Category Archives: Families

A to B via CDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

DESIRE LINES My studio window looks out on a dog-leg junction where Hackney Road and two side streets meet in an awkward configuration. A few steps east is a push-button Pelican Crossing armed with traffic lights, CCTV, illuminated bollards, solar panels, audible signals, flashing countdown numerals, metal railings and access ramps mounted on a raised [...]

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It’s all Greek to me

  Just back from Easter in the Peloponnese. Chaos meets miracles. Microscopic olive buds bursting from elephantine trunks. Marble soft as a pillow. Iridescent jet propelled beetles as big as mice. Horses performing circus tricks for sugar cubes. Giant lemons of many varieties hanging from one slender bough. Satellites like flying islands winking between the [...]

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Rock Paper Scissors

To mark William Burroughs’ 100th birthday (snippets of him live on in all of us) here’s a bunch of vids. A Man Within CIA Assassin? Thanksgiving prayer William Burroughs photographs Love your enemies Shotgun paintings Dr Benway operates The Threepenny Opera Destroy all rational thought Cut-Ups Junkie Cut-Up Balloons in Black & White Commissioner of Sewers [...]

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SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP

  I spent my schooldays staring the glass out of the windows. The poverty of expectation suffocated aspiration. The punitive discipline blunted everything about us. Teachers yawned their way through lessons. I had been imprisoned for a crime I had not committed. I hid from bullies and sports masters in music and art rooms, inventing [...]

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The best pictures are on the radio

Alan Dein is fly-fishing the airwaves again with a 4th series of Don’t Log Off. His rod is Facebook, his line is Skype, his bait is an invitation - talk to me. The acoustic of the programme suggests we are tucked up in a midnight cupboard deep in the bowels of Broadcasting House. Slivers of music [...]

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Turned out nice again

The Southbank Centre invited me to create a language installation for the Festival of Neighbourhood. The site stretches from Waterloo Bridge to the London Eye, and incorporates the new Jubilee Gardens that front the old Shell complex. Language is a strong theme in this year’s summer festivities. They include the London Literary Festival, typo-graphics by [...]

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50 shades of sorry

Sorry is one of the most subjective words in the English language because it can be infected with so many nuances. Far from expressing genuine contrition, governments, businesses, public figures and (sorry about this) you and me use apologies to divert attention, manage expectations, resuscitate reputations, and even implicate the victim. 2013 has already seen [...]

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A Christmas Cracker

Rochester House, home for The Story Museum, was a magnet for roving Tale Tellers, Yarn Spinners and Gossip Mongers who arrived from far and wide to feed off the Oxford Gyre; the storytelling energy that has made the city of dreaming spires such a Mecca for writers.

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Words in the airways

From a glowing Bakelite wireless in the distant 1950s to the latest digital receiver, my ears have experienced an onslaught of millions of multi-layered words.

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Noisy perfection

I am sitting in the Bodleian Library with Dr Christopher Fletcher, a Fellow of Exeter College, member of the English Faculty and Keeper of Special Collections. On the table between us is a yellowing manuscript of translucent pages inscribed with a neat copperplate script in brown ink. It is the autograph draft manuscript of The [...]

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