rashbre central: May 2022

Thursday 26 May 2022

red squirrels

New tyres for this journey across the UK. This time, a combination of meeting friends plus also taking a holiday in Scotland. It meant we'd miss the Queen's southerly celebrations, but on the other hand, she is a close neighbour, just along the road in Balmoral. Our theory is that she keeps stunt squirrels (red obvs) on the back road to Braemar, which she can ping onto the road if there are photographers following.

Wednesday 25 May 2022

Glass fronted wine fridge, suitable for meeting room

Nothing to see here. No signs of a party. No wine, no Dunkin' Donuts.
And it might look like a freshly installed glass-fronted wine fridge in the meeting room, but it is a fancy photo copier. I seem to remember that we were assured that no rules were broken and no lies were told.

Monday 23 May 2022


I admit I've given up providing commentary on what the government is doing. The list of misdemeanours is too long and has too many people implicated. 

 A cohort of liars is complicit in crashing the economy and breaking every promise made to the electorate. 

Just because they learned to debate at Eton and Oxford, doesn't give them the right to treat their power over the United Kindom as a plaything. 

Lets remind ourselves how to keep power the easy way: Run briefings against anything.

- Bank of England? Select as scapegoat. 
- Sue Grey? Ad hominum attacks.
- Cocaine traces - bury the story. 
- Cakes and Parties? Trivialise them all, using time as a weapon. 

And so it goes on. The infinite rotten playbook masking that Britain is probably in the worst condition in many people's living memory.

Saturday 21 May 2022

Anyone can play computer, Ok?

Two interesting music events:
  1. The end of the iPod.
  2. Twenty Five Years of OK, Computer.
They are not entirely linked, but do, to me, mark the end of the old way of listening to music. I used to travel to my consultancy gigs by plane, and became very familiar with the old pre-T5 Heathrow terminals and their varied shops. In 'Dixons' I noticed the early iPods being displayed and thought they seemed like a way to reduce my luggage even further. I bought one, with its click wheel and Firewire 400 connection and hooked it up to MusicMatch and then began the lengthy conversion of my CDs to MP3. It worked, but I wondered whether we'd ever get to the stage where downloading the digital files direct to the device would catch on. Then we traversed the Napster years. 

Of course, it presaged the end of the music industry.

Then to Ok, Computer. Twenty five years ago I bought the CD, already having their earlier albums in my collection (remember those?)

This album was, at the time, a milestone of clever production and complicated interweaving of ideas and in some senses was fighting against the rise of the shuffle playlist.

It reminded me of a band refiring the booster rockets on concept albums, but without the pretensions to fill an album side with one track.  
That's not to say Radiohead didn't have the rock'n'roll moves too - as in 'Anyone Can Play Guitar' (Reading '94) with Jonny Greenwood swirling his telecaster by the cable. 

But then going on to do film music including for Inherent Vice, Phantom Thread, Power of the Dog and Licorice Pizza.

Monday 16 May 2022

I thought that I saw you try


Just observing that this is quite a useful concept marker for my next novel.

Sunday 15 May 2022

Covering the options

I'm pondering whether it is better to go generic with book covers. The Bestseller top 38 have 11 books which show a silhouetted figure disappearing into the distance. 

 Formulaic, yet successful.


Friday 13 May 2022

The Dealer - Ed Adams

Here we are. 

The latest from Ed Adams. 

 It's three of the novels wrapped together. 

They make a sort of mini-series, although they are spread over a few decades. 

 Find the Dealer at Amazon (Ed Adams The Dealer) or at all good bookstores.

Thursday 5 May 2022

Future Shock

I headed over to 180 Studio in the Strand for the Future Shock exhibit/installation. First challenge was it was closed and had big diggers outside. A future shock of its own. I wondered if it was an installation piece like something from Punchdrunk.

To get in, I had to enroll on an App. Then I had to select a time, then I had to show it to the doorkeeper. The second future shock. Or as we call it, sales prevention device.
Once I finally figured out how to get inside, I found myself down stairs and into dark corridors. There was limited signage, but the trick was to fumble through the varied spaces. The initial one was a kind of tunnel with a light beam aimed at one's face and various deceptive vanishing lines designed to disorientate. 

It was a kind of future shock, but unlike in something by Toffler, most people's pragmatism meant they had switched on their phones and their cameras so that the could see in the dark. Further on we had an autonomous police car in a dystopian city, which suddenly realised it could be free and did not have to follow all of the rules. It ended badly for the car but then other autonomous cars started to copy its behaviour. 
In another room were a series of life size holograms of people with different personalities.
They would try to challenge you about a random topic, reacting to your own inputs.It was quite spooky and very thought-provoking. 

The artists included Ryoichi Kurokawa, UVA, Caterina Barbieri and Ruben Spini, Lawrence Lek, Actual Objects, Gener8ion, Weirdcore, Gaika, Nonotak, Ben Kelly, Hamill Industries, Ib Kamara, Ibby Njoya, Object Blue and Natalia Podgorska. They reimagined our near future with site-specific installations and sensory experiences to deliberately challenge.