In between writing an essay on the relative merits of Freirean process and Alinsky style Community Organizing (ma heed's nippin' as we say in Scotland, so a short and sweet post today) we watched a couple of great films this weekend. The first was HEAD-ON (GEGEN DIE WAND) about the lives of Turkish immigrants in Hamburg. A raw, painful love story that is sometimes brutal, sometimes beautiful. Great soundtrack too - The Birthday Party, The Sisters of Mercy and Depeche Mode mixed with Turkish music. The second film was VIVA RIVA! a gritty crime thriller set in Kinshasa about a small-time criminal called Riva who steals a truck-load of petrol cans from a rather nasty Angolan gangster. Since petrol is an expensive and scarce commodity in the Congo, the gangster wants it back. Did I say Head-On was brutal? Well, this is even more so. Not as satisfying as Head-On because you don't get very deep into the characters but a good film and a reminder that I never want to visit Kinshasa.
The Guardian are offering a free audio download of Booker Prize winner Julian Barnes' book about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's real life fight for justice.
You can vote for Val McDermid's favourite walk if you like. And more Val here, on the Million For a Morgue story.
A review of Ian Rankin's THE IMPOSSIBLE DEAD. And one of Philip Kerr's PRAGUE FATALE.
The totally brilliant Douglas Lindsay almost answers the question of whether he wants to drink the blood of his new publishers - Blasted Heath - and vomit on their graves.
And now, a plea. I'm helping to organise the Samaritans conference again this year. I'm looking for raffle prizes - signed books, unsigned books, holidays to the Maldives...all donations gratefully accepted, just drop me an e-mail. Thank you, my lovelies.
And now, I am giving up on the essay for the night. I've done 3,500 words - they're not very good words, and they're not in the right order, but right now I'm going to bed with a cup of tea and to read some fiction for the first time in a month. Bliss.