (“the best in the world”), he plays about as straight as a corkscrew. When Alice Cooper was … Continue reading

Posted in Sport, US politics | Tagged , ,

The new normal

In the foyer of the Barbican Centre last night.

Posted in Photography | Tagged ,


The fragmentation of Italian politics in reaction to the long stagnant acquiescence under Fascism continues. There are now some sixty officially recognised political parties having memberships from a hundred or so to nearly two million. Many of these offer bizarre … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature, Notebook, World War 2 | Tagged , , ,

Not the permissive society

“You could say it was connected with sex,” said the spokeswoman in a deadpan voice. When Frank Zappa’s “200 Motels” concert  was banned from the Albert Hall, February 1971. HT:  @BBCArchive.

Posted in Music | Tagged ,

In search of Nina Simone

[Apologies: a draft of this post was published by mistake.] Soaring music, depressing life. My Times review [£] of “What Happened, Miss Simone?”, a book that paints an unsettling portrait of a unique artist: Her willingness to speak her mind shines … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Music, Race | Tagged , , , ,

Storm front, Bondi Beach

Insert your global economic metaphor here. Rohan Kelly’s picture is one of the winners in this year’s World Press Photo awards.

Posted in Photography | Tagged , ,