Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006


News in Brief

On The Wire

My obsession with The Wire has reached its peak, as we enter Season Five. I have lost many hours of sleep to this series. It may even be better than sleep. So far, I can’t decide if I love Season Two (the stevedores) or Season Four (the kids, the heartbreaking kids) the most. No-one is good or bad in The Wire, everyone is flawed and human. Nothing is explained, everything is shown. The canvas is huge, but it focuses on one city. The women are foul-mouthed members of the team, not objects of hotness. Characters you adore are mown down, leaving you mourning for days (RIP, Bodie). What a lesson for writing.

On not writing

Apparently what I am doing is called composting. That is all.

On finding a new author, or rather, an author new to me

I read and devoured AM Homes’ May We Be Forgiven over Christmas, and am now foisting it on everyone. She is quite, quite brilliant, and now I have just finished This Book Will Save Your Life, which equally good. Homes appears to be a prolific writer, so I have hours of reading happiness ahead of me.

On men in skirts.


On fitness

Lunges hurt more than push-ups.

On work

Happiness is more important than career trajectory.

On snow

Snow makes winter easier to love.

On clarity

My to-do list is getting shorter, but I still have three major items that require ticking off.

On photo shoots

Artifice hurts and takes a very long time. However, it helps to have good people.



News of The Week

There is news, dear readers. The first is, of course, that Doris Lessing has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. The news itself has has been bettered by darling Doris’s reaction to it. She climbs out of a taxi outside her London home and an enthusiastic hack who has been camping there asks her if she knows. “What?” says Doris, all long grey hair coming down and slouchy blue cardigan. “You’ve won the Nobel Prize for Literature,” the hack tells her. “Oh Christ,” says Doris, putting down her shopping and looking very irritable as if she’d just had a rough time down at Tesco’s.

Watch it here:

We felt almost as irritable as Doris this week when we heard that poor poppet Sting had laryngitis and had to cancel his Mannheim tour date, meaning that I’m having to watch him on YouTube instead of live.

Another essential piece of news is that next week is Chocolate Week. From Monday to Sunday, chocolatiers and choc-fans will be attending tastings, talks, demonstrations and launches of new chocolates, while admiring chocolate fountains and chocolate sculptures. Shops will be featuring exquisite artisanal chocolates. People will be gathering to taste them and buy them and take them home and eat them, or put them on specially-made chocolate shrines, if that’s what they do. And this is all happening in London. Where I am not. I am not remotely bitter.

However, I am extremely well-placed for visiting the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is where I am going on Sunday. Me and 35 000 sausages. If I’m really lucky, maybe Doris will be there.