Flooding of the Seine forced the 37th Django Festival to be switched from Samois-sur-Seine to a field opposite the palace at Fontainebleau. The organisation was excellent, there was plenty of superb young Gipsy Jazz players, but the big-name acts and spirit of Napoleon hung over the venue like his fine felt cocket hat
A feature film called ‘The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist’, based on a 40-year old story broken exclusively by the Daily Mirror, is due for release in the UK on 10 June. It will doubtless be a brilliantly-made blockbuster, wonderful to look at or listen to, but have little to do with fact, a frightened family or flying Lego bricks. Go to this page for what really happened
Mass murderer Dennis Nilsen was the subject of a programme in a 10-part weekly TV series with the umbrella title ‘Murderers and their Mothers.’ The first features Daniel Bartlam, the so-called Coronation Street Killer, and goes out on 15 May. It is followed by installments on Fred and Rosemary West, Jed Allen (‘The Wolverine Killer’), Harold Shipman (‘The Angel of Death’), Joachim Knychala (‘Frankenstein’) and Nilsen on 12 June. The last four in the series will go out in the autumn.
A recent visit to Screwfix reminded me of the Two Ronnies and their hilarious hunt for fork handles. Perhaps even nostalgia isn’t what it used to be…..
Here’s one of my darker short stories, inspired after a night in Lorna Doone country. Enjoy!
Douglas Bence’s next creative writing course runs for seven weeks and starts on 13 September. Course members will learn about structure, point-of-view and narrative tension as well as produce a short story and poem which will hopefully be featured in November’s Looe Literary Festival
An obnoxious minority prompted me to give up bridge for five years, but last year a delightful group of French players revived my enthusiasm and since then I’ve taught the game again and played regularly. The French Connection is revealed here along with two much-quoted, but difficult to find hands: the so-called James Bond deal and another that led to a murder in Kansas City. Wherever you’re playing, always be nice to your partner!
While politicians are still wondering how to implement the recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry, newspapers are largely behaving themselves. Follow this link for some excellent examples of journalism dating from the 1960s. No telephones were tapped to bring you these excellent pieces
Aubrey’s rants were on-line for a year as ‘The Rural Rambles of Aubrey Fitzrovia – the scurrilous thoughts of an aging rebel somewhere in the bleeding heart of Middle England.’ The first three are available here in pdf form. An ebook with them all is expected in 2015