Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I confess

In the past I have stated that I hardly ever fail to finish any book I have purchased,with only two instances of capitulation that I can recall. My rationale has always been that as a writer I can learn even from reading a flawed novel, can recognize pitfalls to be avoided in my own work.

But yesterday I found it justifiable to give up after less than 20% of a books content had scrolled across my Kindle. By chance the 'purchase' in question had involved no financial outlay, the title having been proposed as a freebie via the BookBub bargain tracking website. I was at first sceptical about BookBub. In the meantime, however, I've seen not only the immediate pecuniary advantage but I have also made discoveries inducing me to buy at a normal price other books by a writer whose work I have enjoyed for free.

Last night, though, I had to give up on a book I had downloaded. It will not be named here, for there are surely readers who enjoy page after page of macho violence perpetrated by (or against) a pair of valiant US Marines who may (or may not) be unwittingly doing the bidding of a mysterious cabal who may (or may not) constitute a rogue element within the CIA! 

What a relief to be able to call up a well-crafted British police procedural as an antidote. If I want to wallow in violence and conspiracy theory machinations I have no need of Amazon... I can simply turn on the radio newscasts.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Weather bonus

At the end of October it is an unexpected pleasure to be able to take an outside table on a café terrasse... I doubt if there will be many more chances to 'sit oot' (as we Scots say) in the open air.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The best form of flattery

‘I Amsterdam’ is the work of a Dutch creative communications agency asked about five years ago to come up with a city identity campaign to celebrate Amsterdam’s citizens in all their diversity. The campaign included a gigantic three-dimensional version of the logo permanently installed on Museumplein.

It amused me to find a clear hint that the monument inspired the authorities in the Republic of Abkhazia on the eastern shore of the Black Sea (sadly and unfairly recognized as an independent state only by Russia and a small number of other countries). 

The pride of the Abkhaz as they proclaim a resounding 'yes' in the branding of the capital, Sukhum, I find both touching and encouraging.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Happy birthday!

Six hundred kilometres north of Munich, my daughter and BFF is celebrating her birthday.

Her fond Auld Da used this as an excuse to 'shoop a greeting, with an outpouring of sentimentality framed for hanging, if she doesn't find it too embarrassing!

Happily Mickey was able to make it to Berlin for a weekend extended to include this day. And there is no doubt that both daughter and mother are hugely enthusiastic about all that the German capital has to offer. I read with interest and some envy their reports of galleries, events, pop-up shops and hipster bars and cafés, although given my inability to walk more than half a kilometre without pauses to catch my breath, I'd not be able to experience all that Berlin is today.

More birthday jollity awaited Jessi in the office... flowers, a cake and candles to blow out. And wishes to be made!

She thought there would be just the three of them at dinner in the evening but in the end as well as Mickey and Tino there were seven other friends at the big round table to ensure that a good time was had by all.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bravo, Mr Zimmerman!

In the last hour it has been announced that Bob Dylan has been awarded the Nobel prize in literature 2016 "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".

Forty years ago when I was introduced to him at the Savoy Hotel while DA Pennebaker was filming Don't Look Back I had no idea that I was meeting a future Nobel laureate. But even back then I was mightily impressed, and convinced that indeed the times were a'changing!

Munich tour

Munich seen from the perspective of an electric scooter rider. Yes, the manufacturer is the firm for which Jessi is handling the Brand Communication portfolio.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Plain talking

Sunday, October 09, 2016