Tuesday, 7 May 2013


I’m on holiday. I’ve stopped working, whatever that means, as my back, aching from brief gardening, mutters. So no more blogs for a week then…

But the discovery of a new life changes perspective. It includes having my eyes wide open, imitating Omar Sharif under the unaccustomed anvil of sun and the indulgence of reading stories (currently the Hypnotist, a Nordic noir offering from Lars Keppler, the Demonologist by Andrew Pyper and a couple of Donna Leon’s.)

I’ve lost myself in a kind of literary autopsy – blood, gore, entrails and lots of “!!!!!!! and …… and AAAAGGGHHHs.”

We all talk about the importance of storytelling yet don’t do it or respond to it nearly enough.

Mahyad Tousi CEO of BoomGen Studios (yes I know) said at a recent TED talk “stories help us remember, understand and think” and following a few days of letting the sunlight in I’m inclined to agree.

My three stories of the week are the one I read about the experiment to see how flowers respond to music. Plants were subjected to extended bouts of Black Sabbath, classical music, Cliff Richard and a silent control environment. Those subjected to heavy metal did best, bloomed more healthily and proved more resistant to disease, classical music did more than silence but nothing special but Cliff Richard singing managed to kill off all the plants. Boom boom! Great story.

The second was a 70th birthday party I went to at the Constitutional Club in Lewes where some exceedingly old rock stars banged out stuff like My Generation:

“People try to put us d-down (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Just because we get around (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I hope I die before I get old (Talkin' 'bout my generation)”

The guy playing the harmonica was about 80 and they managed to make the Stones look youthful but they didn’t look “cold” they looked hot, happy and heavy. Rock on.

The third story is about the suggested death of journalism at the hands of social media junkies. The Huffington Post gets 70 million reader comments a year, employs 30 full time content moderators to deal with them and yet discovers the most frequent and opinionated of the comments come from just 40 people.

Maybe there are fewer storytellers than we’d thought.

Once upon a time I must write a blog about that….when  I get back from a few days off.


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