ON a recent Saturday wet with the residue of a late morning mist, I ambled along the George IV Bridge in Edinburgh and found myself at the top of Victoria Street. If you are up-to-date with your reading on J K Rowling, you know this is the street she supposedly used as a model for Diagon Alley, that wonderful cobbled creation familiar to all Harry Potter fans.
They are playing with fire and smoke in Bournemouth this week. The fire is courtesy the Carabosse Company, a French performance collective, which has transformed the Lower Gardens into a 'magical fiery landscape'. And the smoke? That's from Fuel, a fantastic group of free-runners and dancers, who are performing in a 360-degree open air theatre by the pier.
Much as I would like to, I can’t take credit for picking out these thoughts from George Orwell today. Thanks must go to Maria Popova and brain pickings. Have a look at her analysis, based on Orwell's 1964 essay, Politics and the English Language.
LAST week 10 journalism students got together at the Bournemouth University and blogged the hell out of the 2014 MeCCSA Conference. They really did. Across nine Twitter accounts and a live blog, they posted some 62,488 words: 43,000 words in 2,900 tweets, and another 18,988 by way of the live blog. That’s pretty near the wordage of a PhD thesis.
'The ability to risk is something that is very attractive. Some people choose to have a safer way, and the safe way guarantees winning. But the safe way will not guarantee the love of the crowd.' Insights into one of the most-watched ballroom partnerships in the world, from an interview with Edita Daniute.
You don't need to be a wizard at spelling -- or, for that matter, punctuation -- to be a literary genius. This, I say on the basis of the personal ledger of Scott Fitzgerald. A quick trawl through a transcript now available online shows the man did have an issue with many words, not to mention the possessive apostrophe.
On the day when Gaddafi was threatening to "take the war to Europe", I happened to be flipping through a Playboy publication. Sadly, this one didn’t have any engaging photographs. What it had, though, was impressions of Gaddafi by someone who provoked -- no, taunted -- him in flesh, and came away unscathed.