The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.
Click here to see the complete report.
Since this is the last 13th of the year before 2013, how about this piece, which is a foreword I wrote for Threaded, a New Zealand design magazine run by my excellent friend Fiona Grieve? It happened to be their 13th edition, which I believe goes on sale any day now. Besides, there isn’t another Friday 13th until September next year. So I hope you’ll enjoy this little reflection on the power of a particularly loaded number. Where I am, a late Autumn Budapest night, it is strictly speaking still the 12th, but down in the South Pacific with Fiona and the Threaded gang it’s already the day in question. If you have trouble reading the PDF for any reason, then scroll down, because the full text follows. Thank you and good night pilgrims.
Threaded issue number 13! For some people, superstitious folk, afraid of their own shadows, that might sound unlucky…
Read More »
It was a few years ago now while on holiday in Istria on the border of Italy and Slovenia, that the idea came to me. I was sitting down to lunch with an agreeable companion, a carafe of quaffable white wine and a seafood platter at a waterfront restaurant in Piran, a sleepy little fishing village that had once been a Venetian outpost. (You can see statues with the lion of Venice about the place.) In any case, as I was enjoying my lunch, I noticed not one, not two but rather three cats “working the tables” beneath, fetching scraps of food as they fell from above. It came to me in one long, lucid moment. These cats could be part of a gang (or colony as a group of feral cats are called) and they would have all kinds of adventures in the town, not least with the ghost of Giuseppe Tartini, the diabolical violinist whose statue graces the main market square.
Thus, The Wild Cats of Piran, a series of children’s books was born. I set myself the task of writing something as wise and whimsical as The Wind in the Willows, or Oscar Wilde’s stories for children, and I think I came close to succeeding. My words have been enriched immeasurably by the illustrations of Moreno Chiste. Well, I am delighted to say that Chronicle One of The Wild Cats of Piran is now online and for sale on Amazon, and there’s also a regularly updated blog, here. Please do take a look.
Yes, I know it’s been a while. Well, all I can say by mitigation is that I’ve not been idle.
As well as helping with final edits of my TV series, Max’s Midnight Movies, acting in Fallen Angels II (a B movie about Ninja Assassins fighting the New World Order), preparing my children’s book for publication (any day now) and last but definitely not least, penning cover stories and doing some editorial duties for Time Out in Budapest. This was the first, and it’s about what goes on behind closed doors in Budapest, and also features the first Gossip Column by the incomparable Mitzi Molnár…
A Budapest online portal for expatriates recently sent me a 20 point questionnaire which I responded to in the only way I know how. It’s actually an update on an interview I did for them about 8 years ago. To give you an idea, in the last one, when asked what was never missing from my fridge, I replied “a severed head”, and prompted for a personal motto, I wrote “Never put on a roll neck sweater with a lit cigarette in your mouth”. This is in a similarly serious vein.
You can either read the interview here, or on XPatLoop dot com.
1. What’s been happening at work and at home since your first Xpat Interview?
Zounds and strewth, it has been a while. To answer yr question, on the ‘Work’ career front Max’s Midnight Movies the half hour, 26 part series I created and scripted is playing across Central Europe on AXN SciFi. They are also screening my animated adaptation Space Cadets. I have had a few lucky breaks as a character actor (such as A KGB spy in The Company, a medieval lawman in World Without End). Other than that, I have travelled around and lived in Buenos Aires, Istanbul & Beirut in the last few years. A long-er story. But must have a thing for B cities, because I came back to Budapest. ‘Home’? Wherever I lay my panama. No actually it’s a lovely heirloomy sort of place near the radial axis of the Oktogon.
2. On a scale of 1 to 10 how happy are you with your life in Hungary, and why?
Weighing in at about 95 kilos, I would break most any scale of 1 to 10. But I’m happy here, writing and acting and growing old disgracefully.
3. What’s the best party you’ve been to while in Hungary, and why?
My own Halloween parties have been known to push the boat out.
Read More »
The Baronet of Beyoğlu, Sir Christopher White
And now, ladies and gentlemen, enough biographical preamble from me.
Instead, this small taste of Sir Christopher White’s 175000 word manuscript,
A Definitive History of England
(Complete with footnotes)
Charles 1 1625-1649 (The Martyr)
The first Charles should have been a roaring success. He had jolly good taste, dressed as a gent should, looked corking on a horse, and had a suitably grand idea of who he was. He should have been a seriously romantic Monarch, but somehow loused it all up. Unfortunately, he had inherited his Dad’s groggy legs, and sadly also, a degree of that unworthy’s narrow-minded – we are loathe indeed to find ourselves obliged to use that expression for a King, and a King of England, too – almost suburban finickiness and indecisive lack of moral fibre. This last, he disguised with hauteur and considerable stubbornness.
Read More »
Continuing with my introduction to Sir Christopher White and his works
The Baronet & friend
My conversation with the Baronet rambled all over the map, and I did not see fit to press for a chronological autobiography. His childhood, he writes about eloquently in his memoir-as-novel, Shadows In Between. I know that he has been married three tines and that he once drove an MG from London to Rome and slept under the stars every night on the Spanish Steps, until via a series of scarcely creditable coincidences, he landed his first teaching job.
Read More »
In December of last year (2011) I travelled to Istanbul where I spent a couple of months working on scripting my television series Max’s Midnight Movies, and befriended a character I had long heard about as ‘The Baronet’. It was Smithy, an Australian friend in Budapest who’d told me stories about this eccentric sounding character and his unconventional establishment. Well, I happen to like eccentric characters, and Sir Christopher has turned out to be a real collector’s item.
The Baronet as a boy with nanny & servants
On our first meeting, I was probably most struck by the voice of the Baronet himself, waving in out of wreathes of cigarette smoke, chatting away and telling stories in the kind of cut-glass British accent that even so-called posh people don’t use anymore, unless they happen to be the Queen, or Brian Sewell.
Read More »
Yes. I know. It’s been too long, over a year in fact. This blog has had more reboots than the James Bond franchise. Think of this as a soft relaunch. I will be trying to update it weekly, but no more promising rose gardens of daily scintillation. Meanwhile enquiring minds will ask, what has happened to the Jet Set Hobo over the last 12 months? Obviously much more than I can begin to encapsulate in a blog post, but for much of the last year, I have been scripting a 26 part TV series for AXN Sci-Fi, called Max’s Midnight Movies.
Max’s Midnight Movies stars a sexy geek hostess – Max – who presents scenes from old sci-fi, horror and monster movies. Such unforgettable films as The Brain That Wouldn’t Die and Frankenstein’s Daughter, Nightmare Castle and Forbidden Planet. Many of these films were once considered trash, but now they have genuine historical value. They are also very funny, especially after Max puts her stamp on them.
Read More »
Yes. It’s been a while, but then Time as we understand it is mostly an artificial construct. While we have in the last century or so arguably gained some understanding of both Matter and Space, it seems to me we still know rather too little about the other two legs of the table, which I take anyway to be Time …and Luck. (Prove me wrong if you can.)
My qualifications to comment on the Nature of Luck, we’ll have to discuss in another post – but while we’re still on the subject of Time, how do The Dark Ages grab you? Well, bear with me for it was only a few days ago I clambered out of my Time Machine from a stint in the Medieval Era. But I hope to be back soon. I refer of course to the 3DTV pilot The Medieval Trip, which I’ve been working on, off and on, since March.
Filmed on location in Hungary: quite possibly the most medieval country in the world, and I say that with no disrespect intended.
In The Medieval Trip, a very fine Hungarian bloke named Attila Muller is plunged back into a reconstructed Medieval Hungary where he has to find food and shelter, learn to fight and hunt and connive his way out of serfdom…
Read More »