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Showing posts from March, 2013

Acting qualified

Stride magazine has done me the honour of publishing a couple of reviews, Alec Finlay's Be My Reader and Skip Fox's Sheer indefinite. The results of which can be found here. First time I've done anything like this, and I must confess it was a nerve-wracking process at times.

You see, what's always puzzled me about reviews, and for that matter any sort of cultural commentary is that there seems to be a giant, studied indifference on the part of all reviewers that taste is subjective, I instinctively feel that all reviews should come with the disclaimer "other opinions may differ". Yet, for a reviewer to be a good reviewer I feel they need the ability to beconvinced that their view is the correct one, that to acknowledge the existence of divergent schools of thought is to show weakness, let cracks in the edifice of the reviewers unassailable opinion. No one reviews by consensus. This, for me,was the hardest part, the temptation not to scream "but don't…

It's Budget Day!

Happy Budget Day everyone!

So after I'd dressed the kids in their Budget Day costumes and made sure I'd done the shopping for the traditional Budget Day dinner I settled down to listen to some Budget tunes and eagerly awaited The Details.

Now, I've not had a chance to go over The Details with a fine tooth comb but on first glance it appears that a bunch of stuff is going to happen in a couple of years time. Nothing like planning ahead, and this is nothing like planning ahead. It does appear, however, that all of the sweeteners are timed to drop oooh, just in time for the next election, top work Gideon.

The raising of the baseline for income tax to ten grand is to be applauded, whether it stacks up fiscally versus the money already taken off the poorest in terms of benefit cuts is, as yet unclear. House building could indeed do with a boost, and the government backed mortgages may provide this. What happens if the housing market continues to slump (a trend which could be ex…

Just......ugh

As the press over here wails and gnashes its teeth and the corridors of power resound to the sound of hand-wringing, I thought it might be a salutary time to give you a couple examples of journalism from over the water.

Now, you may or may not be aware of the Steubenville rape case. Basic facts are as follows: girl is blind drunk at party and therefore incapable of giving consent. Girl is raped and sexually humiliated by two local high school football stars. Said rapists are subsequently found guilty. There is the normal wailing from some quarters that convicting rapists is somehow unfair, she was "asking for it", all the usual bile and filth. Some choice examples here. The case gains an added piquancy from the whole fractured small-town narrative, is seasoned liberally with issues of athlete-worship, and given a shot of social media tequila just to crank the whole thing up a notch or three.

So far, so depressing. Though I confess to some pleasant surprise at a guilty verdic…

Climate change as realised by the state of my bloody garden.

Hello you.

Now, what with one thing and another, I've not had much opportunity to get out in the garden this year. Spring has resolutely failed to spring, or I've been up the wall with something, or it's been unreasonably dark, or something needed typing. The only occasion I managed to spend an extended period of time there was notable mostly for the length of time needed to persuade my sons that the mass murder of the innocent worms in the compost heap was perhaps not in the best interests of family or planet, so no, I've done little, despite listening yearningly to the GQT panel tell me what I SHOULD be doing. Wevs, as I believe the kids say, couldn't be done. The upshot being I am perhaps a trifle behind with the old maintenance.

And, dear sweet zombie Jesus, what maintenance is required.

Now, the coastalblog garden, a fairly comfy space divided reasonably equably between amusement of small boys, convenience of wildlife and growing of veg is perhaps unlikely to …

What to do, what to do...

So I've actually hit zero.

Y'see every week blogger faithfully emails me about the hot blog action I've been getting. And even through my longest hiatuses (hiatii? probably not) I'd see the odd random googler appearing. Last few weeks? Nada. Average per day 0. Page views 0,not that I blame you, there's been nothing to look at. Now this thing of mine's been trundling along for a fair old while. It's older than my marriage, a lot older than my kids, but now I've allowed it to run down to the extent that not even those looking for something else entirely can stumble upon it. My lofty position as the internet's number one Matt Fallaize has been entirely ceded to the Continuity Matt Fallaize. Merely by virtue of him being quite important and me being a shambling berk. Will this stand? Can I be arsed? How many posts like this have there been over the years? Hmm.

Oh, I've got a new book out, by the way. You can buy it here, should you so desire. But th…