Wednesday, 13 July 2016




The best thing that could be said about Angela Eagle's interview on Channel 4 last night was she did at least definitely appear to support herself. It's one thing, though, for a supporter to say they're voting for you because you're "doing a good job" and because it's ridiculous Labour hasn't yet been led by a woman, it's another to make that your whole campaign - particularly a campaign for a post that's already filled. Is this the forge then? Will this unite? "Well, look" and "Of course" and "Well, look" and "It's too early to say" and "Well, look"? Nothing about what's gone wrong and how it could be put right, and nothing about what you actually believe? No persuasion. No story. Just "I think I'm the best." That's Angela Eagle's bid to be Prime Minister?

Angel Eagle's actual resting face in that interview

She's not even trying to earn it. She must have been preparing for this for months, yet when Krishnan turned to her she looked like Guy Goma. No, she can't have been preparing for this. She can't. It was the kind of insulting, dispiriting mess half-learnt off a napkin ten minutes before you're on that reminded me with the force of a bullet train why I'd voted for Corbyn in the first place. Yes, it seemed to me time for him to go, but if eighty per cent of Labour's MPs can't work with him - okay, since they can't work with him - they surely have to field an alternative who will appear happy and indeed keen to explain off the cuff exactly what it is they actually believe in, because if they can't find that then it might not be a coup but it is a con, and they've no right with two election defeats behind them to call Corbyn unelectable. The Tory Far-Right appears to have evaporated meanwhile, and the parliamentary centre ground continues to move left. And unpopularity isn't Corbyn's problem right now. It's the least of his problems right now. People are throwing bricks through windows for him.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Dad Games

Speaking of board games, here's Dad.

He took an early retirement in the South of France and has started inventing things. Here's his solar-powered pool heater.

It's a hose painted black. It works. Here's his combined bread-board/bread-bin.

Properly handy. Now here, he assures me, is a straight-backed lilo chair fashioned from pool noodles:

It's quite had to get right. Recently he's started trying to invent board games too. Trying and succeeding. This is "Kaleidoscope":

It's hard to play, but easy to learn, and quite reminiscent of Scrabble only with colours. (Mum and Dad play Scrabble every evening.) He plans to take Kaleidoscope to the Essen "Spiel" convention in October. Here's the second game he's working on: "Stone Henge" which we played appropriately at sunset.

The Folk's porch gets great sunsets. I loved Stone Henge. Then, sometimes he just sculpts.

I don't know.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

A third use of Matter

"Snakes and Ladders" is ancient. (Although I reckon that's actually rope.)

Blow you, I'm actually plugging a show I'm in before it's finished! Yes, come to the Camden Etc. Theatre next Wednesday the 13th of July at 9.30pm, and you can see my mate Paul Thompson's latest brief, dense, light, dark attention-warper. It's a hoot and a heck, a stream of consciousness trying to tear itself free of a thorn-bush, pissed and giggly. Some of you might have seen me in Paul's last excellent miniature "It's Only a Matter of Time". I'd forgotten it was called that. I wrote about it here, saying in passing how impressed I'd been when Paul summed up what we do as "making it matter" which I'd also forgotten. The new show by the way is called "Matter", which is why I bring all that up. One night only. Tickets available here, say. I'm in it. Paul's in it. And fellow Ghost-Bus-Tour-guide Craig Hannah (also of "The Healing Room") is in it. We play Snakes and Ladders. As for the rest, we'll get it right or we won't. I can't wait. Come and see!

For most of its life the game strove to impart some kind of moral lesson. The Victorians certainly seemed down with that. I mean... I assume... I can't make head nor tails of this. Kismet.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016


At first he could only make out lights, the lights and the glass in front of him. The glass was a relief, it meant he was safe.
Safest of all.
But the lights were too close to be... headlights? It was then he realised he was indoors. And on his back.
Numan looked down. 

The tall, pale figure at the foot of his hyperbaric gland-cradle spoke: "Mister Human? I am Doctor Pornweasel. Fneet. Don't make any sudden movements, I'm afraid you've had quite the accident."
Numan was too thrown to correct the stranger. Accident? "The arrows are pointing," he found himself murmur, his attention turned to the upper screen. "I can point too... Doo doo, safest of all, doo doo. Sorry." The feeling of sedation was neither new nor unpleasant to him. "Accident?"
"A car accident. You survived it pretty well for a man from your century, but there will be questions."
"Doo doo, lock all my doors, doo - It's the only way to live in... Questions?"
"Procedural questions," Doctor Pornweasel explained. "Just to check you weren't on your communicator ring at the time of the accident, or driving with your lights on during the day. The usual."
Numan considered this and gave a little cough...

"Here in my car, I feel safest of all, doo doo. Cough."
"Fneet. I'll let you rest." 
Doctor Pornweasel briefly opened his danger robe, then left.