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CSC X Chrystie


I know. I know. I’ve been bangin’ on about Chinatown Soccer Club and about playing football weekly.

I’m not sure how to convey just how much it has meant to be invited, to play and then actually compete reasonably well. Some of these local guys have been playing weekly for years. Some play for amateur Saturday morning teams. I wish I’d been ‘in’ with them sooner.

Anyway, enough about me.

How about Chinatown Soccer Club and Chrystie NYC though… I love their vibe.

Nutshell – Ian McEwan

Nutshell – Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan has written a lot of books. Seventeen to date. It makes one wonder – Has he run out of stories to tell? Has he mined the depth of characters and their flaws? With Nutshell he answers defiantly. No one is safe, McEwan will tell you a good tale and it will be entertaining and uncomfortable all at the same time. In other words it will be wonderful.

Do not read this if pregnant


I feel guilty calling Nutshell wonderful, but it actually is. However please heed this one caution – do not read this if pregnant. Now that I have this off my chest we can proceed. You see Nutshell is narrated by a foetus, in its mothers womb. A foetus who has already developed a darkly wry sense of humour, and who has overheard everything going on in the life of his mother. Not a great mother in many respects. She enjoys a few drinks and is currently embroiled in an affair, with her husbands brother, and is not so subtly trying to claim ownership of his Georgian townhouse in London. What a wonderful place to start!

Nutshell - Ian McEwan

Our foetus is an entertaining narrator, even when things get a bit, mmm, physical. The mother likes listening to podcasts which give our foetus an interesting worldview. McEwan’s writing is claustrophobic and urgent, leaving the reading straining for a better understanding of exactly what is going on. All too quickly we are brought up to date with the illicit ploy between mother and her lover – to kill the husband. How very Shakespearian. We observe as the couple stumble and blunder through their murderous plans and as our narrator helplessly listens to the plan put into effect. A smoothie lover, an owl poet, a hat, the passports – so much vivid detail is given to fill out the story it is impossible not to want to know what happens.

The ending is simply perfect – if not inevitable


The writer has admitted that the concept for Nutshell is ‘irresistibly silly’ but a silly idea in the hands of a master makes for a unique novel. Coming in at under 200 pages it is the perfect remedy to a reading slump. I read this after trudging my way through a massive Irish family saga which basically was sad and boring so this was much needed. Quick, witty and wicked.

Keep track of the books I am reading here at my bookish Instagram account – Books Northern Ireland.

Oct – 40

During October 2017 I celebrate my 40th Birthday. This list of songs – which is also available as a podcast [other formats will be available soon] – is a quick snapshot of some of the music & artists who’ve been in the background over those forty years. In the accompanying podcast I explain their significance & inclusion.

The playlist is here or embedded below.

That time I quit Twitter

I have followed and have been followed by some brilliant and inspirational people. I have been trolled by idiots. Idiots that I know and some that I don’t. Many people have got to know me. Some only think they know me. I have shared useless information. I have shared things that I believed were useful. I’ve been embraced by people on the other side of the world. I’ve been mocked by people in my hometown. I [think] I’ve encouraged some people. I know I’ve pissed people off.

These experiences are not exclusive to me though. I’m not special. If you’ve built a following on Twitter these are probably your experiences as well.

It has been brilliant. It has been awful.

And now I need to leave.

I may reflect some more on this… we’ll see.

I said all of that in April. Click here for the full post.

I meant every word of that post.

But I came back.

I’d be all of them


“Which Beatle would you be?”

“I’d be all of them”

What a terrible question but, what a Liam Gallagher response.

Liam’s new record is out today. I’ve mentioned it in our newsletter which you can subscribe to below the post [click the post title] or on the homepage here.

As you were.