Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Grandstanding Bandstands

A while back I was doing some research into the age of a bandstand in Bristol. It was for a work of historical fiction - I needed to know whether it would have been there at the time my characters were.

I stumbled across a really helpful website by Paul Rabbitts, which includes a database dating bandstands in the UK.

He's just launched a crowdfunder to publish a book on the subject, and I wanted to give it a shout out. You can donate to the project here.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The Allusionist

My new favourite podcast at the moment is The Allusionist hosted by Helen Zaltzman. It explores all aspects of etymology (the origin of words). Here's a sample episode about why you can't trust dictionaries. You might also like to check out the Online Etymology Dictionary.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Grammatical Fuckwittery

I was just reading a post on a page I follow. The question was: What grammatical rules do you struggle with?

Where does the list begin? 

Here's my top five:
  1. Remembering that adjectives are hyphenated before a noun but not as nouns (stained-glass window, the stained glass). 
  2. I often find myself editing sentences where I spend far more time than I should figuring out if it's 'and I' or 'and me.' 
  3. Capitalisation, and what counts as a true noun, annoys me like nothing on earth. I don't care what anybody says - it's internet. 
  4. All right (because everyone known in a decade it's going to be alright, right?).
  5. The fuckwittery between US and UK English, especially enrolled/enroled (US/UK) when it's the other way around for traveled/travelled (US/UK) - I mean, seriously, WTF?

Drop a comment and let me know yours.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Silky Cover

I would just like to say that the cover for Peter Frankopan's The Silk Roads is one of the loveliest things I've set eyes on in quite some time.

Monday, 6 November 2017


My new housemate is a cocktail expert. He's trying out a few things for a local bar. Given that you're supposed to 'write drunk, edit sober,' I'm currently getting no work done today.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017


A shout out to ImagineWe who have just released a children's story about the 1994 Genocide Against the Tusti from the point of view of a young girl, Mahoro, and her friend. The book is written by Natacha Karambizi and illustrated with photographs by Rwandan photographer Eric Murinzi. It has a similar feel to it as Rose Blanche by Roberto Innocenti and Christopher Gallaz, which tells a child's perspective of the Holocaust. You can get your copy of Mahoro by contacting ImagineWe directly.