Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Things I really hate in journalism, part 1 of 3,679

When "writers" start a sentence with said. Said chief executive Roy Rogers: "blah blah blah"
Why do people do this? Why? No-one talks like that in real life. Where do they get it from?
That is all.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Bye bye Spurstowe, hello Wiltons

It's all go in our part of Hackney. The Spurstowe Arms appears to be closed, although I don't know why, it always seemed rammed as far as I could tell. Shame, we liked having a trendy local, and I have fond memories of the time I slipped the leash of baby rearing in the early days when it seemed like I was a prisoner in my own home and nipped over the road for an illict glass of wine and a book for an hour. (HackneyBloke seems to have formed some memory that I didn't drink at all when I was breastfeeding, but I think he's thinking of some ideal mum that isn't me).

But one door closes, another opens, and we now seem to have a trendy coffee shop three or four doors down rejoicing in the name of Wiltons. And - and! - a local radio station, London Fields Radio, broadcasting "from the window of a independent coffee shop behind Hackney Empire" (quite a long way behind). I think it might be a bit too trendy for me and Small Boy, but we shall see. Maybe they would like me to do a show on the exciting developments in facilities for the under-fives in the area. I know all the hot spots.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Top 10 fictional couples

I didn't have a book with me on the bus today so I had to compile this list instead. Who have I missed out? Tell me!

1. Beatrice and Benedick - Much Ado About Nothing. They hate each other! But they love each other really!

2. Mulder and Scully - The X-Files. Aw, they are so touchy feely. And yet not Doing It. Until they are. Or are they? I don't know, I gave up when David Duchovny stropped off.

3. Holmes and Watson. You can't tell me they are not a couple. Well, you can and you'd have some evidence on your side, like Watson's (two?) marriages. But they are, you know. IN MY HEAD.

4. .Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester - Jane Eyre. The model for many a future Mills and Boon.

5. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy - Pride & Prejudice. Yes, obvious, but I like Elizabeth, so shut up.

6. Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler - Gone With the Wind. Oh Scarlett, can't you see Rhett loves you, not that drippy Ashley? Luckily all's well that ends well, if you believe Scarlett and wait until Rhett is practically ninety or something.

7. Spike and Buffy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He loved her so much he got a soul! Unlike Angel who had to have one forced on him, and still can't keep hold of it for more than about five seconds. Also, much better chemistry.

8. Katherine and Vincent, Beauty and the Beast. He comes from a secret world far below the city streets! She, er, something about her world, a world apart from his. They cannot be together (because he looks like a lion?) but they will never, ever be apart!

9. Jo March and Laurie Lawrence, Little Women. I don't know what Louisa Alcott was thinking pairing Laurie with Amy in the end. It just results in a union of unbearable smugness - and Bess.

10. Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. I can't believe I forgot them. I love Harriet. And they are proof that you can still be an interesting couple once married, although admittedly only just so.

[edited to get rid of Lois/ Clark - peter and Harriet are much sexier]

And two that nearly made it but I thought were a bit obscure, also I can't remember the names: Girl and Sorry (?) in The Changeover (they are telepathic!); Girl and Robot in Silver Metal Lover (good to have obstacles in the path of true love, and what better obstacle than one of you being a robot?).

I'm sure there are loads I like better then these, especially Little Women and Superman, but I can't think of them right now.

Friday, 9 October 2009

JK Rowling and Thomas the Tank Engine: a literary partnership

Now, JK Rowling's literary borrowings from various sources are obvious in many ways - the structure of school series like St Clares, with each book having the "lacrosse/ Quidditch game" the "new teachers" and so on; shades of the Worst Witch and Wizard of Earthsea etc. Nothing wrong with that.

But I think I have unearthed a new and previously undiscovered source of Rowling's creativity - Thomas the Tank Engine. Can it be a coincidence that on the back of the Thomas books which list all the other titles in the series, Arthur ( a red train) is next to Molly (a yellow train), reflected in Rowling's choice of Arthur and Molly Weasley as the names of Ron's Mum and Dad?

Not only that but other titles include: Percy (Ron's brother); George (Ron's brother); Freddie (kind of Ron's brother if you lose the ie); and Bill and Ben (Bill is Ron's brother). The only Weasley family members not represented by trains are Ginny and Charlie. What can this mean? I feel a PhD coming on.

PS Don't start telling me that both the Rev Awdry and successors and JK tended to pick traditional British boys names and there's not that many of them - I shall just put my fingers in my ears and hum.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Radio gaga

I was on the radio this morning. BBC West Midlands, for some reason. So all the good people of Birmingham and surrounding area got to hear my thoughts on how young people get a negative press. In fact many probably woke up to them, since I was on just after the 7am news. Sorry about that, if you were one (although why you'd be reading my blog I don't know).

Have to say the host Phil Upton sounded absolutely fascinated by what I had to say (not). "Thanks for that HackneyHackette...now Afghanistan!" Or something.

Thought I might have to hide small boy in a closet but