Saturday, 31 December 2011

Are White Christmases a thing of the past?

There are Christmas cards all over my book cases. I like to spot trends so, now that I know there aren't going to be any more cards, I've started looking for themes. This year, in order of popularity, they are:
1. Snow scenes.
2. Birds and animals.
3. Nativity scenes and/or carols.
4. Random Christmas decorations.

There's a lot of crossover, of course. Snow scenes with animals. Snow scenes with robins. Christmas decorations in the snow. I nearly did a Venn diagram, but I'm not quite that anal.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Christmas cards, round robins and writer's block

One of the best things about this time of year is that you actually get real post. I know it's more eco-friendly to send e-cards, but there's something special about envelopes coming through the letterbox with the handwriting of friends and family.

I even like the 'round robin' letters that come with them. It's easy to sneer (thanks Simon Hoggart and his numerous crowd-sourcing readers), but I care about my old friends, even if I rarely see them, and I genuinely like to know how they are.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Pop, storytelling and jukebox musicals

I haven't walked out of many gigs. But Tin Machine was one of them. And if you start talking about David Bowie and artistic integrity I'm likely to remind you of this.

Apparently there was a rather lazy piece of journalism in the Observer recently where someone ran with a press release about a 'jukebox musical' based on Bowie's songs. The story's now been discredited, but Tom Ewing wrote an interesting spin-off article in Friday's Guardian Film & Music where he mused on pop and narrative.