Friday, May 22, 2009

Author Boris Starling on BabyBarista

"If you thought This Life, North Square or Sydney Carton gave barristers a bad name, you ain't seen nothing yet. Baby Barista is a worm's-eye view of the profession, and the angle is far from flattering. It is also sharp, acerbic, and almost illegally funny. There's the usual disclaimer about it being a work of fiction, but if you believe that, you should be a juror." Boris Starling, author of Messiah, Storm, Vodka and Visibility. To pre-order a copy of 'BabyBarista and the Art of War' from amazon, click here.

Jon Stewart on Scamalot

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor
Hat Tip Guido Fawkes

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New study reveals British professions "undervalued"

A new study by Spada PR on the state of the British professions today. has revealed that the contribution of the British professions is "comprehensively undervalued" despite employing 3.5 million people and having huge importance for the country's international standing, domestic economy, social fabric and legal system. To read the full report, click here and see also their excellent blog Swordplay.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Beckoning Silence

Book recommendation: Chasing Dean

Chasing Dean (Summerdale, 2009) by Tom Anderson
Book review for Real Travel Magazine, July 2009
Tom Anderson has a recurring dream of perfect waves always just out of reach. In Riding the Magic Carpet, the spectre was Jeffries Bay. This time he is chasing Hurricane Dean and the waves that it produces up the East coast of the States. As he travels up the coast with a childhood friend from South Wales we get not only his thoughtful and highly entertaining take on modern America, friendship, growing up and everything in between but also something much deeper. As he questions his pursuit of pleasure from something which in another context has the power to bring such misery he provides a powerful metaphor for much that is wrong with the world today. Part Moby Dick, part Perfect Storm, this is a travelogue that reads like a novel and has the potential to become a cult classic.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jack in the garden

The Simple Life

Nice article at GreenBiz from Tom Savage of Bright Green Talent on how to mobile a billion people towards environmental action through simply pursuing a simpler life. As he says: "Over the past few months, I've been experimenting with "real" simplicity and have found it to be deeply rewarding and, indirectly, environmentally beneficial. I've been eating simpler foods. I've been cycling rather than taking public transport. I've been walking in the park, surfing and hiking, rather than eating, drinking and going out. I've been trying to spend less time in front of my computer and more time in front of people. I've been reading more and watching less. I've been focusing on the present rather than the future. The ideas aren't new, but my renewed focus on them is." To read the article, click here and to read more from Tom, click here. The picture is of Walden Pond where Henry David Thoreau retreated to live the simple life. Hat Tip to Garry Wright.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Jeremy Vine on BabyBarista

"With every turn of the page, my eyebrows moved slightly further up my forehead. There was me, assuming the junior bar was crammed with the serious and the high-minded, where the only trace of ambition is the politest nudge ... BabyBarista shows the eagles and eaglets with their talons out and their feathers up. It is a wonderful, racing read - well-drawn, smartly plotted and laugh out loud - and we all just have to pray that none of it is true. You'll never look at a young lawyer in the same way again." Broadcaster and journalist Jeremy Vine. To pre-order a copy of 'BabyBarista and the Art of War' from amazon, click here.

New North Devon surf blog

Heads up for a fantastic new North Devon surf blog called Adventures in Trim by top surfer, film-maker, photographer, dentist and all round good egg Chris Preston. You can visit it here. For details of his Riverside Dental Practice in Braunton click here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Leadership challenge from James Purnell?

Last July I wrote a post suggesting that James Purnell would be the one to take over from Gordon Brown as Prime Minister. As we near the precipice of the Euro elections a leadership bid looks more and more likely with talk in particular of Charles Clarke putting himself forward as a stalking horse simply to get the process going. But there's still very little being written about James Purnell. Of the few, Allegra Stratton at The Guardian suggests that he has been dining the Labour clubs around the country, Jane Merrick at The Independent suggests that a recent image makeover gives away his leadership intentions and Benedict brogan at The Telegraph says that he might be seen as a liberal alternative to Balls or Milliband. Ironically, perhaps the best indicator as to his leadership intentions is the assiduous way in which he has managed to keep down chatter on this issue despite being an obvious contender, something which can clearly be seen with the bookies now downgrading his chances from 7-1 to 10-1. He's recently celebrated his 39th birthday and at the moment might be seen as up-and-coming. But with the Labour Party in disarray and the possibility of outright civil war after a general election defeat he may see this as his best chance of the top job for very many years to come. As Michael Portillo poignantly wrote in The Times two years ago in the context of a possible Millband challenge to Brown: "If he does not grab it now, the opportunity may never recur. Brown will become leader, might lose the general election and condemn Labour to a decade in opposition. By which time Miliband will be a has-been, his best years spent fruitlessly harassing the Cameron government, for ever marked by his failure to seize the day, consigned to history as a vacillator. I can tell Miliband that this does not feel good." So, as I said last year: watch this space. James Purnell as the next Prime Minister.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Putsborough yesterday

With thanks to Andy Pratt of, a website which provides free surf pics from around North Devon.