December books

January 14, 2013

Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan. Really great writing on an eclectic and sometimes challenging range of subjects. Essays include his brothers accidental electroction; Bunny Wailer interviewed in Jamaica; living in the residence of an ancient man of Southern letters and Axl Rose.

Boneland by Alan Garner. A blend of the theme of Thursbitch and the characters of the Wyrdstone stories brings an adult finish and flourish to the series of children’s books from the 70’s. I have to say I preferred Thursbitch and The Stone Quartet but this is a great book nevertheless and clearly an itch the author needed to scratch.

Train Dreams – Denis Johnson. A perfect novella that deserves five stars or more. An history of the American 20th century told through the eyes and story of one man. One of the best books of 2012.

KLF: Chaos, Magic, Music, Money by J M R Higgs. Interesting and entertaining ebook that’s more about discordianism, dada, chaos and Robert Anton Wilson than it is about Jimmy Cauty and the KLF. Good if this stuff is of interest.

Museums without Walls by Jonathon Meades. Meades! in writing! all the essays! essential…

Heavy Duty People by Iain Parke. Novel based upon the Northern biker wars a few years back. Noir’ish and interesting for the subject matter. The author clearly got further inside of a closed culture than Hunter S Thompson ever did.

Sharon Olds – Stags Leap. I’ve been to the winery and have a bottle of the Cabernet that the poet named this anthology after in my limited wine collection. It was the favourite wine of Old’s and her husband until their separation which this collection describes in excruciating and moving details. Kind of, erm relevant…..


Ghost of a flea

November 4, 2012


A long way from home

October 21, 2012

June 1971, Soyuz 11 undocked from the Salyut 1 orbital space station. Forty seconds later, the three cosmonauts suffered cardiac arrest in the vacuum as the pressure in the damaged capsule mirrored that of the empty space outside its confines. The ground crew waiting in Kazakhstan knew nothing until they opened the capsule to hail their returning heroes and found three silent unmoving men. Patsayev sustained bruising to his hand in an attempt to manually shut the valves to save himself and his crew members. Far from home, in a lonely place.

Seething in the alembic

October 21, 2012


16th Century Alchemical text.

Keeping the rain off

September 28, 2012


Some days

September 19, 2012

Some days feel like this


and others like


The Bat

April 29, 2012

Brian Hall, my friend, climbing and business partner in SteepEdge writing about his first film experience recreating the first ascent of The Bat on Ben Nevis. I climbed this famous route on a snatched weekend raid North of the border with an older climbing friend and fell runner from Sheffield, Chas Hird. The weather was perfect and each pitch was demanding enough to feel like the challenge we hoped it would be. Finishing the top pitch in the gloom and rather than face the few hundred feet of Severe climbing to the summit of Carn Dearg, we opted to abseil down Titans Wall. On the second stance, I droppped my belay device and had to do a traditional waist abseil for the first time since I was in Scouts.

Terrifying… Great Memories.