• photographs,  Thoughts

    bad news during sunshine seems unreal

    We’ve had a long, lingering winter in Ireland this year. Spring has stalled out. The trees remain bare, and the only blooms that have flourished have been the gorse flowers and the winter heather. At least for the last couple of days the weather has been upbeat and cheerful, despite the deep chill that turns icy at night. I heard the news of Iain Banks’ grim health prognosis on a picture-perfect day: sunshine pouring from an immaculate azure sky. It doesn’t seem real. This is the weather for a peace accord or the birth of a child. What a stark contrast: Spring lazily stirring, and the sad news arrives of…

  • comic books


    On the Forbidden Planet International blog today I have a review of Lucille, the graphic novel by the artist/writer/singer Ludovic Debeurme, which has recently been translated into English and published by Top Shelf Productions. It’s a complex and impressive book, and one that deals wtih serious themes. It’s very French, and by that I mean it’s deeply interested in the human condition in a way that is philosophical and meaningful. Plus, it’s drawn in a unorthadox comic book style, which just adds to its Frenchness. While reading the graphic novel I wondered how on earth you would pitch this story to an English/American publisher? I suspect it would be a…

  • food

    espresso day

    I don’t normally fuel my day on an espresso, but this little cup is a new purchase and it demanded use! It’s a piece of Paul Maloney Pottery, and I bought it because when I picked it up I felt like Goldilocks finding the perfect bed: it was a natural, comforable fit. It’s as if the potter knew the exact dimensions of my fingers and how I like to hold a cup. When you find a match like this you bring it home, and keep it forever.

  • video

    everything is amazing

    I’ve been meaning for some time to link to this video of comedian Louis C.K. when he appeared on Conan O’Brien Show in 2009. He discusses how ‘Everything is amazing right now and nobody’s happy’, which is a hilarious commentary on how fantastic technology is today, and yet how often people spend time bemoaning the tiny inconveniences it brings. It’s a good reality check, because I’m not immune from being irritated at how long it takes for a device to boot up, or the extra seconds for a web page to load (of course if I didn’t have a million tabs open in my multiple browser windows the computer might…