Thursday, 23 August 2012


An elephant hawk moth, Deilephila elpenor,  outside my back door in July. It's resting on Lonicera japonica 'Halliana'

Good morrow, good people, good cheer! 

Sorry, sorry, sorry!  I'm SO sorry!!!!

The more observant among you will have spotted an appalling lack in postings, lately and I'm told that the worst thing anybody can do, with a blog, is to let it go dormant.  So the unforgivable sin has now been committed and I suspect it will need hard work, lots of excoriating rants and scads of jolly piccies to win back your favour.

There are three good reasons, for the gap and I'll list them without boring you;

1. Mother.

2. Indolence, spinelessness, lack of virtuous industry and general weakness of character on my part.

3. A serious frontlog with my work, exacerbated by a bevvy of surprise commissions.

'What the heck,' you'll be asking, 'is a 'frontlog?'   Well, if you write two weekly columns totalling, roughly 3,600 words as well as regular monthly pieces it's pretty important to keep up with the deadlines.  Editors sulk, so, if you're late with your copy.

But if you decide that it would be a great idea to celebrate 40 years of marriage by spending 32 days abroad, you suddenly have two months worth of copy to file in a month.  'So?' I hear you say, 'what's the harm in a little extra work?'

'No harm at all,' I reply, in this enjoyable but hypothetical conversation we're having, 'except that Sod's Law has come into play and there has been a mini-maelstrom of extra assignments. And a self-employed hack whose boss is a complete and utter bastard – always has been –never dares refuse a thing.

So bizarrely, I've been writing November copy, juggling deadlines and unlike James Alexander Sinclair, who juggles with staggering dexterity, I've been close to dropping my little leather balls all over the floor.

As for the other reasons:  indolence or, that musically descriptive word 'sloth' – we say it with a long 'O' in Britain, sounding even lazier and more slobbish – is still the deadly sin of which, I'm perhaps most guilty.  (At my age, lust is largely just a fond memory.)  And Mother is, well, Mother.

So please accept my apologies, for not providing regular, sparkly postings.  And please be ready for  a grand relaunch very, very soon.

I'm listening to Brahms Sextet in G Major Op. 36.

The most recent film was Once Upon a Time in Anatolia.  Sorry, but after all the wild elation and excitement of the reviewers I had high expectations but was rather disappointed.  It's a bleak piece, quite well acted - if you can call it acting - and all shot in the most depressing manner possible, mostly at night, in one of Anatolia's less appealing districts.  There was rather a stink of the Nouvelle Vague about it – a style that brought to cinema what Hirst and Emin have brought to 'fine art.'  Discuss! 

This time last year I was writing regular posts.  I promise to return to form.  Please be patient.