Landscape, politics and sport: the Ronde van Vlaanderen

Regular readers will know that I like both professional and recreational cycling. Many professional races (such as the Tour de France) hold events called sportives which allow recreational cyclists the chance to ride the same route as the pros. One of the longest-established of these is the sportive attached to my favourite bike race, the … Continue reading Landscape, politics and sport: the Ronde van Vlaanderen

Slip Inside This House – cover versions in the age of sampling

The rapid spread of sampling in pop music in the late 80s made the idea of a cover version passé. A cover, after all, was generally a form of tribute to pop's rich history. Sampling as an artform ripped snatches of that history from its original context, juxtaposed it next to other slices, and created … Continue reading Slip Inside This House – cover versions in the age of sampling

Children’s TV – The Stuff of Nightmares

I wrote this a month or so ago, before we all entered the current COVID-19 nightmare. I can't help but worry about the lingering effect this will have on today's kids, long after the immediate emergency is over. Anyway, I wrote this in response to a Twitter CfP from @horrifyingbook who are looking to compile … Continue reading Children’s TV – The Stuff of Nightmares

At last…Clive Barker’s ‘Nightbreed’ (1990/2014)

"At last, the night has a hero" - Cabal strapline. I've written elsewhere about the anticipation my friends and I felt in the months before the release of Clive Barker's second feature film Nightbreed in the autumn of 1990. Not that we got to see it: an unimpressive box-office in America meant it only got … Continue reading At last…Clive Barker’s ‘Nightbreed’ (1990/2014)

Shedding skins / counting rings

"Yes, he was looking back, because nowadays he had forgotten who he had been when he was young." Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting This post follows loosely from one I wrote two years ago, about nostalgia. I found the quote above while re-reading Kundera for the first time since I was about … Continue reading Shedding skins / counting rings

1990: summer of cinema

This piece was an unsuccessful competition entry. The brief was "memories of cinema-going". Not for us the spurious joys of cider by the fountain, or Tennent’s behind the hut in the top park. The summer my friends and I turned sixteen we marked this coming-of-age by getting into the cinema to watch 18-rated films. With … Continue reading 1990: summer of cinema

All change: Jan Mark’s “Thunder and Lightnings” (1976)

In my previous post I wrote about nostalgia and the loss of contiguity that can trigger it. There are books, though, that I have always had: every house move has seen them boxed, shifted and unpacked; and, in time, re-read. For these books, each re-reading reveals new aspects: a form of anti- or a-nostalgia. One … Continue reading All change: Jan Mark’s “Thunder and Lightnings” (1976)