Two for the Show…

At the outset, I should confess that I love guitars.  I don’t just like them. I don’t just have a passing interest in them.   I genuinely love everything about them: the way they look, the way they feel and the way they sound.  If I’m not looking at them or playing them, the chances are I’ll be listening to them or reading about them.  In fact, my emotional response to guitars veers dangerously close to obsession. And judging by the turnout for the Birmingham Guitar Show every year, I’m not alone.  Visitors are clearly identifiable as they converge on … Continue reading Two for the Show…

Books I Really Ought To Have Read By Now

Underworld by Don De Lillo   This book was a big deal when it was first published in 1997.  I can remember my then boss being very excited that she was going to have the whole of the Christmas holidays to immerse herself in it.  Trusting her taste, I added it to my TBR list and couldn’t believe my luck when I found it for a knockdown price in one of those wonderful remainder bookshops that used to pop up short term in the vacant premises of shopping centres. I brought home my prize and set it proudly on my bookcase.  … Continue reading Books I Really Ought To Have Read By Now

Comfort and Joy

  I can’t remember why I was late leaving school that Monday, but by the time the 130 bus left Vauxhall Road the evening was full dark with the kind of solidity that only midwinter can bring.  It was the limbo that used to exist between the end of the school day at 4.00 and people leaving work at 5.00, so the bus only picked up a handful of passengers as it lumbered through Lye Cross and Colley Gate and I had my pick of the seats. This was a luxury.  Usually I was with a group of friends who … Continue reading Comfort and Joy

Visions and Revisions: Books I Really Ought to Have Read By Now

No.1:  Angela Carter:  The Magic Toyshop  I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’d never read any Angela Carter before I embarked on The Magic Toyshop last weekend.  Certain close friends and colleagues have, over the years, spoken of her with both admiration and reverence and the main reason I’m almost ashamed is because I may well have given the impression, to one or two people on a couple of occasions, that in fact I had not only read Carter but was familiar with several of her works. Why did I cultivate that falsehood? Because I consider myself to be well-read … Continue reading Visions and Revisions: Books I Really Ought to Have Read By Now