When the lights went down on the version of The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre, Russell Street, London, adapted by Stephen Mallatratt, I had neither read the 1983 book nor seen the 2012 film adaptation. Therefore, based on the comments on the posters, I anticipated an evening of unrelenting psychological drama. Frankly, given what little I knew about the plot, I was completely … Continue reading The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
When I picked up the book The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins (1824 – 89), published in 1860, I admit that I was expecting a ghost story along the lines of The Woman in Black. However, the former is most certainly set in the world of flesh and blood. In my opinion, you cannot read the splendidly creepy late-night encounter with the eponymous woman, … Continue reading The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins
If there’s a subject which engenders strong, definite opinions for or against, it’s pigeons in London. In this court case, for which I thank the Old Bailey for making their services available, we’ll take a forensic look at the evidence, starting with the case for the prosecution. “What is a pigeon?” I here you ask, My Lord. Ha ha ha, My Lord. Oh, you’re serious? … Continue reading Pigeons. Yea or Nay?
It’s one of those horrible thoughts which seem to come straight from the manual, “How to turn dystopian sci-fi visions of the future into daily reality (UK government edition)”. It was along the lines of, “What if the police, like health care, were to introduce co-payments?” Although you could reasonably argue that delegated services are already a step too far. With the service they provide … Continue reading Just A Thought
Read T P Keating’s review of Dodie Smith’s excellent post-war novel. Continue reading I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
The UK’s entry in Saturday’s Eurovision Song Contest, Still in Love With You performed by Electro Velvet, appeared to mirror the prevailing state of mind in the country. Forward to the past. Where the government continues the process of removing all post World War II improvements in welfare and social mobility, an updated 1920’s swing-dance captured that state of mind perfectly. To add insult to … Continue reading Eurovision 2015: A Critical Analysis
I was tidying up when I found a Gibson USA guitar pick, of the type I used to play my bass guitar with back in the day. I always carried a pick in my rear trouser pocket wherever I went. Here was the familiar black, hard plastic with gold lettering. A small flat triangle with two equally rounded corners and one less so. It took … Continue reading The London Gigs of Sam Mitchell
There’s an intricate work of art at my local tube station, Manor House on the Piccadilly line, which has been under my nose for ages. Or rather several feet above it, on the platform wall, which goes some way towards explaining why it can be so easily overlooked. It has not colour to compete with the adverts, the electronic destination indicator, or the need to … Continue reading Overlooked Artist Harold Stabler – On The Piccadilly Line
Affordable housing. How often do we hear that term as a desirable outcome for a regeneration scheme? Affordable means a rent of 80% of the market rate in London. It’s a seriously small number of people who’ll find that sort of price within their range. Especially when you consider that Council house rents were traditionally based upon local rents and property values, where the rent … Continue reading Is Affordable Housing A Thing Of The Past?
For anyone moving into one of the new-build high-rise private flats which are inexorably replacing the Council blocks on the Woodberry Down Estate, the Woodberry Down Memory Shop in Seven Sisters Road must seem like an excellent idea. What better way for the Woodberry Down resident of today to discover the history of the area? To discover the opinions and hopes of those who willingly … Continue reading Woodberry Down Memory Shop