Everyone is smiling when we get on the plane. There are no masks now, no passenger locator forms or tests and it’s a warm, sunny day and all this seems to have put everyone in a good mood. Gradually we all sit down and put on our seat belts. We’re sitting with our seat belts … Continue reading take your seat belts off
(This story is also on Medium. Follow me here.) I remember him falling into a river and clinging to something – a leaf or a stick – to stay afloat. He was injured, scared, and all on his own. The current was sweeping him forwards and ahead he could see he was hurtling towards the … Continue reading “Are we going to die, Mum?” — that night, twenty years ago.
There’s a lot of fucked up stuff in this film, in this world. A man is found dead having been hog-tied and made to eat canned spaghetti until he burst. Another, a rich lawyer, is forced at gunpoint to gouge out a pound of his own flesh with a knife, then murdered anyway. Somerset sees before anyone else that the motives behind these killings are biblical. Gluttony. Greed. He warns his sergeant to expect five more inspired by the rest of the deadly sins.
2005 This album certainly isn’t bad, but I’ve listened to it about three times through and I can’t get into it. I don’t know what it is. The ingredients are good: well-constructed beats, an eclectic range of influences including jazz, hip-hop, rock and some Latin thrown in there, some solid enough vocal performances from guest … Continue reading Review: Modal Soul – Nujabes
2007 “People talk so much shit about me at barber shops, they forget to get they hair cut,” raps Kanye West on “Everything I Am”. I can’t say I ever forgot to get my hair cut, even if you’d think so judging by the mop I was rocking in my teenage years. But I definitely … Continue reading Review: Graduation – Kanye West
1968 I've always liked Nancy Sinatra's voice, but I was surprised how well Lee Hazelwood's complemented it. The two seem to have real chemistry despite the story that this album came about after Frank Sinatra asked Hazelwood to do it to jump start his daughter's career. There's a nice range of songs on the album, … Continue reading Review: Nancy & Lee – Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood
“One Euro one, six for six. Very, very tasty, very, very good!” So went the song of the samosa salesman. He was a youngish guy of South-Asian origin, and I wondered why he sang in English rather than Catalan or – heaven forbid around these parts – Spanish. I normally find these hawkers irritating when … Continue reading The Woman Who Taught Me How to Walk (Again)
After watching Netflix's The Queen's Gambit, Sophie and I found that we had much to discuss - and disagree about. I suggested we put our contrasting views into writing and publish them side-by-side. What follows is the result. Enjoy, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below. Alone, but … Continue reading The Queen’s Gambit: Double Review
I often find that planes and airports can be interesting places. I've long felt that I do some of my best writing while flying. Being removed from my everyday life, having the time to think and being faced with so many people from all over the world put me in a reflective mood. But apart … Continue reading Fun and Interesting Things that have Happened on Planes
This episode explores, with startling pertinence, the consumerism that drives our cherished national holidays, the seductive power of populism and the dangers of seeking quick fixes to big problems
You know those people you get in hostels who are by themselves and yet seem to be at the centre of everything? This guy seemed like that, firing off jokes to people who walked by or other people sitting around us, chatting amicably to the staff. Despite his age, he seemed to be in his element. He turned back to me and said, “well, are you gonna come and tell me about yourself or what?”
The other day, my friend invited me to talk on Student Radio Maastricht, the radio show he works on. The topic of the evening's discussion would be stories - what they are, how they've evolved, why they matter to us. I thought it was a great topic; I’ve always loved stories. When I was a … Continue reading Stories, and what they mean to me