Saturday, July 23, 2005


I have a piece in which I attack an article by Laurie Garrett in Foreign Affairs with unexpected vehemence over at Samizdata.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


I have a piece on the ridiculously late start to the Ashes series (and the ridiculously early start to the football season) over at ubersportingpundit
This jetlag is irritating

In William Gibson's 2003 novel "Pattern Recognition", the central character has a theory that when one travels by air, one is moving faster than one's soul can keep up with, and jetlag is what you feel before your sould has returned.

And it is a strange feeling. People had told me before that jetlag coming back from the west coast of the US to Europe was particularly bad, and I now see what they mean. The time difference is 8 hours, and at the end of the journey you are at about the same latitude where you started - the journey thus having an unusually large time shift given the travel time. Plus there is the nasty fact that when it is 7am in London it is midnight in San Francisco, so you have to get up just when you are falling asleep.

And for me right now the situation is odd. I had a good holiday and I returned to London relaxed and invigorated. Normally when I am tired it is as much mental as physical, but at the moment I am not mentally tired at all - precisely the opposite in fact. I am raring to go. But my body refuses to go along with this, demanding sleep at odd times, which all leads to the weirdest of sensations.

In a day or two I shall be over it though.
Wednesday morning song lyrics

I know there's something in the wake of your smile.
I get a notion from the look in your eyes, yea.
You've built a love but that love falls apart.
Your little piece of heaven turns too dark.

Listen to your heart
when he's calling for you.
Listen to your heart
there's nothing else you can do.
I don't know where you're going
and I don't know why,
but listen to your heart
before you tell him goodbye.

Sometimes you wonder if this fight is worthwhile.
The precious moments are all lost in the tide, yea.
They're swept away and nothing is what is seems,
the feeling of belonging to your dreams.

And there are voices
that want to be heard.
So much to mention
but you can't find the words.
The scent of magic,
the beauty that's been
when love was wilder than the wind.

-- Listen to Your Heart, originally written and performed in the 1980s by Roxette. However, when I was driving around the US last week I heard a cover version by DHT getting a lot of radio airplay. Apparently DHT are a dance act from Belgium, who have taken an 80s pop song and created their own dance version from it, and have gone from there to creating a simple "unplugged piano version" which has managed to crossover into the mainstream. (It was this simple ballad version that was getting all the radion airplay in the US last week). This seems to be exactly the same thing that DJ Sammy did with Bryan Adams' Heaven a couple of years ago come to think of it.

But I will confess I rather like this new slightly overblown ballad version of Listen to your heart. I have a bit of a weakness for overblown love ballads.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Back in London

I finished my trip with a quick little trip to San Juan Bautista south of San Francisco, the location of the scenes in Hitchcock's Vertigo where Kim Novak falls off the tower at the end of the movie (and appears to fall of the tower earlier in the movie). (Oops, I may have just given away some of the plot, although this is a movie that is about character, not plot). I knew that the tower was actually a creation of Hollywood and that the actual Mission where the film was shot had a much smaller tower, so I was I suppose not disappointed on this score. However, the location in the movie appears to be in the middle of nowhere, whereas in reality it is a church in the middle of a town.

Some reports on my drive up through California to Crater Lake in Oregon and my drive back down the northern California coast in due course.

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