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Showing posts from January, 2011

Round and round we go

I've just finished reading Peter Ackroyd's Hawksmoor (a mere 17 years after starting it, giving up and bunging it on a shelf, 16 year old me clearly had less patience); it was, as Ackroyd nearly always is, dense, verging on the mystical and practically damp with the Thames' winter mist rising from the page. I mention it purely because as I was reading it, as so often seems to happen, one of the central themes started to chime with a notion which has been bouncing around my head these past few days. I shan't test your patience by outlining the plot in any great detail but suffice it to say that in Hawksmoor the future is in part an echo of the past, the details repeat, the characters exist down generations. Now, there's a more extensive (and probably more interesting) point to be made here about Hawksmoor being in an oblique sense a comment upon palimpsest, or on archetype, template, the workhorses of literature (which, given that Ackroyd is famous for rewriting h

So far in 2011...

In these days of austerity and pulling through together, it is beholden upon us to audit ourselves at every moment, to see if there's any more WE could be doing for the cause. So, depite it being only Jan 2nd here are my achievements so far: I have snarled at a cash-machine on the off chance that it attempts to guilt trip me into gving to charity. I have learned how a thermocouple works, and am a little wiser about the workings of boilers. Ta for that, winter. I have played at the penny arcade on the end of a pier. In Southport, obv. I have become cognisant of the concept of "discount fudge" (see above). I have had beer whilst telling myself that all I'm doing is clearing out the leftovers from Christmas BEFORE a fresh start. I have watched Monsters. Inc with my son a total of two and a half times. I have spoken to disappointingly few members of my family, and must try harder. We are, after all, all in this together


In much the same way as it's cliched to be cynical about Chrstmas, it is something of a bore to be snarky about new years resolutions. That said, it is to my mind a trifle dull to be banging on about new year at all, so hoist by my own petard really. Heigh ho. Temporally speaking I suppose it makes sense to use Jan 1 to demarcate your past self from your present, and by extension future selves. It's an incredibly human trait, feeding as it does off our innate blind optimism (and, dare I say it, solipsism), to draw a line in the sand and say right, from here on out it's different. Physically speaking, too. A whole new calndar on the kitchen wall, as yet unsullied with doctor's appointments, errands to run, demands to be met. Fresh starts all round. I may sound like I'm being somewhat patronising about the whole embracing of the new year. Nothing could be further from the truth. 2010 will go down in my personal annals as being the worst year of my life, bar none, for