A week of interesting bits and pieces.
- Birthday celebrations in the sun at Brentford (beer at The Griffin; football at Griffin Park)
- Couple of interesting talks at First Tuesday Nottingham – Laura Marano on ethical fashion and Rick Hall on the Lab 13 science programme in schools in Ghana. And a welcome opportunity to catch up with Nottinghamshire gig promoter Simon Clark of Trap 6 Events.
- Writing a piece for Nottingham’s Left Lion magazine as part of a series celebrating the city’s literary history (no, it didn’t focus on Byron, Sillitoe or Lawrence – don’t be cheeky). More on this soon.
- The launch of Harry Paterson’s Making Plans for Nigel at Five Leaves (Nottingham-based independent publisher and bookshop). I discovered, Harry has an amazing talent for recognising people from terrible FaceBook photos of them sitting on the stairs with unkempt hair and tatty t-shirts. That threw me. Seriously though, Harry is an amazing speaker as well as a thoroughly nice bloke. I’ve been reading his earlier book Look Back in Anger, a sedulously researched, accessible and (of course) angry book about the 1984-5 Miner’s Strike — an event that has left massive scars (economic, social and psychological) in the places where grew up. Harry’s talk (on the rise of UKIP) was funny and alarming by turns but the great thing about it for me was that it opened up some reflection on a skipload of tenuously connected concerns. The end of policy in politics. The rise of the ‘sleb’ politician. Social control through the language of positive change. When did ‘acceptance of change’ become a synonym for conformity and colluding in your own oppression?
- Finally, made a bit more progress on some fiction. In fact some of the thoughts Harry provoked seem to be sneaking into the narrative … 😉