Monday, 7 December 2015

10 reasons why Peter Capaldi could be the best Doctor Who ever

When they brought back Doctor Who, I liked Christopher Eccleston a lot. I liked David Tennant even more. And although I worried about Matt Smith being so young, I ended up thinking he was the best doctor ever. But Peter Capaldi’s “my” doctor.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

…Not just for Christmas

I don’t like adverts, as you may know. But I don’t like adverts being banned either, which is what’s happened to a cinema ad produced by the Church of England. It’s called “Just Pray” and some big distributors for cinema adverts have decided it’s not suitable.

Some people might take this as a cue for saying Christians are being persecuted in this country: I won’t. It’s not the case, and I’m not that sort of person.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Book review: A History of Television in 100 Programmes

You know those lists you get of TV programmes, in (really annoying) TV programmes? This isn’t that sort of list.

It’s a list of TV programmes in a book and it’s much better.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Provincial punk: Why I love Grayson Perry

The Provincial Punk exhibition.

You’ve got to love someone who made an artwork called “Football stands for everything I hate”. (Well, I’ve got to anyway, because it does.) You’ve also got to love an artist who has a retrospective exhibition called Provincial Punk.

You’ve got to go and see it, too (well, I had to anyway because I identify as Provincial Punk), so I went off to Margate to have a look. It’s the first time I’ve seen any of Grayson Perry’s work outside of the telly or a magazine, and I loved it.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Should I go to my school reunion?

I always said I would never go to a reunion, and I’ve gone to two in less than two years. A punk rock reunion last year and a school reunion last week.

I asked Twitter: Should I go to my school reunion? Twitter said no, so I went anyway.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Margate and me

Things I have in common with Tracey Emin:
  • We’re nearly the same age.
  • We spent our formative years in Margate.
  • Er, that’s it.
Tracey Emin is rich and famous and I’m not, but she’s got an artwork up on Margate harbourside that says “I never stopped loving you”. Me neither.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Modern life is ridiculous

The other day I paid a visit to my nearest city. And I saw the following:

A young man with a pudding bowl haircut and a long beard. (I had to force myself not to laugh out loud.)

Two tourists taking photos with the use of a selfie stick.

A young man wearing his hair in a man-bun.

And this.

 Sometimes I don’t understand modern life at all.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Book review: punkPunk!

I prefer short stories to novels, the same way I prefer singles to albums.  So I guess that means this anthology of punk-inspired fiction is a bit like a compilation album.  Like most compilation albums it’s got stuff I like, stuff I like a lot and some stuff I don’t really get.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

The missing tweets: tents, Tolpuddle and traffic jams


I promised myself when I went on holiday that I would stay off the internet. (And much of the time, we had no phone signal so I had no choice.) But I couldn’t help thinking of what I might be saying if I was back on Twitter. So here is “what I did on my holiday”, 140 characters at a time.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Book review: The Invisible Woman – Taking on the Vintage Years

“Middle age is not the problem – how we think about it is”.
There’s this weird thing that happens when you’re on Twitter. You follow someone because it looks as if you’ve got things in common, maybe even chat now and again, and then you find out they’re someone. Which, in my world, means they write for a proper newspaper or have a book out (both of which I aspire to).
The Invisible Woman felt like a friend before I realised she had a Guardian column (The Vintage Years) and she feels even more like one now that I’ve read her book.

Friday, 8 May 2015

1992 and all that

I’m crying as I write this. It’s the morning after the election and everyone I know is in despair.

I’m not a political person. I can’t even do office politics. I don’t like game-playing and I’m rubbish at lying. I hate it when politicians, or political pundits, are on the news. It feels like a game, or a spectator sport.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Melancholy and middle-age

One of my Twitter friends asked recently: “Is everything slightly melancholy after you reach a certain age?”

Most of the people who replied said yes.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

How the Green Party lost my vote

I don't normally post about politics even on social media because like a lot of people I can't stand looking at or hearing most politicians and like a lot of people I'm sick of hearing about the election. So please excuse this lapse.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

The M word

When I was 50 I found out why couples who’ve been together a long time end up in separate beds. It’s not about falling out of love. It’s not about stopping having sex. It’s about night sweats.

No-one tells you about this stuff. You have to find out for yourself.

Jane Hill has written a great article in Standard Issue magazine (the mag’s worth checking out, by the way), called The Fleece of Despair. (Yeah, we’ve all got one.) And her cry of “Why had nobody told me?” is so true.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Book review: In Your Prime by India Knight

Have you seen those adverts that say they can tell you how not be poor when you retire? Then you read the small print, and the trick is to have £250,000 to start with.

I've just read a book that's a bit like that.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Bring on the New Year. I'm not afraid.

Every year for most of my adult life I've spent New Year's Eve saying: 'Well, I'm glad that's over, let's hope the next one is better.' And 365 days later, there I was again saying 'Well, that was shit, I'm glad it's over.'

I didn't do that this time. In 2014 I was unavoidably closer to 60 than 50, and I don't want to wish my life away any more.