Author Archives: aides mémoires

Gumshoe (1971)

Dir Stephen Frears, with Albert Finney and Billie Whitelaw (DVD) Set in Liverpool, this film is the lovechild of The Maltese Falcon out of Billy Liar. Finney is Eddie Ginley, a bingo-caller with a penchant for imitating Humphrey Bogart. He … Continue reading

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Long-tailed tits

A little gang of long-tailed tits suddenly appeared on the feeder. The robin soon saw them off, but they were delightful while they stayed.

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By the river

The compensation for such a wet, cold winter like this one is that I am moved to make the most of any bright day. Yesterday I got my wellington boots from the garden shed and headed down to the river. … Continue reading

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London belongs to me by Norman Collins (1945)

The problem with a Kindle is that all books appear wafer-thin. (I miss the physical aspect of real books: their weight, the way you can fan through paperbacks, make later-incomprehensible notes in the margins, remember which bookshop you bought it … Continue reading

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Un Ballo in Maschera

Back in Leeds for another Opera North production. The Guardian critic thought rather poorly of it; he obviously knows far more than me, but that’s to my advantage here because I loved it and was ignorant of its flaws. The … Continue reading

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Leighton Moss

Unfortunately Northern Rail don’t run Starling Specials, so I had to leave a quarter of an hour before the starling murmurations were likely to start. But it was a lovely afternoon anyway.

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Shelducks in Southport

Despite yesterday’s snow and last night’s freezing temperatures, today was pleasant enough to tempt me to Southport. My destination was the small RSPB reserve at Marshside, north of the town. On the train from Wigan to Southport I noticed large … Continue reading

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