Dystopia now: the Bot takes over

Some say Brexit Britain is heading for dystopia, I say it’s already arrived, and there’s plenty of robots and zombies to prove it

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing

A rant about the lack of good jazz in Cornwall. Jazz peaked way back in the last century and suffered a Beatle blow in 1963, but it survived and continues to do so thanks to a new generation of talented players. Unfortunately, their visits to this far western corner of Europe are rare

Once upon a time there was a big bad wolf

If you’re interested in creative writing, on 18 October there’s free two-hour taster at St Ives Library on fairy tales and why we tell them, and at the other end of the county, in Looe, an evening with writers from Looe and Falmouth who will be reading their work at the Millpool Centre as part of the Literary Festival on 18 November

Why journalism is not what it was

Technology is dealing what will be a mortal blow for popular journalism as used by the ‘red tops’, those national titles whose daily circulation used to be in millions. Some of my favourite pieces from a happier past can be read here

Conjuring the Enfield Poltergeist

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

Dennis Nilsen to feature in new Sky TV series

Sky TV is planning a new programme on murderers, one of which will focus on serial killer Dennis Nilsen who earlier this year was the subject of one of CBS’s 10-part ‘Murderers and their Mothers’ series. As times change, one programme on the same subect every five years is acceptable, two in a year is too much….

Bridge across the Channel

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!