francais1 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 […]

Halloween 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 […]

psb 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 […]

20140721-163530-59730885.jpg 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 […]

Instagram 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, […]

Mask 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, […]

BulletTrick 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 […]