Sunday, 20 September 2009

Happy Anniversary, Happy Sunday

Well, I hope you've all had a lovely weekend. I certainly have. It's my Mum and Dad's Golden Wedding Anniversary so they are away on a wee jaunt in the Isle of Wight. Bizarrely, when I rang them yesterday to congratulate them, this was the conversation that ensued:

Me: Happy Anniversary Dad! Are you having a lovely time? How is the hotel? What's the weather like? Is the food nice? What have you been doing? What have you seen?

Dad: Hello love, I'll pass you over to your mother.

Me: Hello Mum, happy Anniversary!

Mum: Eee, I've just sat in some shit, but your dad says it's chocolate.

Me (confused): How did he know? Did he lick it?

So there you have it. My parents and I love them. Happy Anniversary Mum and Dad, and here's to another fifty years.

And can anyone tell me why, given that DOWN BY LAW is one of my favourite films, I have never seen another Jim Jarmusch film until this weekend? We watched DEAD MAN and I absolutely loved it - what a great film. Anyone have any other favourite Jarmusch films they want to recommend?

And now, onto the regularly scheduled Scottish crime fiction stuff.

First, an interview with Alexander McCall Smith, serial novelist. And talking of McCall Smith, how about winning a signed manuscript along with a diamond necklace? And here's a review of THE LOST ART OF GRATITUDE.

Quintin Jardine on childhood memories.

And, not for the first time, I point you to novelist and journalist Tom Morton's blog, where in this post he talks very entertainingly about his week.

An article from DNA India about DNA dramas, talking about Denise Mina and others.

The Guardian reviews Val McDermid's FEVER OF THE BONE.

And an interview with Iain Banks in the FT.

And, finally, the imprint that I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of is announced. The Mike Hodges mentioned is the director of the original GET CARTER, and his novel WATCHING THE WHEELS COME OFF, sounds brilliant. The back cover copy says "The next Houdini and one of Mark’s few remaining PR clients, Reg Turpin, is about to attempt a great feat of escapology, and then Dr. Herman Temple, the self-appointed guru, will arrive to conduct a seminar on the dynamics of leadership at the Grand Atlantic Hotel. It’s going to be his big day and nothing’s going to spoil it. Well, nothing apart from the seedy private investigator who’s just unpacking his thermal underwear, pyjamas and a .32 Smith & Wesson at a local bed and breakfast; Avril, the voluptuous, insatiable wife of the drunken hotel owner; a man called Bela; and Alice, Temple’s beautiful, if terrifyingly ambitious, assistant." I'm really looking forward to that one.


  1. Congratulations to your Mum and Dad they both look very happy.

  2. Congratulations to the whole family!

  3. congrats to your family and on being part of that imprint.


  4. I've said it before and I'll say it again: You MUST watch STRANGER THAN PARADISE!

    There's one moment in that film where a Hungarian chick plays a cassette tape of wildman Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You" and that single moment defines everything that was ever cool. It's the essence of cool. In my next life I hope to come back as John Lurie's character in that film. :o)
    No, seriously.

  5. Norm - thanks! That was at CrimFest this year. I'm hoping they will come again next year.

    Dorte - thank you!

    Jay and Jack - looks like I'll be getting the box sets of all of them then! Cheers fr the recommendations. Can't believe I've never seen any of those.

  6. MYSTERY TRAIN - Joe Strummer's in it, for fuck's sake, as is Screamin' Jay. GHOST DOG, WAY OF THE SAMURAI is a masterpiece. Parts of COFFEE AND CIGARETTES are brilliant (Waits and Pop; Coogan and Molina; RZA, GZA and Bill "motherfucking Ghostbusters Groundhog Day" Murray). And the Roberto Benigni segment of NIGHT ON EARTH is genius.

    And congratulations!

  7. Ray - thanks for that (the recommendations AND the congratulations :o) ) It looks like they're all a must see.

  8. Happy anniversary to the lovely couple!

  9. I think maybe you asked too many questions all at once, Donna. The poor man went on overload, and had to pass you on.

  10. Bill - I will pass your good wishes on - thank you :o)

    Ann - he ALWAYS answers the phone and then never talks. In person, he talks the hind leg off a donkey. I just don't know why he bothers answering the phone...or maybe it's just ME he doesn't want to talk to...oh - I never thought of that...

  11. Argh! Return of the ghost hand!

    I agree with Ray:
    "And the Roberto Benigni segment of NIGHT ON EARTH is genius."
    You must watch it. It's absolutely hilarious!
    If you like Benigni's performance and humour, I highly recommend that you watch "Il mostro":
    (and of course "La vita รจ bella" if you haven't seen it.)

    Oh, and chocolate is known to imitate shit - especially on park benches. Or is it vice versa? :(

  12. Nicolai - thank you for the Benigni recommendations! And I think it's both :o)

  13. It really was chocolate. You know I do not like the phone, anyhow, you always want to talk to Mum.

  14. Father dear - a) then why do you answer it? And b)how do you know, since you never stay on long enough to find out?Hmmmmm? :o)