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Listen to Marylebone!

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I recently moved from the near suburbs to the city centre and the change has been louder than I expected. I used to think the idea that the city never slept was a cliché. That if you went to Piccadilly Circus at 4am on a Monday morning then you would find something approaching emptiness. After two months living in a top floor flat at the upper end of Wimpole Street in Marylebone, I can confirm […]

From Virginia Woolf to Flann O’Brien – A literary patchwork quilt

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Changing from one literary world to another can often be a wrench. Quite a lot of time is devoted to reading a book from cover to cover and when the imaginary world that you have invited and invested yourself into caves in and dies on the last page, it is difficult not to feel bereft, especially if the jump from the old world into the new is particularly jarring. I recently finished reading At Swim-Two-Birds […]

How did London become the first metropolis to disappear?

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Go to the City of London on a Sunday afternoon and you will find emptiness. Street after street of emptiness. Nobody comes to the City, London’s financial district, on a Sunday. The irony of this is that the City IS London. The boundries of the City are the same that marked the Roman settlement of Londinium, established nearly 2000 years ago. The City is where London first started to breathe and grow and develop into […]

Debunking the myths. Why 2017 won’t be the worst year on record

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Never, it seems, has a year, in my life time, been entered into with as much trepidation as 2017. Will the celebrity death cull continue? Will President Trump explode the world? Hard boiled or scrambled Brexit? Well, let’s take each of these issues in turn. Well the celebrity death craze continue? Almost certainly, yes. Back in the first half of the twentieth century celebrities were something of a rare species. The world gasped and feinted […]

Constricting Interiors – Chantal Akerman

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Je Tu Il Elle Who was Chantal Akerman? She was a renowned Belgian film maker. She was born in Brussels in 1950 and she killed herself in Paris a few weeks ago. When a journalist from Village Voice asked Julie Christie, (the actress from Darling and Don’t Look Back and a name to anyone under thirty no doubt just as mysterious as Chantal Akerman) what film she would take to a desert island, Christie replied […]

Not Made Manifest

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A sea breeze blew the music charts from a horseshoe of silver stands sending pages of yellowing staves and treble clefs slicing through the air. I told Greta that clothes pegs might be needed but she begged me to stop concentrating on the tiny details and consider the larger picture. She ordered me into the undercroft of the hall to carry out several stone heads of musical notables that I had to arrange on a […]

Factual Nonsense – The Art and Death of Joshua Compston

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Those Kray twins were right bloody bastards weren’t they? With all that filching, cly faking, dewskitching and dollyshop demandering. Should have gone into scrap metal like their old dad instead of always being a few sour moves away from a pair of silver derbies. Ronnie and Reggie were both born in Hoxton, London, which today is sewed together with bordering Shoreditch. Back in those fun filled glamorous days that we collectively term England’s Middle Ages, […]

F For Fake – Orson says: ‘Never Trust an Expert’

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I am not an expert. I say that with all due consideration to you, the reader, who may well have found this page expecting expertise, thinned and straightened into horizontal lines, ready for you to take up your collective noses like Victorian snuff. We live in the era of the expert. The twenty four hour news media, to borrow an increasingly dreary phrase, screams for, day in day out, and thusly teems with, expertise, battalions […]