Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Haiku in October - only one day late!

Sun shines on small children      

in Greenhead Park, muddy boots

bounding through leaves.

Sun glints on Greenhead

drakes, who float on silver pond   

and wait for spring.

Sun glows through oak trees,

 slow without warmth, raining gold

 and bronze at dusk.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

'Dead Famous' by Ben Elton, Book Review

There's been a murder in the Big Brother house, only it's not called the Big Brother house, because the fictional TV show is called House Arrest. The plotting is clever, keeps the reader in suspense, but apart from the inevitable, cynical old cop, the characters are not sufficiently different to always know who is speaking.

But my main objection to the book is nothing to do with how well or badly it's written. It's just that, I thought of it first!  Big Brother was obviously asking for a murder, or even several!  I'd conceived a parody of an Agatha Christie style murder mystery, but hadn't committed anything to paper before Ben Elton came along with Dead Famous... dammit!

Is it worth reading? Maybe not. This isn't Ben Elton's best book and Big Brother became a true parody of itself long ago so, really, who cares?

Monday, 25 September 2017

Four Haiku in September

Instinct makes the first

fine web; young spider waits

for the world to come.

Driven by luscious rains,

as the heat dies down

sudden grass grows greenest.

Swallows, ospreys fly South.

Night comes unready,

streets light up;  Equinox.

Raucous grey gulls cry

into soft, moist skies

where the summer sun has fled.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

London Suite by Neil Simon

I saw Neil Simon's play London Suite at the Stables Theatre in Hastings. A quartet of short plays all set in one suite in a London hotel. Well worth seeing, there's sufficient variety, from slapstick and verbal comedy to pathos and tragedy, for a wide appeal. The third of the plays, 'Diana and Sidney' came out the best of the four, with excellent casting - Jenny Lloyd-Jones and David Morley as a divorced couple who meet again in desperate circumstances.

Well worth seeing if you're in Hastings, it's on till the 29th.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Haiku on the Beach

Living near the sea is beginning to help my waning creativity.

Haiku on the Beach

Flashes of soft grey, white

Stabbing yellow

Gulls fight over a fish head. 

Bathers, splash-happy in the surf;

The lone black crow

Picks flies off seaweed.

Pebbles sunbathe along

The vast, bright beach,

With memories of mountains.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

More Haiku in July

Bright light sheets behind the hills.

A stone trough cracks,  

There is no rain.               

The third osprey chick, 

Grown fat on trout, soars

Joy-high on new-found wings.

When earth is brown, sandy

the knowing slow-worm slips

beneath hot, white stones.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

On Green Dolphin Street, novel by Sebastien Faulkes.

I picked this book up because the title was intriguing, I felt I'd heard of it. This is the first Sebastien Faulkes novel I've read, and to be honest it maybe the last.

Basically a love-triangle, the story is set in UK/USA diplomatic circles in 1959. It was ok-ish, but it took me three false starts before I finally got engaged in the story. I found I couldn't empathise with the characters in the way that some other reviewers have said they did. The back stories got in the way, interrupted the immediacy of the narrative and I never felt the author was getting right the characterisation of Mary, the female protagonist.

The Washington/New York setting was ok, but I felt like an outsider looking in and the parts set in England didn't ring true for me. The best section was when Mary had to fly to the USSR to rescue her alcoholic husband, Charlie. Here her fear and Charlie's paranoia were well backed up by the setting. But back to the intriguing title, Miles Davis musical version of Green Dolphin Street is superior to this novel. Maybe I should try Elizabeth Gouge's 'Green Dolphin Street' next.

My review posted on goodreads too - "