The Swipe Volume 1 Chapter 16

We are In The North, well and truly over the border into Danelaw. Warkworth, a pretty village with an imposing castle up on the hill. From here, the fishing port of Amble is an—amble along the coast walk. Northumberland is a happy place for us, a point of peace and joy where we can rediscover ourselves, reenergise and reset for the coming summer. Much fish will be eaten. Much ale will be drunk. Time to get salty air in our lungs and the soft light of the north-east in our souls.

Wherever you are, whenever you are, however you are, welcome to The Swipe.

Rob is reading…

The Accomplice by Steve Cavanaugh. His Eddie Flynn books take the courtroom thriller basics and add propulsive, twisty plot and great characters. Sure, it’s all a bit pulpy. But that’s the good bit. Decent holiday reading.

Rob is watching…

The waves from the beach at Warkworth.

Rob is listening…

to the waves from the beach at Warkworth.

I mean, come on.

Rob is eating…

Homemade bread (more on that in a separate post next week) slathered with home made butter. Jacques Pépin style. Check out the old-school Robot-Coupe.

I believe I made my feelings about the gigantic exercise in corporate PR taking place today clear in last week’s chapter. Just in case further clarification is needed, I’ll let Scottish writer and sage Charlie Stross take the reins. Pun intended.

Fuck The Monarchy

I was also taken by John Higgs’ take on the shenanigans. Ritual and magical thinking play a huge part in our relationship to the royal family. You can’t take them on logically. That is not the sphere in which they operate.

Charles’ Magical Hat

I guess, and it’s slightly cheering to note, most people will be consuming the coronation as a kind of entertainment for the masses—a one-in-a-lifetime orgy of pageantry and pomp of the kind we do best, a show which, as a tourist attraction, is the argument you’ll hear as the primary one for hanging onto the royals at all. Awe-inspiring in the way Mickey Mouse is if you run into him on the streets of Disneyland. Which explains, I suppose, why everyone’s favourite cuddly goth accepted an invitation to the Abbey…

Enough of this foolishness. As you know, this newsletter is focussed on creativity and imagination, with a focus on the tools available to us in order to help realise our dreams, without sliding into well-worn patterns of tired cliche.

Haaaang on a minute.

As you know, Bob…

I love a big fat cruise article. The strange, heightened atmosphere. The isolation. The sort of people who think it’s fun to go on a cruise. Tie all that in with a cross promotion featuring a famous main character who is pretty mech removed from any sense of reality, and you have a long read well worth curling up with. Lauren Oyler even neatly addresses the journalistic elephant on the pool deck.

I Really Didn’t Want To Go

Brown plate will always make me happy. Place a heaped platter of fried things down in front of me, double carb, and watch me go. The fishier the better, so fritto misto is an unalloyed joy. Although I will never say no to a Jenga-stack of fish fingers. A flurry of parsley or gremolata if you must, although the committed brown-plater will hit the plate with hot sauce or mayo. No salad, please. This is a purist experience.

The best Brown Plate

As you can tell, my culinary tastes were developed in childhood. What, like you’re any different? Sure, our palates change over time, but the framework of our likes and dislikes is bolted together in our first ten years. Jasmine Attia takes us on a trip round her back pages to the contents of her table.

Grape Leaves

The octopus is an extraordinary, constantly surprising creature. I believe the species to be sentient, which is why you’ll never find it on my version of brown plate. I can’t eat something which may be smarter than me. For Aeon Magazine, David Borkenhagen considers how our tentacled pal may help our understanding of time itself…

Time And The Octopus

Technology changes and creates new challenges. The solution engenders new problems. The street finds its own use for things.

Oops, that’s a train.

“Something middle-aged men and teen-age girls have in common is the act of finding yourself, and being kind of self-conscious. Maybe some beliefs that you’ve held on to for a long time are finally being shed. The teen-age girl in me is obsessed with the National, and feels very spoken to and seen by them, maybe for the exact same reasons that they speak to middle-aged men.”

Phoebe Bridgers

Of course I love The National.

Sad Dads

I love this list of challenges from Everything Is Amazing. We accidentally completed challenge one yesterday on a visit to Warkworth Castle, four minutes from The Byrne. Definitely worth a look if you’re in the area. British Heritage have done a great job with the context and information. There’s lots to discover and loads of crumbly walls to climb.

Challenge five? Hard nope.

Five Challenges

Lastly, as a way to ignore all the nonsense around the Great Encrownation, I have decided to give up and slip gently under the surface of the nearest bog. Peace at last.

Please Accept My Application To Beome A Bog Body

The Outro? Well, tempting as it was to just go old school with Johnny Rotten and the gang, there was only ever one choice. ALLTAGEVVAH NAH!

See you in seven, true believers.


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Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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