Sunday, 8 February 2015

Blogposts and highlights, Jan 28-Feb 6

• Film review: Selma – a stirring slice of history that has haunting resonances
"This film is above all a masterclass in the messy mechanics of protest. Dr King, never more impactful than in the pulpit, knows the value of a good show. Those making slow, worthy efforts to “raise black consciousness” are swept aside in favour of grand gestures and broken bones."
• The far-reaching legacy of Winston Churchill is found in science too
"Young Winston was the first government minister in the world to fly in aviation’s earliest days, the first prime minister to appoint a chief scientific adviser and a visionary who foresaw the potency of a nuclear bomb as early as 1924."
• Film review: Kingsman – The Secret Service, it's Bond turned up to 11
"Director Matthew Vaughn and co-writer Jane Goldman deliver a gut punch, rather than a love letter, to the spy genre much as their previous outing Kick-Ass plunged the knife into the superhero movie."

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Recent posts on

• Stage review: Bull at Maria, Young Vic – corporate Darwinism at its most brutal

“You thought that bad people like me would fall at the wayside and good people like you would triumph. Oops,” says guiltless Isobel.

• Book review: The Compatibility Gene – how the body spots friend and foe
"This book has something of a misleading title. It suggests something pre-ordained about our favoured sexual partners but the titular gene is related to tissues not human so hold on to your eHarmony account a little longer."

• Travel: Guernsey – how time has healed the wounds, 70 years on
"Less than a fortnight later the Government declared the Channel Islands were of no strategic importance and would not be defended. Thus 'without a shot being fired' and, to the chagrin of Churchill, British soil was surrendered to the Germans."

• Film review: Birdman – a delirious comedy of mid-life crisis 
"In the most affecting (and accomplished) sequences, the delusionary Thomson breaks free from his mid-life crisis and takes to the skies, reminding himself of his youthful cloud-free certainties, now only available at the bottom of a bourbon bottle."

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Spiral Notebook: When the world brings me my breakfast

I had a Waitrose moment the other day, which somewhat elevates the Tesco products that were its genesis.

I was de-stalking strawberries to put in my porridge when I was struck by the incongruity of summer fruits in a winter breakfast.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Film review: Hello Carter (15)

Hello Carter
(15) 81mins

According to the support notes to this film, Londoner Anthony Wilcox sold his house  and spent a year writing the script for Hello Carter, his full directorial debut.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Working Mum: The arty battleground has shifted to breakfast

By Tabitha Ronson

First it was impossibly creative lunches. Mums with way too much time on their hands creating elaborate lunchbox artworks.

Sandwiches shaped like cartoon characters, animals, iconic buildings; salad and vegetables carved to resemble fauna and flora; food patched and pieced together to resemble colourful miniature works of art.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Spiral Notebook: What is the point of a council, if not this?

Recently Mayor Lutfur Rahman blew tens of thousands of pounds on a longshot attempt to save himself from humiliation.

Despite a High Court judge telling him that his claim against communities secretary Eric Pickles was "hopeless" he still opted for a second hearing.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Film review: Paddington (PG)

(PG) 95mins

Clear the decks, grab the children, make a note - there's a new tradition elbowing its way into Christmas schedules.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Working Mum: Taking a Punch from little madam Judy

By Tabitha Ronson

I was called in to see Master A's teacher at pick-up on Friday. Although small in stature, she has an almighty presence and is thoroughly intimidating.

She just has to look at me, with her withering stare, to reduce me to a quivering wreck. Heaven knows how my little boy survives in class.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Book review: How We Got To Now, by Steven Johnson

How We Got To Now
Steven Johnson (Penguin)

The world is rich with academics with a good turn of phrase exploring the history of ideas and innovations, making the mundane endlessly fascinating.