Posts in Category: quick thought

Chris Marker

Chris Marker died yesterday aged 91.

Watch his cat listening to music.

La Jetée

I can watch this and Sans Soleil repeatedly.

Climb Dance

As someone who regularly takes the fast & winding country roads home from work with scant regard for the price of petrol this appeals to me. High speeds, gorgeous views and near death experiences enrich life and make eight hours of toil for four minutes of concentration with an industrial soundtrack seem bearable.

Imagine yourself driving up Pikes Peak. Put yourself in the driver’s seat.

I want a rally car …

For more information about Climb Dance.

The Muppets


For a concise explanation of my general political and moral beliefs, on a day to day basis, I direct your attention to The Muppets.

First US edition: J.G. Ballard “Crash”

My Imagination: the M62

Yesterday I travelled with Jenny up North to visit the Grandparents. If I had had my own way the first day of 2012 would have been spent in bed or on a sofa reading, starting as I mean to go on, but duty impelled me towards Rochdale. The sky never decided what it wanted to be. Blue and grey skies were present in almost equal amounts. As we reached the summit of the M62 I commented that the then rain soaked landscape Jenny saw for the first time was the landscape of my childhood.

Most Christmases or New Years in my life have at some point involved a drive up the M1/M62 to a suburban home on the edge of the Pennines and in earshot of the motorway’s drone. I have traced this path at least one hundred times. When I imagine a fantastic landscape I do not envisage colossal forests or lonely mountains, and I have never had time for extravagant castles. The geography of my childhood is one of boggy grit moors, dead sand dunes covered in heather, and at night a sprawl of orange lights.

And now that I am thinking about this I am drawn to conclude that this is why most fantasy worlds don’t resonate with me. My childhood was spent sitting in the back seat of a car dreaming of stories to describe the vistas I passed.

However I am currently reading The Snow Spider Trilogy by Jenny Nimmo and enjoying it. Part of this, I suspect, is because deep down I have an empathy for the landscape of northern Wales, which isn’t my own landscape but is similar. The lack of resonance with other fantastic geographies, I’d hope, is not because my imagination is necessarily weak but because The Snow Spider aligns better with a basic template of nature I possess. It is more solid as it describes the essence of a familiar place rather than attempting to invent something entirely original. See also Howl’s Moving Castle.

So I am lead to wonder how the imaginary geographies of other people have developed. How do people get the landscapes they dream of?

Two Commercials

I have only seen these aired on television once during a showing of an episode of Mark Cousin’s fascinating documentary series The Story of Film: An Odyssey .

My life is burning well

The gardens at Holywell Manor, Oxford. Photograph by Toby Ord, Oct 2003
Jarvis Cocker quoted two people in today’s Guardian saying things that seem apposite.

“Art is just the ash left if your life is burning well.”

— Leonard Cohen

“A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to discover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.”

— Albert Camus

My life is burning well.

My Dreams

My dreams mostly look like they were shot on a mobile phone camera.

God Cake


God Cake is the perfect cake. It is fluffy and has coffee icing on top and coffee beans on top and inside. I first had some when the cake’s baker, Adele (runs Un: Bound and recorded podcasts for Alt. Fiction), brought samples to the Speculators Writer’s Workshop. It was good then.

Later, somehow, this recipe was improved. At Alt. Fiction, along with Catherine and Damien I ate more. This time all three of us made obscene noises of pleasure when we ate the cake.

It is the best cake in the universe.