Hornsey Blossom

In Hornsey, N8
under a cable post
sitting
as the smart soles of a lady in black
slap past.
‘That’s fuckin’ stupid,’
she intones to her phone noisily
with
‘Why wouldja do that?’
Annoying woman
think I.Whoa!
Hang on!
Hit pause!
Let her Be!I scold
ticking myself off.
From across the street
an exquisite pink blossom
releases herself from a cherry tree
gliding
closer and closer.
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Hashish

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I came upon a reference to this book at the Cruising Association’s marine library in London’s Limehouse. It was in a pilot for the Red Sea and it has taken me until now to find a copy. It was worth the wait.
Tintin and Malto Cortes were influenced by Henry de Monfried, an adventurer sailor and later a prolific writer. It was great to discover one of their original sources.
This is a fantastic adventure yarn with descriptions of natural occurrences that are often as beautiful as they are wild. Monfried was an elegant and entertaining writer and possessed of a wisdom that is Oriental, even while he is a very modern man.
You learn much about the Arabian Red Sea from Djibouti, Aden, and then on past Eritrea, and Yemen to Egypt. He writes of a time before World War II that is accessible and human, full of conceit and treachery but also of courage and nobleness where disaster is never far off.

A warm story teller, illuminating a reality of — as yet! — not fully exploited potential, which he strode in the best tradition of Sinbad the Sailor; utterly captivating.

See the book at https://store.kobobooks.com/en-GB/ebook/hashish?utm_campaign=BookReviewAdr&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=App_Acq #KoboReview #BookReview

Ubik

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Review by Ashley Chapman

Ubik (1969) by Philip K. Dick has that deceptively straightforward prose style that is as once as engaging as it is profound, a rare combination of a voice that is guile-free but coloured with a zany irascible humour.

‘Dick is comfortable with ideas like psy-phenomenon, the parapsychological, telepathy, precognition, psychokinesis and near-death, in his hands, all made so innocuous you begin to feel at ease with the non-living.’

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A Party Too Far — The Shah of Iran’s Ultimate Downfall.

Review by Ashley Chapman

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Decadence and Downfall: The Shah of Iran’s Ultimate Party, Storyville, 2015-2016 now showing on the BBC iPlayer is about how Shah Pahlavi of Iran spent the entire state budget, over $600 million dollars, in 1970 on a lavish party in the fabled city of Persepolis, while his people, battered by the fearful exigences of his secret police, the feared SAVA, wallowed in deprivation.

“The guests, beneath yards and yards of suffocating pink satin sit in the banqueting marquis, served exquisite Gallic food prepared by  Maxim’s of Paris…while outside the locked-out millions watched on TV the noisy emptiness of it all.”

Continue reading “A Party Too Far — The Shah of Iran’s Ultimate Downfall.”