Thursday, March 22, 2018


Speaking of onions, here's an extract from something - maybe a gnovel , maybe not - which I started and have procrastinated about for...uh... seven years.

If you add procrastinitis to distractionitis and inconsistenitis what you get is seven. I can prove it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Did you know that peeling an onion cures a heavy cold? Neither did I. But I peeled an onion and cried as usual and then my heavy cold (are there any light ones?) was cured. Today I am nearly cold-free and I could say it's because the onion cured me but it might also be because the cold was getting better anyway.

All you have to do is assert something in an assertive way:

Photo of cold-puffy celebrity peeling onion.
Bright-eyed celebrity interviewed moments after miraculous onion-cure.
Millions of tweeters tweet that they've always known it, grandma used to rub their chests with a raw onion.
Other tweeters tweet that it's all cobblers.
But by then onions have sold out in all the shops.

My cold really is better though. And the onion I peeled went in the chicken soup.

Monday, March 12, 2018


Sitting in the National Portrait Gallery cafe on 2nd October 2007 I noticed Ken Dodd having tea at another table. Having just seen the portrait of him by David Cobley I decided to go over and ask Ken what he thought of it. He was with his partner Ann Jones. Both were very friendly and we had a conversation as if we were old acquaintances.

Apart from occasional flights of brilliant and surreal invention, his brand of comedy was never really my thing. But I will always remember open, unpretentious and gracious Ken Dodd with affection from that serendipitous meeting and the autograph he gave me has been pinned above my desk ever since.

Monday, March 05, 2018


Teeth. Do you want to talk about teeth? I'll go ahead anyway. A bit of torture at the dentist this morning motivates me.

I was born with wonky teeth. They showed up when baby teeth usually show up. Why didn't my parents notice? Why didn't they take me to an orthodontist immediately? Because it was Paris and they were busy having a good time, I suppose but I could be wrong. Anyway I grew up with wonky teeth, too crowded, whatever. Later in America I was the odd one out in school because all the kids were giants with perfect teeth. 99% of Americans have perfect teeth, it must be all that milk. I was (am) short, hated milk, had buck teeth and spoke with a French accent. As time went by I adapted and my smile was good enough, sexy enough to get by in this tooth-eat-tooth world. 

However, there's always a big however if you're born with wonkies, and as much more time went by the wonkiness played up. I'll skip the details but below is a page from my book Augustine's True Confession (1979) just to illustrate this post. If you want to read the book (it's good and not about teeth) I'll send you a copy, signed, for £10 plus postage. Yes that was a commercial break, an honest one.

As I was saying, lots of time went by and now it's today and I've just been tortured at the dentist because another loose tooth had to go. So today I have only 12 teeth of my own, 4 at the top and 8 at the bottom. Yesterday I had 13.

I know I shouldn't be talking about this because it's a secret. We who are afflicted D starts with dent.....Got it? We who have those fakes have to pretend they're real. But they ain't, right? Fake news ain't real news and never shall be. That's all for today.

Please note well: the page below (from the book) was written in 1979. I do not have pain in my mouth today. The injection before today's extraction was painful but it's gone now and I'm fine.

Thursday, March 01, 2018


Snow is definitely photogenic. Here's my contribution to the snowstorm of snow pics. No snowflakes were harmed in the process. I was snugly hidden at home behind a window.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


This morning, in the waiting room of a local hospital before my dermatology appointment ( a minor skin thing needing occasional review) I watched the people sitting there in total silence, mostly old, mostly grim-faced, and I had an urge to get up and say:

We're all going to die sooner or later so.....let's face the music and dance!

Then I would dance and sing with each one of them. That was the movie in my head. The urge was irresistible but I resisted it.

Another opportunity to change the world missed.

Monday, February 19, 2018


Tonight, 7- 8:30 pm at the Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, see this the right way round and hear the poems read by their poet, George Szirtes.

I'll be there too.