Running by the missile silos

I’ve been spending a lot of time in Newbury lately. I usually stay in the same hotel, just by Greenham Common. I end each working day by running through the woods to the old airbase. Every time, I pass the empty nuclear missile silos. They fascinate me. They’re brutal pieces of architecture. I assume they […]

Who Were We?

I spent last night at the British Council’s wonderful ‘Who Were We?’ event at the BFI. They were unveiling their film collection, which has just gone online here.  It was a wonderful evening, for many different reasons. First of all, it was the end of a rather wonderful process I helped begin back in 2009. […]

Enclosing Wild Orchids

For today’s post, allumination brings you – Iain Sinclair live! He’s reading from ‘Hackney, that Rose-Red Empire’ at the British Library, with musical and spoken word accompaniment from John Harle. Together, they create a rather wonderful aural collage; and, although my little N95 made them look rather blocky, it caught words and music pretty well. […]

Aliens, invasions, and the act of reading

Nigel Kneale’s masterpieces ‘Quatermass and the Pit’, ‘The Quatermass Conclusion’ and ‘The Stone Tape’ cast a fascinating light on the nature of fiction, because each one shows the future invading from the past. In ‘Quatermass and the Pit’, the Martian invaders are five million year old fossils, in ‘The Quatermass Conclusion’, Neolithic stone circles become […]

A hatchet for Jung

Much excitement at allumination this week, as my last big post – the Olson / Lovecraft one – has been picked up on by the international poetry world. Greetings, new readers from just about everywhere! I hope you’re enjoying the unholy poetry / weirdness blend that goes on here. Some personal poetic excitement as well, […]

Sands of presentation

Off to do a presentation skills course for work today; so I’m now going to sit down and write a five minute speech for it, to be used as a base for feedback etc. Not quite sure what this will do for the blog – perhaps I will suddenly become infinitely more persuasive? We shall […]

Loving the Gerard

Returning to Gerard de Nerval briefly. I was obsessed by him while I was writing my book, and I think he’s someone that – if you’re fascinated by the fantastic – is well worth checking out. His work covers a very broad range, from vividly evocative reportage of nineteenth century Paris to (quite genuinely) unhinged […]