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How to write about the north

Stuart Maconie on fine form in his article for New Statesman, How to write about the north:

Never forget that the north of England is essentially comic. You may be tempted to overlook this in favour of a nuanced account of how it was the Victorian industrial powerhouse that shaped the world’s economies and politics – but this would be a mistake.

I’ve got blisters on my feet trying to find a friend in Oxford Street…

View from Tate Modern balcony


I was working up in London today and took the opportunity to drop by Tate Modern. I took the photo above from the balcony on the 3rd(?) floor, mainly out of habit. The thought struck me, though, that I wasn’t massively fussed about the view, despite St. Paul’s dome being clearly visible. I guess that’s the thing about being an inhabitant of one of the world’s great cities – it’s all too easy to be blasé about what’s on your own doorstep. But even being aware of that didn’t help me to appreciate London with new eyes; it just made me a bit sad about the loss of wonder.

Post title lyric taken from The Jam – Strange Town

It’s Chriiiiistmas!

Well, obviously it isn’t Christmas. It’s not even December yet, but I heard Slade’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ in a shop earlier, so in my mind Christmas has started. I think I’ve actually done well to avoid hearing any Christmas songs until now.

Being the simple-minded bloke I am, I can’t even really contemplate Christmas until after A’s birthday. Actually, it’s not just about me being unable to cope with thinking about A’s birthday and Christmas at the same time. It’s more of a bloody mindedness that A’s birthday is important and nothing should overshadow – or even cast a slight shadow – on that, not even Christmas. It’s a good job A decided to make her appearance three weeks earlier than her due date, really.