Wednesday, 28 July 2004

Box Hill railway tunnel

Brunel 'engineered the tunnel at Box Hill so that the sun shone straight through it on the morning of his birthday'. So says a book review of Parallel Lines, by Ian Marchant, in The Guardian of 10 July 2004.

Tuesday, 27 July 2004

ullapool to inverness

When I was wee and we were going on holidays, I always thought the first part of the drive from Ullapool was really dull, and when we reached 'the trees' (probably around Garve) we were approaching Inverness. Now Inverness to Garve seems long and tedious, and it's the drive through the hills between Garve and Ullapool that's splendid. Because I was used to bleakness, and trees meant holidays? The scenery's the same, it's certainly me that's changed.

And I notice that when I think of the childhood journey it's Ullapool to Inverness, and the adult journey it's Inverness to Ullapool. The holiday direction.

I could have been someone

Roger Waters once said in an interview of David Gilmour, with a smile, something like, 'Dave likes to think that it's laziness that means he doesn't contribute more creatively' (to Pink Floyd albums) - Roger obviously thinks it's because he lacks the talent.

Reminiscent of the exchange in Fairytale of New York:
- 'I could have been someone.'
- 'Well, so could anyone.'
Which is a splendid couplet.

Monday, 26 July 2004

extraordinary facial grotesquery

“The reviews I used to get [at the National Theatre] were things like ‘extraordinary facial grotesquery’ and I’d come home saying ‘oh, I got a good review – they called me incredibly grotesque’. That’s not someone who’s going to play a classical role."
- David Schneider, interviewed on

Wednesday, 21 July 2004

tom and jerry

First a cartoon cat and mouse. Then Simon and Garfunkel's original stage name. Then the names of the two male characters in The Good Life. If Margo had been called Hannah then I'd be thinking cartoon-related in-jokes by the writers.

Monday, 19 July 2004

compactor-worm combo

There is a splendid article on the implausibility of the Death Star's trash compactor here, on the McSweeney's website.