Monthly Archives: January 2010

Take me to the hospital…

Prodigy rocked, Doncaster Dome – less than impressive venue.  Didn’t spooil it though – ears were ringing for 20 odd hours after the gig!  The mix of age ranges present a stark reminder of how long the Prodigy have been doing the rounds – folks older than me (yes, really!) often sporting t-shirts from tours I was too young for, but also loads of young’uns enamoured with their current (excellent) material.

A video (recorded by somebody else) that gives a hint of proceedings.. probably burned more calories moshing and being swept all around the place than I would’ve done playing football, which is what I’d ordinarily be doing on a Thursday night.

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Albert and Flora – Mark Collar

You’re always likely to be a bit biased when you read a book written by a friend, but this one was doubly-intriguing being about Albert Ball – a World War 1 pilot from Nottingham who I remember my granny waxing lyrical about when we saw his statue in the grounds of Nottingham Castle when I was a child.  A riveting, moving and emotional read.  I’d recommend it!

Link to buy is just here, review I submitted to the publisher below:

To try to put yourself in the midst of events occurring less than 100 years ago is hard, Mark’s book effortlessly slides you into a terrifying world where death and loss are foisted upon people. Without time to prepare, they deal with it and bear suffering us modern-world softened people can only imagine.

As a proud son of Nottingham I’m well aware of Albert Ball, but this intricately researched story along with insightful and imaginative filling in of the details leaves you feeling like you knew him, his family and – of course – his sweetheart. The story is charming, harrowing, horrifying and ultimately haunting.

What makes this book particularly brilliant is the evokative way in which it is able to place you at the scene, in the cockpit, in the trenches, digging for victory in Blighty – all without labouring the details. It gives you enough to let your imagination colour an often bleak surrounding.

I think there is great value in people understanding better what our forebears went through in order to secure and protect our freedom, and that our our Allies – without being at all preachy this is the best example of this I’ve found.

Albert Ball’s dad, Albert Ball Snr, moved heaven and Earth to ensure his son was remembered in Nottingham in statue form, and in France where he died and was buried. This memorial pays great tribute to that laudable aim, too.

You could do a lot worse than spend a few days reading this!

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