It’s our twenty first wedding anniversary today (actually it might be our twenty second but who’s counting?)


So I got (made as it happens) the old dear a lovely card because I am the old romantic.  (See below.)

And she just called, as I write, to ask me to tape the first ever episode of Thirtysomething on Sky Atlantic.  Series link of course.

Remember that?

I’m sure I got to fourth base (in our winching days)  during more than one episode.

A view from the Bridge. Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh


His finest hour?  In my experience, yes.

Life is about decorum, ritual, appropriate behaviour, pleasing one’s community and peers.  Not acting instinctively, ferally, as one sees it.  Because the community one lives within; the workplace, the neighbourhood, the church sets the standards and morals.  No matter how much it might be inappropriate or even wrong it’s the rule of the crowd that defines the behaviour of the one.

When Eddie Carbone decides he’s against this collective spirit; driven by jealousy, lust and rage, the rule of the crowd in Italian Brooklyn is jettisoned and Eddie Carbone becomes a lone ranger with disastrously selfish consequences.

It’s a big theme and a big play.  Probably Miller’s greatest, certainly the most thought-provoking I’ve had the privilege to experience.  And experience is the right word to describe John Dove’s “View”.

I kid you not, this was the most compelling and jaw dropping night I have spent in a theatre in my existence.  So powerful are the performances, most notably Stanley Townsend’s which held you in his thrall every moment he uttered a word, that theatre becomes a vehicle of transportation into another world.  Other stand out performances are Richard Conlon’s Marco (restrained but ultimately very scary) and the inimitable Kath Howden.  The whole is held beautifully together ( a la Greek Chorus) by Liam Brennan.

This is no ordinary play.  The subjects it brings out; jealousy, homosexuality, incest, faith, community, life long love, hope are at the very core of one’s being and it does so in a way that is hugely provocative and actually, with a performance of this standard, really quite humbling.

This is not just a five star show; it’s five star+.

A Short Love Story


chem-love

I am deeply indebted to my mate Nick Gibsone for this touching love story.

A man and a woman who had never met before, and were both married to other people, found themselves assigned to the same sleeping room on a Trans-continental train.

Though initially embarrassed and uneasy over sharing a room, they were both very tired and fell asleep quickly….. He in the upper bunk and she in the lower.

At one am, the man leaned down and gently woke the woman saying,

“Ma’am, I’m sorry to bother you, but would you mind reaching into the closet to get me another blanket? I’m awfully cold.”

“I have a better idea,”  she replied with a twinkle in her eye.

“Just for tonight, let’s pretend that we’re married.”

His eyebrows went up and he smiled, “That’s a great idea!”

“Good,” she replied. “Get your own bloody blanket.”

After a moment of silence, he loudly farted.