Are We Weird?

I’ve never seen myself in a film (not a big screen film), but a video, home movie or anything more flickering than a dropped photograph. And even photographs are rare. Until we see ourselves moving, walking and talking, we never really know how we come across to other people. It’s why there’s a big industry … More Are We Weird?

May Contain Nuts

Human civilisation has reached a point where it cannot survive without putting nuts into everything, which of course is terrible news if you have an allergy to nuts. And in our attempts to reconcile our nut frenzy with our nut allergies we place warning signs on everything from coffee bags to vacuum cleaners: may contain … More May Contain Nuts

Samlesbury Hall and Ancestral What-Might-Have-Beens

Many years ago, and I’m talking decades, like, last century dude when everything was in black and white, my Uncle George convinced himself we, the Harrisons, were related to another set of Harrisons at Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire. His proof, which probably wouldn’t hold much water in court, relied on the portrait of a man … More Samlesbury Hall and Ancestral What-Might-Have-Beens

Real Beer

Countdown to darkness. The frivolity is coming to an end as I move the Opening Sentence to ever gloomier subject matter. But there are still a few waifs and strays to publish before we hit the long dark night. Today, I talk about beer. Peculiar beer. Around the world, at any one moment in time, … More Real Beer

Motorbike Rider

There was a time when I got my thrills through intellectual endeavour. Deciphering a piece of architecture by Peter Eisenmann was a big thing, and then I bought a motorbike. The year was 1997 and it was the first motorbike I had ever owned. Prior to that the only two wheeled contraptions I had sat … More Motorbike Rider

Greece’s Humiliation

Even if you live under a rock in Guatemala, you can’t have failed to see and hear the ongoing farce that is the financial wrestling match over Greece’s financial predicament. I’m not a financial expert or an economist, but when has that ever stopped anyone thinking they had the answer to Greece’s problems? No, I’m … More Greece’s Humiliation

Writing By Numbers

We all love a hero, don’t we? Well, I don’t. I don’t see the point. One of the reasons why I read very few novels is because they don’t interest me. They’re boring. They’re all the same. But so many people advise writers to read. Well, that’s great if you want to learn how to … More Writing By Numbers

Why I Listen to Trance

At the risk of tempting fate I’m going to predict something: I’ll be struck by lightning before my brain falls to bits. Why? Because of euphoric trance. And before you start shouting ‘it’s uplifting trance, moron’ I couldn’t care less what you call it. I’m sticking with euphoric because uplifting trance sounds like a geological … More Why I Listen to Trance

Lost childhood

If you could recreate one element of your childhood, what would it be? Just one; not a single memory like that amazing holiday in Milnthorpe, or your first kiss with Sharon Fothersdike outside Grimethorpe Social Club. A real rose-tinted-spectacle general condition that made childhood so much better than the living hell that is adulthood. To … More Lost childhood

Raven Rants – guide to the British general election

With only days to go Toten Herzen’s number one fangirl Raven (real name [REDACTED]) gives you a guide to the British general election. I hate my life. And a lot of it is because of politicians meddling and scheming and turning everything upside down. But give them credit, every five years they let us decide … More Raven Rants – guide to the British general election

Supporting Valencia

You might not be interested in football (and let’s just pause here to remind our non-European friends it is football, not soccer), but Spanish side Valencia have in recent years transcended the sport to such a degree even die-hard football haters would sit up and take notice. Settled on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, Valencia Club de … More Supporting Valencia

MetalMonth – Toten Herzen, fact or fiction? Pt. 2

In 1977 four members of the rock band Toten Herzen were murdered in London by Lenny Harper. Harper was only charged with wasting police time and the bodies disappeared. The killing of Toten Herzen is now one of the forgotten events of the decade, which is why in 2012 UK music journalist Rob Wallet decided … More MetalMonth – Toten Herzen, fact or fiction? Pt. 2