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About Stewart

  • Birthday 20/02/1979


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    muay thai, reading, writing

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  1. I installed it on my Mac months back. Haven't done much writing, but it's certainly a useful tool. I especially liked the index cards feature.
  2. Both Laibach and Belle & Sebastian later this month. Not the same night as that would be...weird.
  3. A great novel. It's dense, make no mistake, but it has its thriller elements alongside its more erudite passages and ruminations. Of the five Eco novels it's my favourite - although I'll be interested to read The Cemetery Of Prague, or whatever it gets called, when it comes out in English.
  4. That's how orange juice (from concentrate) is made. They start with orange juice, they add sugar and water, and then they add more sugar and more water, and they keep adding it until there's a viscous lump, and then they add orange juice to it in order to flavour it. Then it gets frozen. Look up the Brix Scale.
  5. I remember that was our class read back when I was in Primary Six. Beyond that, I remember very little about it other than the reason for Tuck being everlasting.
  6. Reading over the last few posts, I doubt you'd get in with that one. I'm bringing my current read: Raymond Queneau's Zazie In The Metro. Knock, knock.
  7. The ending to Patrick McGrath's Dr. Haggard's Disease is pretty much unforgettable. Others that spring to mind as having left me satisfied are: Bernard MacLaverty's Lamb; Gilbert Adair's The Death Of The Author; Adolfo Bioy Casares' The Invention Of Morel; Ferenc Karinthy's Metropole; Clarice Lispector's The Hour Of The Star; and I think Hjalmar Soderberg's Doctor Glas a thoroughly satisfying novel, from beginning to end.
  8. Never judge a book by its cover:
  9. Made me laugh. Aside from the saccharine narration, this was one of my gripes with the book. As a narrator, the kid sucks. There's probably a world of information that could make a better story and the other characters, sadly, were more interesting than Jack but we could barely reach them; he was too ineffectual a filter.
  10. When I went to a beer testing a year ago where I was introduced to Blue Moon, the representative talked then of the orange being a serving suggestion as the the slice of orange complements the orange rind used in the beer's production. Interesting that it cost £4.30 in London. The bar in Glasgow where I bought a pint last week charges £4.20. London prices, aye aye.
  11. The notion of stealing titles for books is a bit daft, too. John Steinbeck and Tracy Chevalier both have titles called Burning Bright; Jennifer Johnston and David Markson both gave us This Is Not A Novel; and I'm willing to bet there's quite a few horror novels called something like Nemesis before Philip Roth got there.
  12. I do, too. I have a preference to German biers, and do enjoy a pint of Weihenstephan (price be damned!) because of it's smooth texture and peaty aftertaste. I recently raided Peckhams to get my hands on this year's batch of Oktoberfest biers, all of which come from different breweries and have their distinctive tastes. A beer that has recently started appearing in the UK is the US Craft Beer, Blue Moon, which has a distinctive orange and coriander flavour. I've had Belgian pomegranate beer; banana beer; raspberry beer; cherry beer. Look at the range of Kopparberg ciders. if it wasn't about taste, why would they bother having a range? Plus, if it weren't for tastes, people wouldn't be too bothered about their wine, yet people have their preferences, be it a a colour, a grape, or a region.
  13. I took myself to see Donkeys yesterday, which is the second of the Advance Party 'trilogy' of films, following four years on from Andrea Arnold's Red Road. The Advance Party idea is one by Lars von Trier that envisions the making of three films, all set in Scotland, each made by a different first-time director, and using the same characters, as specified by Danish director, Lone Scherfig. Red Road was a home run, as far as I was concerned, and so the eventual arrival of Donkeys was to be seen, in my eyes, as an event...of sorts. The idea of the Advance Party may as well be scrapped now as the characters have been rearranged, their backstories rewritten, and their circumstances altered. Jackie (Kate Dickie), the CCTV operator in Red Road now works on the checkouts at Somerfield, the daughter lost to her in the car crash instead twelve years old and living with her (the husband remains dead) in this film; and there's the new story of Martin Compston's Stevie; plus the near writing out of Tony Curran's Clyde, giving him less screentime than Hitchcock ever indulged himself. But the film's not so much about our pre-defined characters, instead being about Jackie's father, Albert (James Cosmo) - one of life's losers, if by his own hand - who leaves everything in a mess. Planning to leave for Spain with his friend (Brian Pettifer) he decides, after a health scare, to make amends with the unforgiving daughter who blames him for the death of her husband. The results are a bittersweet mix of poignant exchanges and comedy that work well, but overall, being part of the Advance Party, the film stands in the shadow of the mightier Red Road. It's perhaps not the fault of director, Morag MacKinnon, but that it doesn't carry the full emotional impact the previous film did. It's a tightly packed story, with occasional coincidences that strethch its narrative, and the short running time makes one wonder what hit the cutting room floor and why. As an entertainment it works, but it as part of a trilogy it suffers from the status of its predecessor, which is the cross that this will have to bear, which, with donkeys being beasts of burden, makes its title rather apt.
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