He wonders about the ways in which people can be made to feel unworthy. The first thing he thinks is that he doesn’t like that word: unworthy. It doesn’t really seem to capture the core of the feeling he’s trying to explore. Would ‘non-worthy’ be better? Or ‘non-worthwhile’? What he’s trying to get at is a sense of a lack of value. Valuelessness. But in … Continue reading Voice


He sits on the edge of the bath, biting his lower lip, hard. They mustn’t hear him crying. His hands grip the bath tub tight, knuckles pushing through the skin.

He tries to think about nothing but the force of his grip. On the bath tub. The coolness beneath his hands. His eyes squeezed shut, pushing the tears out. Liquid streaming down his face. A few drops falling onto his legs. But no sound. Not a single sound emerging from his mouth. His wide open, silent mouth. 

Continue reading “Seated”

2019 Film Reviews – 33: Tell No One / Tylko Nie Mów Nikomu [dir. Tomasz Sekielski; 2019]

I struggle to understand why the makers of this film – and of several other modern documentaries – felt the need to dress up what is indisputably a serious, upsetting, far-reaching subject with melodramatic music, portentous drone shots and ‘edgy’ camera placements best left to hokey police procedurals. But that aside, this expose of the Polish church’s attempts to cover up the abuse of children … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 33: Tell No One / Tylko Nie Mów Nikomu [dir. Tomasz Sekielski; 2019]

Film Review: We Need To Talk About Kevin [dir. Lynne Ramsay; 2011]

Not having read the Lionel Shriver novel on which this film is based, I went in with foreknowledge about nothing except – as is often the way – the story’s concluding revelation. Still, this didn’t detract from what turned out to be a moving, unsettling, deeply visceral cinematic experience. Tilda Swinton is consistently excellent as the mother of an odd teenage son whose behaviour casts … Continue reading Film Review: We Need To Talk About Kevin [dir. Lynne Ramsay; 2011]

The Combined Coolness

Is there a word to describe the feeling of coming full circle? ‘Satisfaction’ isn’t quite deep enough. ‘Completion’ is somewhat emotionless. ‘Accomplishment’ implies too much intent. I suspect there is one somewhere, either in English or some other language, and if I knew what it was, I would’ve used it last Saturday evening. Here’s an understatement for you: Doctor Who was a significant part of my … Continue reading The Combined Coolness


Here’s a question for you: is it all right to give money as a gift? If your answer is an immediate, unqualified Yes, then don’t read on. You’ll probably find the rest of this post needlessly convoluted and pedantic. But if your gut tells you that there’s something wrong with handing over cash on someone’s birthday or at Christmas, then join the club. A book I … Continue reading Green


How fast has time flown for you since 1990? There’s at least one city in the world where the little green numbers on the digital clock have whizzed by so rapidly that the land of nineteen years ago feels like it belongs in some dusty, moth-eaten historical tome. That place is Dubai, which, as you may know, is where I spent most of my childhood. It’s also the … Continue reading Gold


The other day, ‘Knee-Jerk-Reaction Dariush’ wrote the following… but he thought twice before clicking on ‘Upload’… — Do you think it’s right to take a three year old to a salon for a manicure? ‘Cause if you don’t, you may soon end up in a minority. Apparently several London salons now cater specifically to the under 10s and many more similar venues are going to … Continue reading Apply