David Bishop tagged me with this meme

Find a song that sums up what you think it means to be a writer and post the lyrics on your blog and why you’ve chosen it. NB: It doesn’t have to be your favourite song, it just has to express how you feel about writing and/or being a writer. It can be literal, metaphorical, about a particular form or aspect of writing – whatever you want. Then tag 5 others to do the same.

and as someone who’s always up for a challenge, I thought I’d give it some consideration. After a little deliberation, I chose Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival. It talks about people who are born from a privileged background and contrasts it with the lot of most writers who have to struggle to get work published and to make a decent living, myself included. I think it sums up a lot of what I feel it means to be a writer:

Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Some folks are born made to wave the flag
Ooh, they’re red, white and blue
And when the band plays “Hail To The Chief”
Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord


It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no senator’s son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no fortunate one


Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
Lord, don’t they help themselves, oh
But when the taxman come to the door
Lord, the house look a like a rummage sale, yes

It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no millionaire’s son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no fortunate one

Yeah, some folks inherit star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war
And when you ask them, how much should we give
Ooh, they only answer, more, more, more, yeah

It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no military son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no fortunate one

It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no fortunate one
It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no fortunate son

tag Steve Colgan http://stevyncolgan.blogspot.com/, Paul Cornell http://paulcornell.blogspot.com/, David Baillie http://www.davidbaillie.net/ and Bill Baker http://www.specfric.blogspot.com/

So this is my first post about this year’s Open House London, which took place last weekend (Sept 20-21st 2008). Amazingly, the weather was spectacular: bright blue sky and quite warm. We had a shitty August so it wasn’t guaranteed that it would be nice. As with other years, I wanted to go places I’d not been to before so Saturday I decided to go to the Wimbledon Windmill and the Banqueting House on Whitehall. I’d never seen a windmill in the flesh before and I’d also heard that the Banqueting House was pretty spectacular so both seemed like interesting picks. It took forever to get to the Windmill: myself and my mate Andy drove towards Hammersmith and all the way down Fulham Palace Road and across Putney Bridge and the traffic was terrible until we got the other side of Putney. This is the disadvantage of picking places miles from home. But when we got to the Windmill, it was pretty interesting. A post mill built in 1817, it’s not in use now and is a museum and it was quite something to climb up the rickety stairs to the centre of the windmill. But what was even nicer was the fact that it sat on the edge of Wimbldeon Common. We didn’t see any wombles (joke for my English readers) but it was truly a beautiful place with a lake/ large pond a few minutes walk from the Windmill. Apart from a plane passing overhead every two minutes (it’s on the flight path from Heathrow) you could have almost been in the country. It was a shame to leave the Common and it made us realise how much beauty there is in London. Being a North Londoner, I didn’t know about Wimbledon Common and this is part of what Open House is about…
So we headed north of the river through Victoria towards Whitehall. The Banqueting Hall is the only remaining part of the Palace of Whitehall, built and designed by Inigo Jones around 1622 and I had never seen it so I thought ‘Why not?’ We found somewhere to park and walked across the Mall towards it, through Horse Guards (another fabulous building that I still haven’t seen inside because the queues are always huge) and we had to wait to cross Whitehall because there was a parade from Northern Ireland going across. I’m not sure what the parade was for but I did get some great shots of people in colourful regalia. But we made it after a short wait and went inside. The Banqueting House is elegant, magnificent and well worth a visit with its high walls and exquisite ceiling. Here are some photos from Saturday. I did even more on my own on Sunday but that’s for another post…

Here are some more London photos of Heals on Tottenham Court Road, the BT Tower in Fitzrovia, statues around Portland Place near Regent’s Park, a statue of Churchill and Roosevelt in Mayfair, a photo of the launch party of Open House and more. Heals was great to photograph because of the way that the flags moved in the delicate breeze and the view of the BT Tower from an extreme angle. Here you go…


After last week’s review of the TRIPWIRE Annual on Down The Tubes, Richard Bruton has been kind enough to review it on the FPI Blog. Check it out here: http://forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog/?p=9420.
Preparation for the Superheroes Special is proceeding apace but it looks like the Whedon interview might not be happening. He’s battling with Dollhouse at the moment so it might be difficult to get it in. But it should still be a very nice package. 

Last Sunday because the weather was very nice again, I decided to go down to Vauxhall Bridge to reshoot it with my SLR for the Bridges book. I last shot the bridge back in January 2006 (check out http://www.pmkane.com/bb/JM_Blog_3.htm which was in my old blog location to see just how filthy my Converse got wandering along the ‘beach’ near the bridge). The tide was too high this time so no such luck again but here are a few photos for you including one of MI6 headquarters at Vauxhall Bridge from the north side. Next post will be something on Open House weekend, which happened the weekend of 20th to 21st September…

For the past few years, every Summer I say ‘ I must go to Kew Gardens because I have never been.’ You know what it’s like when you live in a city: you never go to its big tourist spots. So myself and Andy were going to go last Saturday (6th Sept) but the weather was bloody awful, so we put it back. But the forecast was good for this Saturday (13th Sept) so we thought, ‘what the hell’ and jumped in the car and drove to Southwest London. The residents of Southwest London are very lucky as they have places like Chiswick House, Ham House and Osterley on their doorstep as well as areas like Richmond and Barnes. Kew Gardens can be added to that list: in the surprising sunshine, they are absolutely spectacular, an oasis in the city.We were exceptionally lucky with the weather There are a number of lakes and ponds that enhance its beauty and tranquility but it is truly is an amazing place. I admit I am not a plant aficionado but that is unimportant: you can visit Kew and find yourself a quiet corner. The only slight drawback is the fact that it’s on Heathrow’s flight path so there are planes every 60 seconds and it’s quite expensive to get into (£13). But it’s well worth a visit. Kew Palace, the house at the entrance of the Gardens, is not: it’s a small Georgian house not worthy of the title ‘Palace’. Just admire its exterior and save yourself a fiver…
Here are some photos of Kew Gardens…


We are just about to start planning our TRIPWIRE Special for the end of February and we have decided that, rather than just cover Heroes, we shall look at Superheroes in comics, on TV and Film. So hopefully we’ll have a Joss Whedon interview, a DC feature that chats to Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns about the current state of play in the DC Universe, a Marvel feature that chats to Brian Bendis and Ed Brubaker and also looks at Marvel in the wake of Secret Invasion. Plus we intend to talk to Gerard Way about Dark Horse’s Umbrella Academy and there should be a look at Invincible, Spawn and Savage Dragon at Image with their creators. Also, features on forthcoming comic movie Kick Ass and probably Watchmen the film will be included in its pages too. I’ll keep you posted…

So I left Taunton on the Sunday morning and meandered my way back to London. I took several A-roads which skirted through Glastonbury and Street and through the spectacular Somerset Wetlands, a huge area of reclaimed land that looked beautiful in the semi-sunlight compared with the pitch-black rain of the night before. Leaving Glastonbury, I saw signs for Bath and for Wells. Now there was no reason to visit Wells for the pagan book but I had heard it was a stunning place and I wasn’t in any real hurry so I thought ‘Why Not’ So I made my way out of Glastonbury and onto Wells. My brother took my folks there for the afternoon back in July and I have to say it is a really beautiful place. Forever associated for me with the evil Bishop of Bath and Wells played exquisitely by Ronald Lacey in Blackadder II, Wells is a small city a little bit west of Bath and it is home to a spectacular Gothic cathedral, which dates from around 13th century, and a Bishop’s Palace complete with its own moat, which also dates from the same period. I admit that I didn’t go into the Cathedral or the Palace, partly because I didn’t want to spend all day there but also because I was conserving my money but they look incredible from their exteriors. So I’ll have to go back to Wells properly someday and I really need to go back to Somerset and explore it further…