While strolling the other day in Hove I met one resident who introduced me to a neighbour who, it turned out, works at Glyndebourne. At first our talk turned to the wind turbine recently installed up there, to some controversy. She pointed out that it had previously been the site of a mill, and confirmed [...]
With pressure on space and delay in its appearance, my piece on David Gascoyne in today’s Independent was shorter than envisaged. Here is the full version, including reference to the many others who popped up in his life. That said, the printed version appeared neat enough. Night Thoughts: The Surreal Life of the Poet David [...]
In a recent piece about a natural-history programme Queen of the Savannah, Clive James observed that “when half a dozen new queens are born at once, one of them will poison all the others, usually with a quick stab through the cell wall but sometimes as the climax of the full bitch-slapping donnybrook”. This has [...]
This phrase is memorably whispered by Carly Simon over the bass and drums which open “You’re So Vain”. Far from that chronicle of high-life shenanigans is a moment in The Wind when the cook is asked about the evening meal. She – or, rather, the intertitle – replies that it will be “son of a [...]
When Marc Behm died a few years ago, this was the only obituary that he received in England. I had been watching Help! and wondered what had become of hime, only to find that he had recently, quietly, died. A distinctive talent: seek him out.
Does anybody now read the Southern, even feminist novels of Dorothy Scarborough? These were popular in the Twenties, and best known is The Wind(1925), first published anonymously and soon made into a popular silent movie with a Lilian Gish unblemished by the eponymous weather which assails from all sides with all the ferocity that she [...]
This word recently leapt at me from the pages of The New Yorker. The context made it clear that the term is one of derision, akin to smartass. It is not, though, a term that I have ever used, handy though it would have been upon many an occasion. Equally, the synonym of wiseacre appears [...]
Towards Portslade, but still in Hove – as some residents insist – there is a pub which has gone through various permutations in recent years. For some while it was the Golden Cross, and said to be grungey, before mutating into the Jamaica Inn, whose Sunday lunchtime roast-and-reggae sessions were popular but found it difficult [...]