Monday, 15 February 2010

That's entertainment

One of my Christmas presents was the DVD set of series 1 – 6 of “Trailer Park boys” which is a Canadian comedy. I didn’t realise that Canadians did comedy but it had 5 stars on Amazon. The episodes started slowly, with no gags at all, and continued in much the same vein for all of the episodes. I gradually got sucked in and had to try and ration myself to one episode per day. It is the story of a group of friends who live in a trailer park when they are not doing time in prison for theft, growing cannabis, etc. Well really only one of them lives in a trailer. One lives in a car parked beside a trailer and Bubbles lives in a garden shed. I can recommend people to watch it if they get the chance. There is a further series, a feature film and a DVD of Christmas specials, but unfortunately they are not available in a European format as yet.

I have listened to William Boyd’s Audible audio book “Ordinary thunderstorms” which is a departure from his usual style of writing and was a timely reminder of how the big drug companies might be tempted to bump people off and attempt to cover up fatalities during testing, to reap the huge profits available to a company with a 20 year exclusive licence to produce and supply a new drug. Most of the book is about the “hero’s” attempts to drop out of society into the world of the homeless, desperate and destitute, to avoid a killer who has been hired to kill him and retrieve drug trial information that comes into his possession when owner of the paperwork is killed.

Way back in the early nineties in Bristol, the library service used to have an annual “Black History Month”, promoting the literature of black and Afro-Caribbean writers. It was during one of these months that in amongst the “worthy” writings, I stumbled across the author Walter Mosley and his creation Easy Rawlins. Brutal tales of the black underclass struggling to stay alive in the white dominated U.S.A. Easy mostly survives by doing favors (favours) for people who have come up against life threatening situations in exchange for a car tune up or a meal, often aided by his friend Mouse, a born killer. At least one of the mystery stories “Devil in a blue dress” has been made into a film, with Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals. The two that I read last week were “Bad boy Brawly Brown” and “Six Easy Pieces”

Today I finished “Porno” by Irvine Welsh. Some of you might remember the rather nasty film “Trainspotting” about a group of young druggies in the Leith / Edinburgh area of Scotland. This reunites the main characters,Sick Boy, Rent, Spud, and the increasingly unhinged psychopath Frank Begbie, who survived. Much of the dialogue is written in Glasgow / Leith dialects and rhyming slang, so many readers might give up. Having lived in Scotland and Glasgow for many years, I could hear it all the voices in my head. A depressing picture of life and death amongst the drunks, junkies, and the downtrodden as Sick boy and some of his pals set out to make a groundbreaking pornographic / art movie.

Damn, there seems to be a pattern emerging here. It’s a good job that I have the hilarious DVD’s of series 1 – 6 plus the Christmas specials of the Scottish Comedy “Still Game” written by, and starring Greg Hemphill and Ford Kiernan to watch. These comic gems follow the lives of 2 Scottish pensioners living in a run down estate somewhere on the outskirts of Glasgow, where there is one pub, one bookies (No not a book shop, but a betting shop) and a small convenience store. In the midst of this desolate and graffiti strewn landscape, where hope is probably some child’s name, they struggle along on their pensions and keep clear of trouble.

Once again I am rationing this one. There are subtitles to aid those who don’t quite understand some of the words that are spoken, but it isn’t a translation into what might pass for “normal” English. Yes, quite a change of scene with this little series, I think you’ll agree.....

On the record player, yes record player, is the album "Moving Waves" by Focus that I used to put on before going out to the student union discos, the track "Hocus Pocus" 


  1. given the situation with my glasses, I've put aside most reading of books, etc. quite annoying.

    good work on the reading in French.

  2. my eyesight is not great so I tend to listen to audio books which I download from There is also same company. For £9.49 per month, I can download a book of my choice each month, regardless of the stated price of the book. You can listen to the books on your computer and/or register your mp3 player or ipod and store the books there too.


Feel free to send me your comments or suggestions