February 27

A CyberPunk Tabletop

In case you missed this post’s predecessor, you might want to take a quick look here, before reading this, which is the second in a multi-part post. For those that – entirely understandably – can’t be bothered, a quick recap: 1) I gave up booze some years back, meaning I wanted something new to do […]

February 20

A Tabletop Renaissance

Firstly – a public service announcement: for the optimal experience whilst reading this multi-part post, you may wish to have the Rocky soundtrack playing in the background. You’ll see. A couple of years back, roughly coinciding with quitting booze, I found myself thinking about doing something more social with family and friends, that didn’t involve […]

January 14

The Joy of Kickstarter

Not enough people know about Kickstarter. If you’re reading this, then chances are that this seems a fairly ridiculous statement. Yet, if it merits repeating given the events of Brexit and the US election over the last year or so, those of us that do spend a great deal of time online (myself included) tend […]

July 07

The Trick In Adaptation

Here’s the thing: these days, a huge proportion of entertainment media is adaptated – and I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that adapting a book or comic to another format, particularly TV or film, must be a largely thankless task where it’s virtually impossible to please both the material’s existing audience and a new audience […]

March 21

On Creative Writing

I’ve been keen to invest more time in creative writing for some time – and so this year, I thought I’d get back into it, having signed up for both LitReactor and a creative writing class. As any Weight Watcher knows, these are really good ways to avoid prevarication. Having to present and discuss something […]

January 27

On Reading

After four decades or so of reading, I may have finally unearthed what, for me, might be the perfect approach to getting the most out of a novel. Following the latest airing of HBO’s Game of Thrones last year I picked up the box set of all five GoT novels, spread across seven volumes.  Although […]

January 05

The Not-On-The-Web Log

This year it’s my intention to write a lot more. Not necessarily in public – whether here, on the punch site or elsewhere – but actually to do so more in private. Having been in the PR industry for nearly two decades, copywriting has been a constant throughout that time. A few years back my […]

October 05

2000AD: Where Are They Now?

Warning – this post is really only for the nerdiest of comic nerds. If that’s not you, look away now. Here’s a link to one of my favourite sites, The Oatmeal, for some funnies. Despite the underlying fact that print media circulations are flatlining everywhere you look, it’s British comic 2000AD’s 2000th issue this week. […]

May 16

18 Months of Feeding The Owl

I’ve just hit my 589 day streak on Duolingo. In other words, I’ve spent some time every day, for the last 589 consecutive days, learning one or more foreign languages using the superb Duolingo app on either my phone, tablet or laptop. Having recently broken the 18 month mark (548 days) and now bearing down […]

October 29

What Is This Obsession With Halloween?

As the father of two young kids, inevitably I get exposed to the marketing assault on Halloween each year. Whilst I can’t comment with any conviction on what things were like in the UK more than a decade ago (before I had children and when, frankly, I probably didn’t either notice or care) and I […]

March 29

Underworld, Public Service Broadcasting & Jungle Live

Having not seen much live music for the last decade, I’ve now managed to catch Asgeir in Shepherd’s Bush, Jack White at the O2, the Public Service Broadcasting album launch, Jungle in Nottingham and, most recently, Underworld at Hammersmith Apollo since the Black Keys rounded off Latitude last summer. The PSB album launch was an […]

July 21

Latitude: Family Match Report

Sixteen+ mossie/insect bites – including two on the face Two days of walking at least 14 miles (30k steps) Two terrifying lightning storms whilst in the tent Slap in the face from sleeping child: one One two hour battle with the elements to drag gear back to the car Beautiful sunsets: two Pleading with nice […]

April 29

What’s Better: One Superb Stand Alone Novel or a Series-based Character Arc?

Increasingly I find myself reading books that are part of a sequence – from Philip Kerr‘s Bernie Gunther, to Peter James‘ Roy Grace, Vince Flynn‘s Mitch Rapp and even Lee Child‘s Jack Reacher. These range from guilty pleasures (Reacher – although this seems to be in sharp decline) to classy historical thrillers (see: Bernie Gunther, […]

February 21

The Drowned Man

A few weekends ago, my brother surprised me with a trip to London and two tickets to a mysterious event, which turned out to be entry to a ‘theatrical adventure’ called The Drowned Man. Set in an abandoned former post office building in Paddington, the doors are opened a few minutes before the show and, […]

January 02

12 Months Of Reading: The Highlights

So, in setting up my belated Instagram feed and having decided to use it as a forum for short books reviews, I’ve attempted to backdate it in order to cover all the books that I got through in 2013. Obviously I can’t be 100% – but I think I’ve captured the majority. Of the 60 […]

November 24

Instagram, Finally

I’ve held off starting my own Instagram channel for a while. Firstly, as a person, I’m far more interested in words than pictures, meaning I just don’t take that many (and I can’t bring myself to either photograph food or take selfies seriously). Secondly, I just wasn’t sure what to do with it. I use […]

November 08

Uncle Drew

I stumbled across the fact that it was the start of the new NBA season last week and have subsequently rekindled my love affair with basketball. In a matter of days, I’ve subscribed to the League Pass, seen more games than I have in ages, found that the date for the London-based game this season […]

September 08

What Happens When You Cross Charlie Brooker With Bret Easton-Ellis?

I’ve just finished Straight White Male, the latest by John Niven, author of several of my favourite books of recent years, including the incredible Kill Your Friends, which was first gifted to me as a birthday present and I’ve since bought at least three times for friends. The best way I can describe Niven is […]

May 15

An Alternative To Dan Brown

Hands up anyone that’s purchased the latest Dan Brown novel, Inferno. This kind of thing is a source of some debate amongst my friends and in our office, dividing the literary purists from those that are happy to grab a page turner to throw in the suitcase. I’ve always been amongst the former but as […]

March 10

New To Hitchhiking

I’m new to Douglas Adams. Well sort of – I’ve read a couple of his books previously, out of sequence. So, I have just set about reading the Hitchhiker’s Guide series from beginning to end. Consequently, it’s now hard not to see his fingerprints over many aspects of modern life, ranging from his prescience regarding […]

December 21

Next Year, More Of The Same Would Be Just Fine…

2012 has clearly been an epic year to be British. I’m not someone who feels national pride under most circumstances – with the possible exception of rugby matches, and then I’m more confused about my heritage than anything else – but the combination of the jubilee and the phenomenal success of the Olympics has made […]

October 27

An Early Start

So, it’s that time of year again and after a brief hiatus in 2011, I’ve thrown down the gauntlet to my colleagues to join me in having a crack at Movember, in aid of Prostate Cancer, obviously. I have been sporting about ten days or so of beard until this morning and so decided to […]

September 11

Changing Times & Buying Habits

So there I was, congratulating myself for not having spent any money for three or four days – until it occurred to me that although I hadn’t spent any cash money, I had downloaded a TV series to my tablet, rented an HD film to my laptop (which I then played via the TV), downloaded […]

August 17

Flags or No Flags?

I thought it was really interesting to see that the typical ubiquity of St George’s Cross and Union Jack flags, which tends to coincide with major sporting events, has not been a significant part of the last few weeks. It got me thinking about both the nature of national pride – a tricky subject under […]

June 22

Before Watchmen

I’ve bought and read the first three of the seven mini-series offering prequel arcs to Watchmen. Anyone that’s ever read comics will probably have heard of, if not read Watchmen. Along with a handful of others, this comic is rightfully considered to be one which resulted in the genre being taken more seriously as an […]

May 29

Four Thousand Pages and Six Months Later…

…I’ve finally finished book seven of Stephen King’s amazing sequence of books, the Dark Tower. Recommended, very strongly, by a friend who couldn’t believe that I hadn’t read them, this is easily the longest story I’ve ever read. Honestly, it’s a little too self aware and pompous in parts (with King introducing himself as a […]

May 19

Ben Howard & Surfers Against Sewage

I saw this yesterday and had to share it. Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is a great organisation; an “environmental campaign group with a mission to rid the UK coastline of Sewage”. In doing some research about the Bestival line up later this year, I found this video of Ben Howard’s “The Wolves” overlaid against some amazing […]

April 30

Photek

I’ve been a huge fan of Photek (Rupert Parkes) since his first Form & Function EPs back in the early to mid 90s – nearly 20 years ago. He creates thoughtful, electronic music which you can listen to again and again – not least late at night, in the dark, with a pair of decent […]

April 28

Cleaning Up The Mailroom

Over the last decade or so – since we started Punch back in 2003 – the volume of mail coming into my inbox has steadily continued to grow in size year on year, from what now seemed to be very lightweight, to become the ever-demanding, resource-sapping monster that it is today. Like many people, I […]

March 16

The Other Type of Comic

Last weekend I went to see Stewart Lee in Northampton with a couple of mates – and have to say I was decidedly unimpressed. He’s the third or fourth comic that I’ve seen in the last few years that has not lived up to expectations – others being Jason Byrne, Dylan Moran and Ed Byrne. […]

February 07

A Huge Gaming Letdown

I picked up the Metal Gear Solid HD collection at the weekend, thinking it looked like a great blast from the past and have just had my first bash at it. Of the three games in the package, I was reliably informed that Metal Gear 3; Snake Eater was the first one to go for […]

More Comic Recommendations Required

So, the first hint of snow has started to fall and sure enough, planes, trains and automobiles in the UK have decided to stop functioning. Consequently it looks like this weekend might comprise a fair amount of reading. I’ve just finished book 7 of The Walking Dead and, at a friend’s recommendation – see below– […]

Deja Vu

Last Saturday I booked in a half day to go to a comics fair in Birmingham, which was something I used to do almost twenty years ago, including sometimes being on the other side of the table in order to sell them whilst I was at University. It was a really strange experience – and […]

December 21

Rediscovering Old Friends

Last week we had the Punch Christmas party and the theme was defining the Punch DNA. In the run up to the event I’d asked everyone about some of their favourite music, which I bought and turned into the soundtrack for the day and also a book that they had always wanted to read and […]

A Tiny Change

I’ve been going through an interesting internal debate over the last few weeks about the extent to which my inbox governs my life, both inside and outside of work. Inside work is one thing – although it’s certainly debatable as to whether being super reactive and responsive, which is a trait that I value greatly […]

Talking Nonsense Since …

Another month, another WordPress theme. This time however I’ve spent some time going through all of this blog’s content – this is post number 94, apparently – creating a range of new categories, tagging each post according to subject matter and integrating the categories as a means of navigation, both to the right in the […]

Never Let Me Go: Not A Comedy

I watched ‘Never Let Me Go’ last night, which I thought to be harrowing, provocative and highly thought provoking. Although the plot and situation are clearly very different, I thought that the theme borrowed heavily from Blade Runner’s source material – the Philip K Dick book ‘Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep?’ – ie whether […]

Console Agoraphobia

As a life long gamer, I have previously confessed to having resigned myself to the fact that a) I just don’t have time any more and b) outdoor pursuits and/or more cerebral indoor are more appropriate pursuits for what little time that I do have outside work. However, events have taken an unexpected turn. We […]

August 17

The Big Chill – A Parent’s Review

I have just discovered that taking two small children to a three day music festival is a pretty gruelling endeavour, even when there is some cheating (i.e. hotels) and a couple of adults involved. As my colleagues will confirm, I had been banging on about going to the Big Chill for weeks in advance. Having […]

An Appendix & The Rapid Rise of G+

It’s the end of my first week back after a bit of a shock a few weeks ago when I found late one Sunday night that all was not as it should have been with my appendix. Whilst it was fairly dramatic at the time, what with morphine, paramedics, ambulances, late night hospital visits for […]

Wordpress Confessional

Forgive me WordPress – it’s been several weeks since my last post, and I feel terribly guilty. It’s true that things are a shade on the busy side, what with trips to Istanbul, Dubai, Sweden and Munich in the last few weeks, on top of recent visits to Moscow, Budapest, Athens and others – but […]

Holiday Packing

So, we’re heading away for a couple of weeks and there’s a growing disparity between the fact that when I go away I want to leave all worldly trappings behind for a while (possibly aside from my flip flops and a healthy stack of paperbacks) yet somehow the quantity of things we take with us […]

March 03

Deadmau5 & Eldritch Coincidences

As someone that enjoys this kind of thing I’m not entirely sure why Deadmau5 has passed me by until this point. I’ll put it down to the onset of middle age. Anyway, having listened so some this week, I quite liked it at first and then found myself becoming increasingly irate that it seems to […]

Social PR

It’s been a monster of a week – spent monday with a bunch of social media agencies, PRs and brands at the excellent Social PR event, arranged by Luke at Influence People, where I both co-presented a great case study of our work with Sony Ericsson over the last year and then a panel. Also […]

Now We Are 6

It’s been a big week at work – but this weekend it’s my eldest daughter’s birthday and we have a ‘disco party’ lined up for tomorrow – with about 35 kids and 20 or so adults coming. Having been to a school disco with her earlier this week, which was enough to bring on a […]

Cavos

I had a great night last night – visited Restaurant Cavos in Munich – which is apparently famous for Bayern Munich WAG wannabees, particularly on Thursdays (for some reason, best known to people locally). The greek food was great and then they crank the music up. It took a little while for them to decide […]

Kill Your Friends, Cloud Atlas & The Walking Dead

I’m just reading ‘Kill Your Friends’ by David Niven. It’s described by many reviewers as variations on the theme: ‘nasty’. And, whilst that’s most certainly true, it’s also brilliant. It is not necessarily for everyone, not least given the language and content, some of which is clearly intended to shock even a hardened reader, however […]

Up Periscope

I’m emerging from the longest period of being away from work since we started the company in August 2003 – an unprecedented (almost) three weeks – and feel fantastic for it, particularly by comparison to how I have felt on returning from the Christmas break in previous years. We took the week before Christmas off […]

London vs Munich Hotels

I’ve been out a couple of days on the trot this week, what with Christmas parties and the usual weekly travel. We had a late night Wednesday and an early start on Thursday so I thought I’d stay in London that night before heading to Heathrow later Thursday. One of the Punch team found me […]

Movember, Week 2

Right, so Movember is now nearing the halfway park. The thing is now looking visible enough to be an irritant for me and sufficiently amusing for everyone else, but it hardly seems worthwhile at this point. Still, it’s been a bit of an icebreaker this week on a number of occasions and I remain game […]