Thursday, February 24, 2011


Bloody hell. You turn your back for 5 minutes and people start rising up against murderous dictators all over the place. I have long believed that you can't beat the motherfucking man, but, it seems, you can. It's all a bit inspiring and a bit scary. The courage of the people rising up against their oppressors is hard to fathom. I might even be inspired to go on a fight the cuts march in Cardiff on Saturday, so long as the nippers game is called off. There's revolutionary zeal for you.

I experienced coach travel for the first time in about 30 years last week. I considered the cost of petrol up to Brum, and parking, and aggravation, and decided that the coach would be a much more relaxing and economical way to travel, so long as I bought a family coach card. I would say never again, but I have to go at least once more to make the coach card pay it's way, I'm stubborn like that.

I had thought that I might take the opportunity of having some nice scoff after the game in Brum, as we had 2 hours to kill. Normally, we drive in, see game and drive out, home for about 7 with a fair wind. So this was a rare opportunity to tarry a bit in the old home town. I hadn't counted on the sheer hungriness of Brummies, the poor, starving bastards. Every noshery had queues down the street, apart from one, which should have told us something. For canteen food it was alright, but unfortunately the clueless chumps did not charge canteen prices. Never again.

The Brummie hordes will travelling en masse to see Blues beat Arsenal in the League Cup final on Sunday. For one year only, this is not a Micky Mouse competition. Unless we lose, which simply won't happen.

I am on a decent run with the reading. I enjoyed James Lee Burkes last one, which was a return to form, despite having some familiar flaws, and would just about recommend. I read Mission Flats by Willam Landay a few years ago, really liked it, then forgot about him. I just read his "The Strangler" which is a hell of a book. Set in Boston in 1963, it is a bit of an epic, a family saga, a crime drama and a political expose. It has all the best bits of the latter-day Pelecanos, without the preaching, and contains the moral ambiguity of Richard Price. It's punch and pacy and contains some brilliant dialogue; it's also witty and erudite. What more could a chump want? I whizzed through it and was pissed off when I finished it.

I'm currently reading The Extermination Club by Jeffrey Moore, and it is a book I am struggling to keep away from. A drug addled rich kid has legged it to a remote part of Canada and saved the life of a strange, precocious and mistrustful teenager. The bad guys are animal hunters. It is a strange, but very readable book, with two immensely engaging, wise cracking main characters, and it is very, very funny. Very moving too. I suspect that by the end I will also have to add the word heartbreaking, but I hope not.

I might recommend William Landay's website while I am it, it is much better than the usual glorified merchandise stand.
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