Tuesday, November 30, 2004


Over the past few years we’ve seen a plethora of new multiplex cinemas opening in Manchester. This was no doubt the cause of the final demise of the Odeon the other month and the reason why CineCity in Withington has never reopened.

Even some of the multiplexes themselves are struggling. The Arena 7 closed after an inauspicious season or two and if you can manage to find the AMC multiplex in the Great Northern complex (signs guys, signs!), you’ll be lucky to find more than a few people sharing your theatre with you.

Our closest cinema, Showcase at Bellevue, was one of the first multiplexes in Manchester and for years was a thriving concern. Nowadays the staff almost invariably outnumber the customers and business is clearly not good. Presumably in an effort to address this, they are currently offering any film, at any time, for £3.50 (which would seem at least to be a slightly more productive attempt to turn things around than the recent policy of cutting costs by not putting the heating on in the week!).

With the bargain prices in mind, you’d think that they might at least pull a reasonable crowd for what has turned out to be the biggest Disney film of all time. However despite being derided by my companions when I enter my bid of 11 in the now customary ‘how many other people will be in the screen’ stakes, I’m once again win with the nearest bid. Overestimating by 2…

Whilst there is a certain advantage to having a cinema on your doorstep that is never sold-out even for major releases, I fear the current level of business is not sustainable. It would be a shame if it had to close; both on a personal convenience level and in terms of losing yet another employer from the area.

Anyway laying these concerns to one side, The Incredibles is yet another Pixar triumph: beautiful animation, subtle humour and fantastic characterisations. The characters of Elastigirl and Edna the Fashion Designer are particularly superbly voiced and rendered.

Stewart had already seen it on Saturday with Tor, but was more than up for a repeat viewing. Phil and I both enjoyed it, but sadly it left Sarah cold.

I suspect you probably have to be in the right mood for this kind of film (not one that results from a day involving a bad headache and having to fire an architect!). Frankly Sarah was lost before the end of the short prelim animation, Bounded, which involves a dancing lamb receiving life advice from a bounding jackalope (you probably have to see it – but it is fantastic!).

Probably worth the £3.50 all on its own!

Monday, November 29, 2004


Many moons ago, our little clique of friends used to spend every Sunday in Generation X recovering from the night before.

Along with the papers and comfort food (Ciabatta melts, salad and curly fries…mmmmm…), the recovery process was aided by a certain elixir of life called Indigo.

Made by the people who bring you Vimto, it was a bit like Purdeys or Red Bull, only far less sickly and much more drinkable. I have no idea what Wolfberry is, but it seems to do the trick!

Although you used to occasionally find Indigo in supermarkets (for that home stock of morning-after curatives), it disappeared both from Gen X and retailers some years ago. This was, in my opinion, a sad and retrogressive step for civilisation.

Even so, I should probably feel ashamed at the level of excitement that swept over me when I stumbled across a little discovery in a local grocer’s the other day.

I’d popped in to the shop on the way round to check in Phil and Sarah’s house, so I could pick up some basic provisions to pop in their fridge ready for their return from holidays. It’s a pretty nondescript shop, the sort that charges over the odds for fare which is invariably of low quality and short dated, the kind of place you use late at night when everywhere else is closed, not exactly a palace of promise. But even in the most humble of places little gems may be found and there staring out from the chiller cabinet was a name I knew of old.

New packaging, but the same precious golden nectar. With a little bit of searching on the net it appears it has indeed been relaunched. Even better news for me personally, it is now caffeine free (I'll accept the reduction in recuperative benefits in exchange for less risk of inducing a migraine!).

Hopefully this time the brand will do better and survive longer in the marketplace.

But just in case, I bought the shop's entire stock...

Sunday, November 28, 2004


After a second night of virtually no sleep and constant searing pain, I have to accept that the ear infection is definitely back.

I had hoped to hold out until Monday to get to my GPs, but with my temperature rising and the pain now so excruciating that even the mega-strong painkillers (left over from last time) aren’t working, it’s time to go to the out of hours service at the MRI.

After an hour wait amongst screaming babies, I at last get seen and have to convince the doctor that the root cause of the rather spectacular swelling that is now spread halfway across my face, is honestly due to my ear. Predictably I’m now back on antibiotic ear drops and tablets and praying that they work fast. I wish they could figure out whats causing these repeat infections, so they could be avoided in the first place.

As my pain levels rise and fall between painkiller doses I go from coping to sobbing on a two hourly basis.

By timing it right, I manage to escape for a quick curry with Stewart, but start to fade fast as we wait for the bill. With Stewart still coughing and spluttering through the remains of his killer cold/flu bug (which I have fortunately avoided), we really are the picture of health.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

State of Independence

I spent this afternoon with M round at her new flat, which she won’t now be moving into today.

They’ve made a right mess and have even stolen the internal doors, the basic tools she had acquired over the months and even trashed half the kitchen cupboards and work surfaces whilst removing the appliances.

We do what we can whilst there, but we really need to wait until the council do their stuff.

Hopefully the promised new front door for the flat, will be made of something slightly better than the current plywood affair. It’s not hard to see how having somehow got through the communal front door, they were able to simply force the entire lock out M’s flat’s door.

On a positive note the guy in the flat opposite was really friendly, offering us brews (had to translate that expression for M!) whilst we worked, expressing his sympathy and telling us that the council had at least been round to measure up the flat door. It turns out his flat was similarly stripped a while ago, whilst he was away serving a term at her Majesty’s pleasure...

The bit that made me saddest of all about this whole thing, was when M confided that she had planned to invite myself, Phil and Sarah around to help her with the flat and then surprise us by having it all done herself and serving us up a meal instead. This was clearly going to be a huge step of independence for her, a clear moving on in the terms of our relationships. The bastards have stripped her of this as well.

Luckily it takes considerably more than this to break the spirit of someone like M and already the upset has turned to anger and a determination to fight on regardless.

For now though, she’s back to doing it with borrowed tools for a while longer.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Beyond F***muppetry

You don’t mind if I rant do you?

Heck would you be reading this Blog if you didn’t like reading the occasional rant?

My friend M having at long last got life on track (quick summary: imprisoned twice, tortured, members of family murdered, fled for life leaving behind wealthy background, family, friends and all that she loved, arrived in England, but after a month was made destitute due to a combination of despicable government policy and solicitor’s incompetence, eventually got minimal benefits reinstated pending judicial review, lived in a shithole in a street with only 3 houses not burnt out/boarded up, had initial application for asylum rejected, spent next 6 months in state of despair, had appeal granted (evidence overwhelming!), got made homeless again, system couldn’t cope with bizarre situation re NAS benefits and couldn’t work how to get her sorted in main benefits system, spent best part of a year dossing on people’s floors, just started college course whilst holding down a job, eventually got a council flat, moved in basic furniture, appliances and kitchenware (a combination of gifts and saving up to buy second-hand items), decorated, was just about to move in...), went to the new flat today ahead of moving in tomorrow, only to find it has been broken into and completely gutted. They even stole the cutlery.

So, can I just say to the utter toerags who did this – I suspect you haven’t given a moments thought to the effect on the person you have made a victim of all this. I guess you don’t give a toss, that you have made someone who has travelled half the world looking for safety, unable to sleep in her own bed. Hell, thanks to you bastards, she hasn’t even got a bed anymore!

I’m sure if I met you I’d realise you have problems of your own, that you too are sacred human beings, but right now all I can see is my friends pain and right now I’m so, so angry!

Oh and on a personal/selfish note – I so didn’t need to spend this weekend DIYing a flat to try and make it more secure!

You utter, utter bastards.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Many thanks again to Caroline for pointing me in the direction of Site Meter, through which I can gather all kinds of cunning information about how people find this blog, how long they stay and how often they visit (who are these 22 people excluding myself that visit this blog on an average day?).

The only downside is that the wonders and the magic of some of Pab’s Internet ESP have now been de-mystified.

In compensation however, one of the most fascinating elements is being able to see the search terms that led people to your door, so bizarre were some that I’ve recently started keeping a record of the more interesting ones:

  • Foodchain on hedgehogs

  • clockwork nun

  • new hey brickworks, rochdale

  • webcam babbacombe

  • the white stipes gondry (Netherlands)

  • imitate art gallery uk levenshulme

  • RE

  • "lines of desire" footpaths

  • polyphonic spree baileys

  • photos of fire in BT tunnel under M@nchester

  • five step exploding heart touch (Japan)

  • falling "garden gnomes" "music video"

  • cherry picked mental health oldham

  • screen mate fairy

  • "ulcers on your throat"

  • warrington scallies

  • inspirational poster spoof pretension

  • "roof garden" paris "before sunset"

  • "we will mend it" +"mouse organ"

  • gondry white stipes lego

  • scary stories from withington

  • cdoa swedish band hives

  • F***muppet
Is this a fair representation of the tosh I’ve been wibbling on about since starting this blog? Were any of these searchers really looking for me?

Outside of the more bizarre, the most common searches seem to involve people trying to find the Nawaab restaurant in Levenshulme. Maybe I should tell the proprietors?

The scariest referral of all though, was from Google.com, where someone searched on: L1z Friday and I came out as the number 1 result.

Obviously enquiring minds require knowledge as to whether I’m so popular on other days of the week, so here are the current google scores:
  • Monday – 2

  • Tuesday – 1

  • Wednesday – 4

  • Thursday – 1

  • Friday – 6

  • Staurday – 2

  • Sunday – 4
Obviously I’ve been slipping on my attention to Fridays.

ETA: switched variations of spelling to reduce this!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Ops Pub Quiz - more bread related stuff

Oh and by the way, it seems I was right about John Montagu and the origins of the sandwich...

Bow down and worship at the feet of the almighty queen of trivia!

Now if only we could find a more positive use for the headful of 80's song lyrics, TV theme tunes and names of bread stuff inventors etc that I seem to carry around with me...

Monday, November 22, 2004

Ops Weekend

I was looking for something to re-ignite my passion for the Greenbelt festival and luckily at this weekend’s Ops Weekend, despite being so aware of various absent friends, I think I found it. Or at the very least, a part of something, hopefully the start of something.

The feelings I shared the other day are still there, but I'm feeling decidedly more positive and engaged than I was.

BTW thanks to everyone who commented or contacted me after my mini-rant the other day - I had no idea how many people read this blog - your kind words mean so much! I still feel a need to fall in love with the festival all over again, but after this weekend I kind of think that that is at least possible, maybe even probable.

Let's hope so anyway - after all I wouldn't want to be the cause of Jude vommitting now would I?

Anyway back to the weekend:

Getting away to Dalesbridge on the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales, was just bliss. It was an intensive time and quite emotional in many ways, but so good. So very, very good.

We worked, we talked, we reviewed, we planned, we imagined, we drank, we laughed and somewhere in the midst of all this I saw a flash of the thing I love, the thing that motivates me to work ridiculously hard to ensure that thing thrives.

It’s hard to put into words, but there is something so special about this group of people and the festival as a whole. A vibe, a feeling, a light, a dream, a daringness, a heart, a warmth, an ache to let the other in.

Then again these feelings could just be a result of the vodka and Baileys that I consumed (I’m blaming George!).

"Greenbelt Ops – drinking our way to successful planning!"

After all what other explanation could there be for us all agreeing that the festival needed to be more of a bagel and less of a baguette? It all seemed to make sense at the time...

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Edge of Reason

I suppose it isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of a film, if the best I can say, is that it’s "not as bad as Wimbledon".

Bridget Jones – The Edge of Reason, is not a great film, it’s not even a good film, but it’s not a completely bad film either (I’d possibly have enjoyed it more if it was). There are moments that entertain and the performances of the lead characters are generally engaging.

However that doesn’t really compensate for an appallingly thin plot and scenes that regularly don’t convince. Do we believe the passion that Bridget supposedly inspires in others? Do we think someone facing 10-15 years in a Thai jail would set up song and dance sessions with the other inmates? Does the Rebecca character subplot add anything to the whole thing? Have we ever seen a village in Britain that looks like that in the snow (which incidentally manages to fall in perfect white fluffiness on cue every New Year)?

By the time we reach the closing scene, I just want to vomit. Still I suppose that that’s one rung up the ladder from the feelings of suicide that overtook Sarah and I in Wimbledon.

Thing is Sarah, Rachel and I knew it was going to be cack before we went, which poses the question: why do we find it funny to watch bad films?

Showcase was also unerringly busy. We generally take a sweepstake on how many other people there will be in our screen – usually you’re safe with single digits, tonight however we are joined by probably nigh on 200 others.

It’s surely a bit sad that it’s a film like this that inspires people to make an exceptional visit to the movies, isn’t it?

Or maybe they, like us, are actually also all there for the irony factor...

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Five go to Turton

The Greenbelt machine is really starting to crank up again; today I head up to Edgeworth to meet up with the other 4 Ops Managers.

A few assorted friends join us for lunch at the Rose and Crown, before the 5 of us head back to Martin’s in Turton to get down to business.

It’s pretty intensive, but I’m struck once again by how much trust and respect I have for these guys. It’s is just so good to spend time with them. Just to be with them makes me feel so much more positive about the whole Greenbelt thing.

Well comparatively anyway.

It also helps me understand a little better, where some of my negative emotion about the festival is coming from. I know one person reading this will choose to take the full responsibility for this (and no doubt apologise…again!), but that just isn’t a correct reflection of things. The fact is I was feeling pretty disconnected and worn down, even going into the weekend, by Sunday I was in floods of tears and Monday…well Monday was Monday.

I don’t know why I was feeling so disconnected from the festival. Maybe because I find it increasingly hard to truly stop work on site, even when time allows, and tune in to an event or space.

I don’t know what I can do to address that one.

Today did however help me understand far better why I was feeling so ground down, by stuff pre-festival.

I won’t go into the details, but when you’re slogging your guts out, doing crazy hours trying to pull something together, it’s hard to overestimate the demotivational effect of feeling undermined and of feeling that you’re having to dismantle unnecessary obstacle after obstacle just to get things to work. Even if this is happening in a fairly unintentional if maybe careless manner and even if generally the majority of those around you are at the complete opposite end of the spectrum, the feeling of “this is hard enough without…” can become a mantra of deep frustration.

It becomes even more destructive when you feel you have to keep a positive, sunny face on it all for the sake of the team of people who are also slogging their guts out around you. Becoming the buffer between the detractors/obstructers and your team can be exhausting.

I don’t have any clear idea how to fix this one, but I know I need to. I love the festival enough for that to carry me through one year of feeling like this, but I think a second year might put the nails in the coffin.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Chand Raat

After a full day slogging through Greenbelt work at the computer, a night out with Jo to catch up on here holiday in South Africa is just what I need.

I must confess that tonight would be the first time however that I have checked the moon before deciding between curry and cinema.

It’s kind of important though because this year there seems to be more than the usual confusion about when Ramadhan ends and when Eid falls.

It all depends on Chand Raat (new moon), but early evening inspections of the night sky prove inconclusive and the internet is not any great help. Jo and I decide to chance it. If we go reasonably early we stand a chance of parking in Rusholme anyway and if the Eid celebrations do commence tonight, well the spectacle and celebration will likely compensate for the gridlocked traffic.

As I head past Longsight market my suspicions are confirmed and the Chand Raat night time market is in full swing, I regret not having known about it in advance as I have no time to stop and have a wander round now.

Parking in Rusholme proves problematic (especially for Jo), but we enjoy a meal in the Punjab, watching out the window as the celebrations (and police presence) build through the course of the evening.

With Diwali falling so close to Eid this year, the celebrations are doubled and even the Punjab is in full festive mood. The service suffers rather as the waiters spend most of the night hanging out the doorway, but the smiles on everyone’s faces more than compensates.

As I head back to my car (the side street I’ve parked on has now been cordoned off – oh joy!), the atmosphere is infectious.

I have to circumnavigate around half of South Manchester to get home, but it’s hard to mind. I suspect the celebrations will be in even fuller swing tomorrow night, but I don’t think I’ll be braving the traffic jams to see.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Lacking in motivation

Tonight’s plans for a meal out got cancelled last minute, which on the plus side should give me the opportunity to do some long overdue Greenbelt work and get an early night.

Unfortunately as it works out the former one again makes the latter intention invalid. Why is it that when you want to get something done quickly everything seems to conspire against you?

However hopefully the 1.30am finish was worth it as I at last manage to get the Venue Managers’ Feedback Survey out.

Last year I used one of those free on-line questionnaire programmes, but they seem to have restricted the free service even more this year. On balance I decide that reprogramming a survey every year and having it available for only 10 days from launch make this option somewhat unsustainable. An Access programme would be perfect, but I know that not everyone has that software. Maybe one day we’ll get something on the GB website, but in the meantime a Excel form will have to suffice. It isn’t pretty, it may not even work properly (definite lack of testing occurred!), but it should enable them to return some sort of feedback and most importantly of all - it’s done!

Regrettable however, by leaving it so late I don’t have the option of involving Ben and Dave in the creation process. Instead I settle for using last year’s questions with Dave’s suggested questions that he came up with at the festival added on. Not really very neat and concise and lacking in consultation with these guys, but needs must.

I feel a huge sene of relief, if not satisfaction, as I hit send on the email. Of course I haven’t really thought about how to handle the responses as they come in...

The bigger question is why I’m feeling so low and unmotivated re Greenbelt stuff since the festival. Why have I left so many emails parked and unanswered etc? I know some of the answers, but I need to work it through more.

Sadly the yearly planning process won’t wait for me to do my hibernation act any longer. Maybe if I’m lucky the next two weekends will provide the needed stimulus to reawaken my enthusiasm.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Bad Santa

Bad Santa isn’t the film to go to if you’re hoping for a feel good, sentimental, seasonal schmultz-fest. Or indeed if you’re a member of the ‘moral-majority’ that we keep hearing about of late (there’s probably one or two too many butt-f***ing jokes for your liking…).

On the other hand, if you feel that you could appreciate Billy Bob Thornton's take on a hard-living, misanthropic, department store santa and his criminal activities, then this might just be the film for you.

"You know, I think I've turned a corner...I beat the shit out of some kids today. But it was for a purpose. It made me feel good about myself. It was like I did something constructive with my life or something, I dunno, like I accomplished something."

Some great acting, excellent lines and a basic concept that's strong enough to carry the joke through the full length of the film, make this a movie well worth watching (but not with the kids!). In fact had the makers had the guts to cut the very last scene, it might very well have been the perfect antidote to fatuous yule-tide jollity.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

It’s hard to describe the dancing style of Nick Cave, John Cleese crossed with Bono is probably the closest I can manage. Certainly the strange, uncomfortable, jabbing shapes, set at acute angles to the world are in keeping with the musical fayre he and the Bad Seeds offer up.

The first hour of the set concentrates on the latest double album Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus and the second hour on a right mixture from the back catalogue. Darkness and twisted evil are the dish of the day and lyrics of death and murder are punched out with great force. Set amongst this backdrop however are dropped the occasional glimpses of redemption and light, with classics like Into My Arms leaving the audience in a tangible state of awe.

Even so, I wouldn’t have picked Nick Cave as a likely candidate to have to abandon a song due to laughing, but after three attempts to get past the first few lines of the second verse of The Lyre of Orpheus he gives up gracefully. We love him all the more as a result!

The evening wraps up with classics such as The Weeping Song, Stagger Lee and Mercy Seat – Nick Cave doing what he does best. Even Phil and Sarah seem to be buzzing by the time the house lights come up.

True class.

Saturday, November 06, 2004


Once in a while even this city girl needs to get away, so last night Stewart and I head over to Conwy for a night away at The Castle Hotel.

After the largest breakfast I have ever partaken in, we wander round town and enjoy the sea air down on the quay.

The rain starts to let up a little so we take Sarah up on her suggestion of trying to find what she claims is one of the finest crazy golf courses in the world, perched on the top of the Great Orme overlooking Llandudno.

Ordinarily the Great Orme is a massive landmark that dominates the surrounding landscape. That however would be on days when the visibility is greater than 5 metres!

We find our way up eventually though and enjoy spectacular views in all directions of up to 3 metres…

We ring Sarah to get better directions for the golf course, her description of between the two buildings, would to be honest be more helpful if you could see both at the same time.

Undeterred we track it down, but our plans are foiled by some rather large padlocks. Enquiries in the deserted café get us no further. Instead we enjoy having free run of the deserted hilltop, with Stewart taking full advantage of the deserted adventure playground.

Somehow reading the papers and dozing seem all the more enjoyable for being swathed in scarves sat in a car in a cold misty car park on the top of a hill in Wales. For whatever reason it seems to be working in terms of the stress relief and even the traffic jams on the way home fail to raise the blood pressure and by the time I get back to Longsight I’m totally chilled.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Ladies who Lunch

A rare and much needed day off today. Unfortunately my plans for a long lie are somewhat scuppered by one of Stewart's cats repeatedly flinging itself at the bedroom door in (occasionally successful) attempts to gain entry and the fact it appears to be national phone/text L1z day.

By the time the postman rings on the doorbell with a parcel from Amazon I give up on the idea of sleep altogether. Having managed to get the second cat into the house and both fed (see how nice I can be when I try – I didn’t even go for the ground glass option...) I head home for a quick shower, before meeting S for lunch at Dukes 92.

Sat on the sofas overlooking the canal and watching the day go by, we decide we could get very used to the ladies of leisure thing. No doubt we would eventually become bored, but we’d be prepared to give it a good shot.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


It’s been a rather stressful week, which coupled with the toothache hasn’t exactly left me in the mood for a gig tonight. However there is probably only one band in the world that could cheer me up and luckily enough it’s them that we have tickets for tonight. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Polyphonic Spree.

The stage at the Academy 2 is far too small (it makes the stage we had for them at Greenbelt look spacious!) as a result it takes a good 2 minutes for the all to weave their way through the kit etc into their places and at times the front line kindly ducks down to allow the audience and the rest of the group make visual contact!

Nothing however can hold back the exuberance and the packed venue is soon bouncing up and down and being swept along with the sheer joy of it all.

The set is a triumph, with fantastic rearrangements bringing new life to the songs from the two albums. To be fair though they are clearly preaching largely to the already converted, which may prove a frustration to them, but selfishly makes the atmosphere even more electric.

Suitably enough they return for their encore through the back door of the venue, snaking their way through the adoring crowd and up onto the stage (ironically this seems to work better then the earlier attempt to enter from the wings!).

All too soon it’s over though and we wend our way home, tired, but quite a bit happier.

A great night, but I don't think Tony should worry too much...

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Wisdom of Anbesol

It seems to me that adults can be divided into three clear groups:

  1. Those who never got their wisdom teeth

  2. Those who got their wisdom teeth and suffer untold pain every now and again due to the fact that the average mouth clearly doesn’t have the space to accommodate these extra nashers

  3. Those who got fed up with being in category two, so went through extreme pain having them removed and spent two or three weeks doing hamster impressions and taking their nutrients through a straw, in order to sneak in undetected into category one

Now I’ve not met anyone in category one that suffers any noticeable disadvantage due to not having these additional teeth and I’ve not met anyone whose wisdom teeth came through without any problem whatsoever; so what, I ask is the point?

Obviously however, I’m having to type this question as my ability to speak coherently is currently hampered a little by a swollen gum and dull, throbbing ache in the rear of my mouth.

Ah well mustn’t complain. I’ll end with the only geek joke I know (which I’ll dedicate to King Geek Pab and Tera-Geek Shaun): there are 10 types of people in the world, those that understand binary and those that don’t.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Jitterbug Perfume

Tonight at the book group we discussed Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins.

I’d not read anything by him before but love the film Even Cowgirls Get the Blues that is adapted from one of his other novels.

I didn’t have time to finish Jitterbug Perfume, but definitely due to lack of time rather than any lack of interest or enthusiasm. It seems my impressions to date were in line with the majority of the group who enjoyed its boisterous energy and flights of fancy.

A couple of people were more ambivalent about it, struggling with the whole lack of structure and conventional form that is eschewed by the fantasy genre. This led to a fascinating discussion about how and why some people can ‘go with the flow’ and let a book take them where it wants, whereas others struggle with the lack of rules and control.

It seems that these feelings transfer into other areas of the arts as well, with the same division between those who love abstract and expressionist paintings and those who prefer works that follow more conventional rules.

Personally I love being able to escape my everyday world of control, logic and form into art that takes you out of this to new unimagined places. Letting go is a definite pleasure when led by the skilled and safe chaperon of the talented author or painter.

However if a novel is going to dispense with the ‘inconvenience’ of reality, then something more is surely demanded of it as a result. If your plot and characters are unrestricted, then personal I want to see poetry and beauty in the places your imagination takes me…and through that beauty a truth of its on emerges.