Friday, 6 March 2009


More queue-based gossip for you, fellow book-worms. Young actor, writer and all-round good-egg Ben Crystal caused a bit of a stir at book-signing time. His energetic, interactive talk was so poular that theme-park style queues quickly formed.

It's been a bit of a week for dynasties. It's something writers will often, understandably, distance themselves from to prove their own worth but, just for some factoid-fun... Harry Mount is the cousin of a Mr D Cameron, Ruth Padel is of course the great-great grandaughter of old Chazzer Darwin, John Hemming's mother was a well-known journalist, Misha Glenny is, of course, married to Kirsty Lang, and vice versa. And Ben Crystal is son of living-linguistic-legend David Crystal. With a gene pool that deep, no wonder the autograph-hunters have been out in force. No diving from the shallow end and no heavy petting, please.

Last night I went for some poetry. Tim Liardet kicked off the start of a new season of Bath Spa Stand-Up Poetry with Vicki Feaver and Catherine Smith. It were right good. Tonight, in a continuing of the Focus on Hungary theme, Mr Liardet will be in conversation with Anna Szabó & George Szirtes. For those of you unfortunate folks who missed out on a ticket for George Monbiot, I'd recommend this one.

Sam 'The Uncommon' Reader

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