Archive for January, 2009|Monthly archive page

A Handful of Dust

In what i'm reading on January 29, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Continuing my love affair with Evelyn Waugh, I’ve just read A Handful of Dust.  This is perhaps one of the darker Waugh novels, but still a joy to read. Like many of Waugh’s novels it’s an hilarious parody of the upper classes of the 1930s and the inherent contradictions of the establishment. Like much of his other work, there’s an underlying dark tension in this book. Themes of divorce, betryal, one-up-man-ship and child death run throughout – yet it still gets me laughing out loud.

The final chapters are based on the Waugh short story The Man Who Liked Dickens.

If only people still wrote like him. I think he took a lot from Saki, but I’m yet to start drawing the direct links between the two. More on Saki soon …


Gemma Weekes, new author

In Dulwich OnView, new content on January 27, 2009 at 10:04 am

Here’s an interivew with newly published author Gemma Weekes, who I spoke to a few weeks ago. Her new book Love Me, is out now. She’ll be speaking at the Blue Mountain Cafe in East Dulwich on 4 Feb.

Here’s the interview.

Barack and happiness

In happiness on January 21, 2009 at 1:07 pm

In his inaugural address yesterday newly sworn-in President Obama made a reference to Americans’ right to happiness. He’s clearly a man with deep religious conviction. It’s interesting to note he sees it as a God-given right.

 He said:
“The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.”

Source, BBC News website

What’s Hot in Dulwich in 2009?

In Dulwich OnView, new content on January 16, 2009 at 11:12 am

Here’s a piece which went live today on Dulwich OnView about what to look out for in south London this year:

This is what’s hot in Dulwich in 2009.

India by Sanjeev Bhaskar

In what i'm reading on January 8, 2009 at 3:19 pm

I’ve just finished Sanjeev Bhaskar’s book accompanying his BBC ONE series last year. He travelled around India with a camera crew in search of two things – the old India in which his parents had grown up and of which he heard tales as a child, and the new India,  a centre of technological innovation and global commerce.

I must say after seeing the TV programmes, I was a bit disappointed with the first half of the book. He seems to travel from city to city, just telling the reader what’s there. But when he gets into the social, religious and political history of India in the C20th, it gets much livelier and his prose becomes more emotional. At the time of Partition in 1947 his parents were part of the huge migration from Pakistan into what we now call India. Although he wasn’t born at the time, it’s an event which has clearly remained in the memory of his family. This, and many other occurances, make for an emotionl and personal book, sensitively written.

Pip Pip

In happiness on January 7, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Quite excited today. Have just confirmed that I’m going to interview Scroobius Pip this week for the Happiness project. Good to get a popular name on board so early in the project. I’ll post the results of my interview in the happiness section of the site when I’m done.


In what i'm reading on January 4, 2009 at 12:10 pm

I’ve just read Persepolis by Marjin Satrapi. It’s the first graphic novel I’ve ever read. This weekend’s newspapers inform me that the term ‘graphic novel’ is a bit too serious, but likewise, calling it a ‘comic’ doesn’t do it justice. In fact I think it’s an incredibly versatile way of telling a story.

I was gripped throughout. In the past I’ve worked on a gallery display about ancient Iran and I’m currently working on an exhibition about an Iranian Shah from the 1600s, so the content was all quite timely for me. I bought a copy for my aunt for Christmas. I wonder what she thought of it?