Chris Moyles? Shoot his mouth off? Wish someone would – Published: 18 Jan 2006

Following my blog about the breakfast-time joy induced by Sara Lee bake-em-yourself croissants, you can imagine my delight at discovering Sara Lee bake-em-yourself Pain au Chocolate (at a very large Sainsbury’s).

Incidentally. The trip to that large supermarket results from us now having a parking permit and being able to freely use a car around London (if that isn’t a contradiction in terms).

Incidentally part 2. The parking permit* results from four separate trips to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s ‘Parking Shop‘ – a borough department that, if you’d seen it in a sitcom, you’d have said, ‘no that’s too much of a cliché. Council offices are staffed by bitter, semi-catatonic people, but that’s just taking it all too far to be believable.’

My soul still hasn’t recovered.

Recent films I’ve enjoyed…
1. Thirteen. It’s a Frenchie. Strong stuff. Don’t read up on it, just see it. There’s a surprise that won’t work if you have done research.
2. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Mentioned previously but still stands out.
3. King Kong. Oooh, he likes his monsters that Peter Jackson does.
4. A History of Violence. The main character has one.

*within 4 days of having a parking permit we had our first parking fine. More money sucked out of us and into a nowhere place somewhere in London. Funny that on the radio this morning there was a chat about putting a tax on not-efficient light bulbs and using the money to subsidise the price of greener, energy-efficient light bulbs. I thought, yeah, just like having a congestion charge in London could be used to subsidise public transport. Like that would ever happen.

______________________

Trout – Published: 23 Jan 2006

Sad, sad, sad, but funny. And wise. And very short. But then KV said he wouldn’t write anything more. This thin volume then is a welcome bonus.

It seemed to me to be a distillation of the ideas he set out in his last book Timequake. Timequake was intended to be a science fiction book about a decade accidentally repeating. Kurt starts the book by saying how he spent 10 years writing it before coming to the conclusion it is mostly rubbish. He says, essentially, I’ll tell you a filleted version of that story to spare you the tedium and, the rest of the time, I’ll be telling you a bit about myself.

Those ‘bits about myself’ were just a pure, life-affirming, wisdom-saturated joy to read.

A Man Without A Country seems to be a crystallisation of that same accumulated wisdom and life history. You get 145 pages of his thoughts on what’s wrong with the world, what’s important, values, family, bullying, peace-making, the environment, Christianity… It is frank and crisp and comes from a great writer who knows he might die any time now. It’s his last word.

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