Wanderlust / Away and see

Carol Ann Duffy puts into words how I feel about my friends travelling.

Away and see

Away and see an ocean suck at a boiled sun
and say to someone things I’d blush even to dream.
Slip off your dress in a high room over the harbour.
Write to me soon.

New fruits sing on the flipside of night in a market
of language, light, a tune from the chapel nearby
stopping you dead, the peach in your palm respiring.
Taste it for me.

Away and see the things that words give a name to, the flight
of syllables, wingspan stretching a noun. Test words
wherever they live; listen and touch, smell, believe.
Spell them with love.

Skedaddle. Somebody chaps at the door at a year’s end, hopeful.
Away and see who it is. Let in the new, the vivid,
horror and pity, passion, the stranger holding the future.
Ask him his name.

Nothing’s the same as anything else. Away and see
for yourself. Walk. Fly. Take a boat till land reappears,
altered forever, ringing its bells, alive. Go on. G’on. Gon.
Away and see.


Anyone who hasn’t heard me rant about this film already must take heed now.

Go see the French film ‘Polisse’, a tough documentary-style peek into the work and lives of officers of the Paris Child Protection Unit (BPM-Brigade de Protection des Mineurs)

The dialogue just crackles, the characters are superbly portrayed, the shots are gritty and real, the story just drags you around from one scene to the next.

Tremendously exhilarating and I’m glad to see movies like this being made (and shown; thanks to the Cornerhouse).

And thanks to x for getting the tickets and suggesting it in the first place.


Whenever I see flags (ie. at football matches) I’m reminded of those pennants flying at Ye Tourneys and Ye Jousts of Ye Olde Middle Ages. 

Clearly there was some complex code in the fluttering banners that flew above standing armies as well, containing significant information about who was on the field, and what they stood for.

Could anyone from a different time, for example, watch a football match today and decipher that flags are used not only to identify the opposing teams/nations, but also their host nation(s), their clothes and drinks providers (often the same provider for both teams; treacherous bastards!), their favourite airline, their chosen tool for shaving, their preferred method of viewing entertainment, their brand of nappy.

I wonder if it was the same in Ye Olde Middle Ages. And, of course, it was. Knights required huge incomes just to support the stables and armour they needed to chivalrously pillage.

There have always been sponsors who will give money/resources to gain a ‘recognition-by-association’.

But I am also reminded of the Barcelona football kit emblazoned with the ‘Unicef’ logo; not meaning they’re sponsored, but rather the opposite; that Barcelona FC contributes to a worthy cause.

Fast-Food Shop Fronts…

…or ‘Why Differentiation Doesn’t Always Work’.

There is a fast-food shop on Oxford Road in Manchester that sells the type of takeaway fare instantly recognisable by countless drunken students across the UK and Europe.

However, even though it is located right on this major thoroughfare, recent unofficial polls by me suggested nobody knew it was a fast-food shop. Even though the people questioned habitually walk past the shop and indeed have done so with me on many an occasion.
When pressed, they variously replied that they thought it was a gift card shop, a milk shake vendor, etc.


Because the owner has painted his shop pink in the manner of a burger joint from ’50s-era Americana. One can only imagine the lost trade due to this unfathomable mistake.

Yes, we may laugh at unimaginative “Mario Pizza”, “Italia Ciao” or “Pizza Bella” (all genuine businesses round my area) shop names but these are names expected by the customers and it clearly doesn’t pay to deviate from the trodden path in this circumstance.