Robyn Hitchcock @ Caffe Lena

To see Mr Hitchcock live is to fall in love again with his music and charm. And no I don’t say that just because he complimented me on my houndstooth wrap. At the legendary café where so many have sung, it was a delight to spend some time with the singer renowned for his wit…

FFB: The Driver’s Seat – Muriel Spark

Was she asking for it? Was she asking nice? If she was asking for it, Did she ask you twice? Hole – Asking For It It seems redundant to call this a lean novel from Spark — her novels are singularly lean. I always feel as if they have been sanded fine. I’ve been on…

#NaNoWriMo2016

I may be less visible this month as I dive into NaNoWriMo again. I always joke that every month is novel writing month for me, but I like the extra push to get a project done and it’s nice to not be alone in trying to write furiously. I’m doing what I have sworn never…

Leeds: #IMC2016

I am off to Leeds today for the International Medieval Congress (not to be confused with its American cousin, the International Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo). I’ll be giving a paper ‘Chaucer & the Art of the Grift’ as well as taking part in a roundtable on using Twitter as an academic. Doubtless much to share…

Review: Upstart Crow

The final episode of the first series of Upstart Crow has aired and David Mitchell, who stars as the bard himself, confirmed on Twitter that there will be a second series. It follows the adventures of the up-and-coming playwright who still finds himself  struggling to make his mark in the hurlyburly of Elizabethan England. Action…

TOA/V: The Bed Sitting Room

As a preamble, let me say WHOOHOO Fox Spirit! Nominated (for the second year in a row) for best small press in the British Fantasy Awards — as well as several other skulk noms. Well done! I finally got the Blu-Ray/DVD package of The Bed Sitting Room because it came up in conversation on the…

Happy Birthday to a Legend (or two)

I should be on my way across the Atlantic at present, but I have to be sure to say a happy birthday to a couple of legends today: Tony Hancock and Paul D. Brazill. They both make me laugh like a crazy person, so if you don’t know them already, you shouldn’t waste any time…

SpeakEasy Radio: Ham and Humour

Today’s brief episode on SpeakEasy Radio deals with Ham on Heels, S. L. Johnson‘s illustration that inspired it, Henri Bergson, Totie Fields and more. In my abundant free time, I have a book to write on comedy. Maybe someday I’ll get to it…

Happy Birthday, Peter Cook

Happy birthday to the funniest man who ever drew breath — not to mention also a very dapper man at his best. The world is a poorer place without him in it. And a visionary, who believed in “Training BEES for uses against foreign powers, and so on” and “Elimination of spindly insects and encouragement…

FFB — Wodehouse: A Life

”I never want to see anyone, and I never want to go anywhere or do anything. I just want to write.’ Before I get to my entry for Friday’s Forgotten Books, I want to point you to my interview with Ravello Magazine in Italy which came out this week, one I’m particularly happy with. If…