Monday, 21 September 2009


Had a work do yesterday. On a Sunday. But it turned out nice. It was the gala dinner for the Independent Booksellers conference, at Warwick University.

Gyles Brandreth was the star turn. He spoke stirringly about the value of ... independent booksellers, funnily enough, and told a few tales from his diaries, published by us and entitled Something Sensational to Read on the Train.

He described a lovely episode when he was on Lord Longford's Pornography Commission, along with an Archbishop, two judges, a Rabbi and Cliff Richard. Lord L gets out two carrier bags of utterly filthy stuff and "We spent an hour or two going through it. We'd flick through the pages going tut tut tut ... oh look, Rabbi - here's one of yours..."

And he apparently overheard Prince Philip saying to the Queen in the royal box of the variety show: "Oh look, Cabbage, they're doing something called The Full Monty. That'll be some sort of tribute to El Alamein. Marvellous".

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

The Coolest Canned Fish Shop In France

Plenty of highlights to pick out from our trip to the island of Noirmoutier, off the Loire Atlantique coast (no, I'd never heard of it either): bike & chariot trips with the kids to buy bread, swimming in the sea, eating camp-cooked moules ... but naturally the thing I was most excited about was discovering a great canned fish shop.

It's not that I'm even that into canned fish, but ... it just looked so good. Shelf upon shelf of gaudy, perky, colourful, traditional ahm cans of fish. What's not to like? There's something about attractive, yet basic objects displayed in volume that gives them an exuberant charm. Either that or I'm a wannabe graphic designer and twat.

Judge for yourself. How cool is this shop?