Monday, September 10, 2018

Greatest hits, or indulging my archival tendencies

Somewhat to my surprise - this blog has been going for eight years and over 600 posts. 

Despite occasional protestations to the contrary, it's has remained as it started - a personal space for me to write about whatever felt like a good idea at the time. It's always been a zone of freedom rather than something I had to do for this, that or the other reason. 

Ultimately, that accounts for both its persistence and its lack of (a single) focus.

For a while now, I've toyed with the idea of going back through the blog, picking out a representative set of posts and editing them into a small compendium for an probably imaginary audience.

This seems like as good a moment as any to look back and see what stands out.

Reviews (mainly books and music with a side order of cinema) have tended to dominate, in as far as anything has. Its a form I feel at ease with going right back to my dabblings in student journalism and lends itself well to short updates. But they can - and for me often are - a way of approaching the personal from a flanking position too.

Alongside these reviews you'd find over the years a whole kitchen sink of thoughts on the above plus politics, activism, organising and even the odd (in both senses) attempt at poetry.                

Taken together - who knows - they might even amount to a coherent position?


This is where it all started and it's a bit tentative. There's really only three contenders for inclusion in any compilation and they'd all need a bit of work.

- A rather nice, if short on full sentences, exploration of how magic might work in an eighteenth century fantasy.

- A rough transcript of a talk I gave at Lewisham Unitarians about the need to go beyond 'mere tolerance' of others' beliefs and work towards a positive appreciation of difference. 

- An overly florid review of Inception, which either needs half the adjectives and adverbs removing or extending to twice its current length. Either way, it needs to be much less dense.  


Ah! Now it starts to get more interesting.

The book reviews start to pick up, with takes on China Mieville's Kraken, Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light and Stephen Donaldson's Covenant Chronicles (the last an expansive take in four parts over a particular quiet December)

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

I really, really, really didn't like fantasy parody Your Highness (but then it only scores 28% on Rotten Tomatoes, so this may be shooting fish in a barrel). I preferred Thor, or at least my alternative mumblecore reading of Dave Thunder's adventures.

It's short, but I remain taken with a piece of Hercules And Love Affair and the politics of dancing.

Also - the blog exhbits first signs of a recurring annoyance with nostalgia (heavily indebted to Simon Reynolds Retromania) in a review of Plush's album Fed


We're now getting up to 60-odd posts a year. Granted, a lot of these are photos, quotes and Christmas doggerel, but still - 60 posts!

2012 was when my interest in metal really flared up (I blame living in Birmingham) and I wrote a series of posts trying to justify account for this of which these are the best. 

How I learned to stop worrying and love metal. Sort of.
On volume
On sincerity

Token anti-nostalgia post - being grumpy about the Heartbeat tourist industry in the North Yorkshire Moors

Of course in no way contradicted by posts on teenage favourites David Eddings, Julian May
and Sheri Tepper

A review of early Tanith Lee is also interesting for being a first crack at praising the strangeness inherent in much of the best fantasy, despite how much Eddings and his imitators try so squeeze it out. It's also a reminder of how often I misspell 'weird'.

I'm still rather pleased with my idea of 'thresholds' - curated augmented reality spaces - even though I've yet to do much anything with it.


The first of two prolific years.

As an outsider exploring the margins of metal I continued to turn up gems - it's this year that the love affairs with Alcest (AKA the black metal Nick Drake) and Ulver started. 

In a more polemical mode though I suggested that Terrorizer magazine might want to take a stronger stand on racism (which in turn prompted further thought on how far an artist's politics could be separated from their art)

Lovecraft and his buddy Clark Ashton Smith, as well as Michael Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius, all get a look in on the weird fiction front. 

Other genre fiction reviews of note included Spider Robinson's Callaghan's Crosstime Saloon, Robert Silverberg's Lord Valentine's Castle and Patrick Rothfuss' The Wise Man's Fear.

I didn't often write about non-fiction but this piece on Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett's The Spirit Level is pretty good.

I also managed to review both The Hobbit and the first of the Jacksonian cinema trilogy, as well as getting a surprising amount of material out of the morality of force while reviewing Olympus Has Fallen, Iron Man 3 and Prisoners

Still true: too much Twitter outrage makes me want to look at cat pictures on the internet (there was a follow-up post in 2014 about tweeting in a trolling paradise)

Token anti-nostalgia post: dismay at the NME's top 10 albums of all time (and postscript)

This year's ideas I didn't do anything much with: mapping a cartography of hope and festivals as neartopian spaces.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

In the future, all bananas will be scannable

More everyday science-fiction here courtesy of multinational banana corporations.

I don't Shazam, but one of my colleagues does (it works on the photo as well as the banana itself) and brought up a 3D rendering of a rainforest.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Everyday science-fiction

Gangs of obsolete technologies huddle on street corners, radiating greyscale menace.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

A miscellany of West Midlands superheroes

Barnt Green Lantern
Black Country Widow (or Canary)
Clint Barton-under-Needwood (aka the Staffordshire Hawkeye)
Ironbridge Man
The Redditch Tornado
Scarlet Wychavon
Star City Man (or indeed Lord)

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The golden age of post-modern role-playing 3 - Shadowrun

Alright, let's go high concept.

Because what separates Shadowrun (online home here) from the genre collages of Rifts and Torg is that it tries, and to be fair mostly succeeds, in explaining why elves, dwarves and orcs should be runnng round the back streets of Seattle looking like members of The Sigue Sigue Sputnik Fan Club

To understand Shadowrun you have to know how big a deal cyberpunk was in the late 80's. Influences from fiction (Neuromancer et al), film and music had combined to create an aesthetic and a set of tropes that were very marketable.

Gunmetal bionic limbs! Mirrorshades! Cyberspace! Defy the corporate system in tight leather trousers! Hairspray!  

Ahem. You get the picture.

What pure cyberpunk role-playing games foundered on, in your correspondents opinion, was translating the moral ambiguity of the genre into a satisfying gaming experience. Usually - at least if you were a teenager who had cut your teeth on DnD and Games Workshop, any complexity tended to be discarded in favour of those cool cybernetic implants and those outsize guns in a nihilist race to the bottom.

By combining fantasy and cyberpunk - the old favourite and the flavour of the month - Shadowrun gave itself more options. Rather than banging your head repeatedly against the nightmare of dystopian capitalism, it opened the door to myth, magic and the possibility of hope.

And nothing demonstrates that more clearly than the narrative of how enchantment returns to the moderm world, with the indigenous peoples of the Americas regaining the use of their traditional magics to reclaim much of the continent east of the Mississippi. 

(as I recall, it's pretty well done for its time and a tribute to the never knowingly under-backstoried original creators at FASA, a company who lavished such love on the Battletech universe - a game essentially about giant mecha firing rockets at each other - that I can still remember whole star systems-worth of it today.)

Shadowrun says another world is possible. Which is most decidedly not a cyberpunk sentiment. 

One can see how the genre-blending understandably irritated William Gibson and wouldn't work half as well in a literary context. But it goes to show a) that books and role-playing games are different media with different needs and in particular that b) role-playing narratives often benefit from being anti-hegemonic in a way which fiction simply doesn't need to be.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Link library: compassionate communities

Thinking of narratives for volunteer recruitment, I wonder how useful the concept of compassionate communities will be?

Dying Matters: why we should develop compassionate communities?

Compassionate communities: end-of-life care as everyone’s responsibility - article in QJM by the originator of compassionate communities, Professor Allan Kellehear

Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care: A national framework for local action 2015-2020, by the National Palliative and End of Life Care Partnership of which the MND Association is a member. See in particular chapter 6 which is all about volunteers

Blog post on Marie Curie about Prof Kellehear's ideas and its implications for their work.

Update: a couple of new links courtesy of Sue Muller

- Compassionate Inverclyde launches

- Bill's story - video explaning compassionate communities from Palliverse

Update The Second: similar issues from a slightly different angle - as a joint group of government officials and voluntary, community and social enterprise reps put forward an action plan for involving the sector in improving health, well-being and social care outcomes.  

See the VSCE Review website for more information.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Reading recommendations from 2018 so far

A quick round-up of the best books I've read so far this year.

At The Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails - Sarah Bakewell
The Honours - Tim Clare 
Walkaway - Cory Doctorow 
Normal - Warren Ellis
Winter's Tide - Ruthanna Emrys
Raven Stratagem - Yoon Ha Lee
The Will To Battle - Ada Palmer
Aurora - Kim Stanley Robinson (review here)
Osama - Lavie Tidhar
A Night In The Lonesome October - Roger Zelazny

All genre fiction, except for Sarah Bakewell's overview of existentialism. And all very good, although not quite great enough to merit bold type. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Link library: volunteer recruitment best practice

For the Support Volunteer Project at work, we're having a look at the Association's approach to recruiting support volunteers like Association Visitors. A quick search this morning brought up the following articles, often saying more or less the same thing but each with their own slightly different perspective.

Alive With Ideas - 12 ways to keep your volunteers motivated and engaged
Charity Times article - a useful overview, with editorialising and quotes from various charities
Civil Society Voices - guest blog by Janet Thorne, Chief Executive of Reach, on skills-based volunteering.
Constant Contact - on using social media to recruit volunteers
Energise Inc - some recruitment maxims, including the interesting suggestion than no role should have 'volunteer' in the title - and writing persuasive volunteer recruitment appeals.
NCVO volunteer recruitment advice page - good summary of the basics - and how to write a persuasive advert
Nonprofit Hub - QR codes on posters and ensuring your enquiry process is mobile friendly listicle - especially for points 6 (gratitude) and 8 (getting out there with stalls etc)
Volunteer Hub - a nice point on volunteer advocacy on social media (Southampton Voluntary Services make a similar point about asking volunteers to design the ideal recruitment effort)
Volunteering Matters volunteer recruitment advice page 
Volunteer Now (p17-20) of a longer PDF - discusses 'warm body', 'targetted' and 'concentric' approaches to volunteer recruitment

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Dream Master! Dream Faster!

Over the years, Roger Zelazny has been the most reviewed author on this blog (see previous thoughts on Amber, Lord Of Light and This Immortal), which is odd because while I like his work I don't necessarily love it.

I may find him easy to write about because many of his interests - pop psychology, mythology, religion - coincide with my own. I also like the way his allusiveness - rich descriptions and deep conversations spanning the pulp architecture of his plotting - resists easy explanation.

In a way Zelazny represented the accessible end of the 'New Wave' of fantasy and SF of the late 60's and early 70's. He displays influences beyond the genre and a degree of literary experimentation, but he is a much easier entry point than fellows such as Ballard, Disch or Delany.

That said, his second novel The Dream Master (1966) is more difficult to fathom than many of his works. It follows Charles Render, a psychologist trained in the construction of healing dreams for his clients using a technowomb. Ostensibly the perfect therapist, his hubris undoes him when he attempts to give a blind woman dreams of sight.

It's a confusing book - intentionally so. Fragments of other narratives are placed alongside the main plotline, often without context. So much is hinted at, often in crucial passages that attempt to follow the logic of dreams themselves, that the reader apprehends the book as if through a glass darkly.

This gives it undeniable atmosphere. But a rushed ending in particular ultimately denies The Dream Master its potency. Zelazny himself felt the short story on which it was based did a better job, but having not read that I can't comment. 

I will say that several of the supplementary narratives felt like padding (interesting, but nevertheless padding) and the one-dimensional nature of the women in the book much less easy to overlook than they might have been at the time.

Interesting enough that it begs a re-read, but flawed enough that it stands more as a statement of ambition than of craft.

Monday, April 9, 2018

2018 Hugo Awards shortlist - initial thoughts

The 2018 Hugo Awards for science-fiction and fantasy shortlist has recently been announced. I didn't contribute to the nomination process this time around (although I may register to vote) but here are my initial thoughts.

Best Novel 

I've read two of the six novels on the shortlist. Yoon Ha Lee's Raven Stratagem is a considerable improvement on last year's Ninefox Gambit, which I admired more than I liked. I'm starting to see him as a potential successor to Iain M Banks and his intricate far-future  epics. The novel is definitely a strong baseline for others on the shortlist to see if they can better, although it may suffer from being a sequel.

And with four other Best Novel award-winners on the shortlist (N K Jemisin, Ann Leckie, Kim Stanley Robinson and John Scalzi) to reckon with the competition could be steep. Scalzi's The Collapsing Empire, however, is merely default Scalzi: highly enjoyable space opera but no Redshirts, and not the remarkable work you'd expect to clinch the award. 

Short fiction

Much to my surprise, I've read seven of the short fiction entries already, which is highly unusual. I've not been absolutely floored by any of them yet but here is what is setting the pace:

Novella: Sarah Gailey, River Of Teeth
Novelette: Sarah Pinsker, Wind Will Rove
Short Story: Vina Jie-Min Prasad, Fandom For Robots

Best series

A new category as of last year. I'm particularly pleased to see Robert Jackson Bennett's Divine Cities trilogy up - it started well with City Of Stairs (my review here) and finished very strongly last year with City Of Miracles.

Best film (AKA Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form)

Probably the Hugo equivalent of the Group of Death, with Blade Runner 2049, Get Out, The Last Jedi, The Shape of Water, Thor: Ragnarok and the mighty Wonder Woman all battling it out.

Best Fan Writer

Nice to see a nod for Camestros Felapton, who I've nominated in previous years.

No block voting - hurray!

After last year's changes to the nomination process showed diminishing returns for block voting tactics it's a relief to see block voting entirely absent this year. Discussing the politics of this would take a whole other post, so I'll just say that it didn't noticeably improve the quality of the work on offer to the Hugo voter and in some cases actively prevented good work making it onto the shortlist.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

More Per Ardua than Ad Astra: Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora

A couple of years back I subtitled reviews of Andy Weir's The Martian and Neil Stephenson's Seveneves with the tagline 'space is the worst frontier.' 

For all their faith in science and human ingenuity, both books were unsparing in their treatment of the challenges of space and a welcome corrective to the tendency to handwave them away in favour of a ripping yarn.

Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora is another book which stands under this credo. It pushes back even harder against the belief that our destiny lies in the stars, to the point of almost calling it into question entirely.

Ad astra, yeah, but very much with the emphasis on the per ardua.

It's difficult to talk about without at the very least thematic spoilers, so read below at your peril.

Aurora takes on an idea well established in science-fiction, the generation starship, where a voyage to a nearby solar system can take hundreds of years in a vessel the size of a city. Heading for Tau Ceti, its mission is to colonise the moon of one of its planets, the Aurora of the title, slowly terraforming it to make it habitable for human life.

Narrative tricks

The novel kicks in a relatively short time (20 or so years) before the ship reaches its destination. We follow Freya, daughter of engineer and general systems troubleshooter Devi and doctor Badim, as she grows up onboard the ship and explores its many biomes and communities. 

A few chapters in, we learn that the story is being told by the Ship's computer, a developing artificial intelligence, Devi's other de facto child and arguably Aurora's second protagonist. Ship does some quite awesome things and would be on my Top 10 literary computers any day of the week.  

As a narrator, though, Ship is learning on the job and its odd perspectives and occasionally jarring prose style deliberately bring out a distancing effect in the reader. In other words: science (chiefly astrophysics, engineering, ecology and microbiology) is foregrounded; character development and reader empathy somewhat backgrounded. 

Hard science-fiction often does this accidentally and occasionally ad nauseum and ad infodumpium. This could be because the author is either not that interested in the capital-I Individual or just doesn't have the chops to meet both scientific and literary criteria. 

But KSR is a much better writer than that. Taking this approach intentionally as an authorial device is a) a very clever move b) allows him to provide the story with the science it needs anyway c) sneaks the heart back into Aurora from an unexpected angle, through reader identification with Ship.

Cake: both retained and eaten.

Through interstellar space on a wing and a prayer

Aurora goes into a lot of detail about the risks of travel between the stars: problems of navigation, of acceleration and deacceleration, of the constant battle by engineers and biologists against entropy, of unrest and social collapse. Whatever you anticipate as a problem and solve before the voyage starts, KSR says, there will be two more you didn't predict that you must deal with when underway.

He cautiously concludes, however, that these issues could be solved with a lot of effort and more than a little good fortune and frontier spirit.

The far bigger challenge Aurora sets, however, is what happens when you reach your destination? Could you deal with many of the same entropic challenges as you did in transit? At the same time, could you establish a safe base for you and future generations and begin to slowly terraform your new home? How would you cope in an environment outside humanity's frame of reference in which the odds of unexpected crisis therefore increase dramatically?

To put it another way, would you risk a thousand Roanoakes for a single Plymouth Colony?

Questions for the space and freedom brigade

This is a novel deeply sceptical of the case for interstellar ventures in a way which would have rarely occured in SF from previous generations. KSR might be revisiting old ground on terraforming - he's best known for his Mars trilogy on the topic - but he's drawing more pessimistic conclusions here in a different context.

He also has a long-standing interest in climate change which he's explored in previous works such as Forty Signs Of Rain and New York 2140. Aurora touches on this in later sections of the book and in doing so offers a supplementary critique of renewed contemporary interest in returning to the Moon or colonising Mars. It basically runs: this is both cool and relevant to my interests, but maybe we should prioritise getting our own planet - our actual home - in order first. 

The novel is no polemic, but it is doing what SF does best as a literature of ideas: using our scientific heritage to examine possibilities and raise questions. The questions it raises about both the practicality and importance of space exploration are very relevant at a time when a very rich man has just sent his sports car up on a rocket in some kind of a symbolic ritual to rekindle our interest.

Those advocating for or romanticising space travel - whether in the short-term or the long-term - should then engage with the questions KSR is asking. They are perhaps still solvable on their terms rather than his, but ensuring any vision of the future passes the tests Aurora sets is for me a necessity of the first order.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


Not to be confused with a kittiwake, which you can read all about here.

Friday, February 9, 2018

The golden age of post-modern role-playing part 2: Torg

Part 2 of a look at early 90's genre-mixing RPGs. You can find Part 1, including a celebration of Rifts, here. 

Of all the games I'm looking at in this series, Torg (West End Games, 1990) was comfortably the most knowing. Literally portraying a clash of competing genres, in it the very notion of reality was contested in a really rather postmodern way. And most of its best bits came from riffing on that.

As with its contemporary Rifts, it's another invasion story. Present-day Earth, a world incalculably rich in (ahem) possibility energy, is attacked by a coalition of initially six different realities, each claiming a corner of the planet for their bridgehead.

Each of the six realms represented a different genre, ranging from the expected (high fantasy and horror) through the then-innovative (golden age pulp) to the rather more distinctive (a corporate dystopia, Catholic cyberpunk and a land of stone-age lizards).
Laws Of The Land

Where Torg got particularly clever was in its model of how the different realities interacted with each other. Each brought with them their own laws (or in Torgish, axioms) governing science, magic, religion and social organisation. For example, The Living Land, home of the aforementioned lizard-men, which takes over much of North America, made it very difficult for technology any more sophisticated than a club to function, but allowed its priests to work miracle after miracle with living matter, especially plants. 

Each reality also had its own laws reflecting genre conventions, such as the pulp Nile Empire running on melodrama rather than realism. 

This was a great system, addressing the advantage that technology (reliable, replicable) usually has over magic or individual heroics in a straight fight. But it also was a neat storytelling device in which the GM and the players could explore not just a clash of weapons but of stories and cultures. 

How would a character from a fantasy world accomodate themselves to a science-fictional story or vice versa? How would someone from Earth submit to or resist the tropes of genre fiction? Torg allowed you to play out some really interesting questions.

Do you speak Torgish?

To make all of this hang togerther conceptually Torg developed its own distinct terminology. All the invading realities or 'cosms' were led by an iconic supervillain or 'High Lord,' each with their own 'Darkness Device' and striving to become 'Torg' (menace #1). Meanwhile the PCs were 'Storm Knights' - either native champions of Earth who were strangely resistant to the invading realities, or heroic renegades from the other realms. 

(given its fondness for capitalised nouns and philosophical jargon it's also strangely fitting that the latest version of Torg - Torg Eternity - is published by German company Ulisses Spiele.)

"If done right"

This is probably the phrase to keep returning to when discussing Torg, not least because like any multi-genre game it took a lot of work on the part of the designers and writers, to say nothing of the GM and the players, to try and keep it all on track.

Unlike Rifts, which had a decade of Palladium games to draw on for rules, background, magic and monsters, Torg also had to come up with all of its material from scratch. Unsurprisingly, given how many sourcebooks and adventures West End Games put out, there was a lot of variation in content and tone.

More often than not, the official material tended to channel the 'anything goes' spirit of pulp. Now, that's not surprising given several of the cosm leant hard in that direction anyway and the rules system was fairly dramatic, with a card deck for the PCs full of special plays. But a narrative of ninjas, superheroes, hackers and Victorian detectives just hanging out, travelling the world and fighting reality wars also reduced the jagged culture-clash/genre-clash potential that made Torg more interesting.

Some of the realities too were easier to keep on the straight and narrow than others. The Cyberpapacy, for example, might win points for the sheer gonzo mashing up of cyberpunk with the Counter-Reformation Catholic Church, but it struggled to make sense (and risked causing occasional offence) as it stood. Similarly, the golden-age pulp Nile Empire was full of gleeful fun but also at times uncritically reflected orientalist fantasies of North Africa, much like its source material. 

And I'm still not really sure why someone thought naming the realm of horrors Orrorsh, after an anagram of, er, 'horrors,' was a good idea.

Torg a la carte?

All of the realities had lots of good ideas - outweighing their faults - and Torg Eternity has probably improved the game and helped it move with the times. At the time though, taking a more nuanced appproach to the background and developing and running good scenarios was beyond the means of teenage me.

These days I like to think I could make good on all Torg's promise. One thing I certainly would do is accentuate the genre-clash elements and go deep on perhaps one or two invading realities. 

Torg a la carte, if you like.

This would mean I would get the benefit of the source material for those realms without having to spread the game too thinly. I could also frame the characters and plot using only these aspects of the overall conflict and make sure the area invaded had some authenticity and colour, rather than risk it being reduced to one combat backdrop among many.

Man, this sounds good already...

Every time I write one of these look-backs, I remind myself what I liked about a game in the first place. As with Rifts, I might come at Torg from a different, more reflective angle these days but the potential I first saw in it back in the early 90's still feels very much there.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

It was a more innocent time

Chapters include 'Thirty-nine lashes, well laid-on', Scars of honour' and 'A caning'

Found (where else?) in our holiday apartment in Hay-on-Wye.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Murder on the dancefloor: Ulver's The Assassination Of Julius Caesar

When you find a gothic electro-pop album featuring in several end-of-year extreme metal best-ofs for 2017, it comes as no surprise to discover that Ulver are responsible.

Having wrapped up their Norwegian black metal phase some twenty years ago, they may have followed their own map ever since into ambient soundtracks, trip-hop, psychedelia, prog and neo-classical experiments. But as they were there at the beginnings of a genuine musical phenomenon, and since chief creative spirit Kristoffer Rygg still looks like he could holler under a blood-lit moon with the best of them if the mood ever took him that way, Ulver get lifetime genre-membership privileges.

Even though no-one knows which version of the band are going to appear from record to record and it's almost certainly not going to be metal.

To these ears, the Ulver that have turned up for The Assassination Of Julius Caesar really like: Depeche Mode circa Violator; Trevor Horn’s 80’s production work; early 90’s techno; slightly over-earnest songs about the Roman Empire; The Beloved;

The good news is that this foregrounds Rygg’s voice – Ulver’s beautiful, pure-toned trump card – against sympathetic, mostly electronic instrumentation. Assassination is the closest they’ve come to pop since their 2012 psychedelic covers set Childhood’s End, although given that much of their output since then has been freeform jamming this isn’t necessarily saying much.

And granted, the music is still brooding, jagged and lyrically focussed on matters of faith and tragedy. But now Ulver - on, say, closing track Coming Home – are doing their thing over beats not a million miles away from Crockett’s Theme from Miami Vice, which is a big plus in my book. The fussiness I can sometimes resent in their proggier work (I’m looking at you, Wars Of The Roses) is almost completely absent here.

In yr blogger’s opinion, then, Assassination is Ulver’s best, most consistent work since the austere majesty of 2007's Shadows Of The Sun. That’s another synth-heavy album and if you like, Assassination is Shadows down the alternative disco, throwing out shapes at a stately 80’s bpm.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

None more brooding: Bective Abbey

Bective Abbey is a wonderful, Romantic (in the poetic sense) ruin in County Meath, Ireland. We made a brief visit there last week as we were staying nearby. Here it is in all its glory on a clear January day.