07 New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

I had a wonderful Christmas time, thank you. A minor mishap when I forgot everyone’s gifts notwithstanding, everything went as smoothly as a sleigh ride: presents were opened and well-received, Christmas dinner was delicious, and much merriment was had over a few games of Articulate. My favourite present? Maybe my set of four antique canopic jars – not something you see every day, but something very much suited to my mildly macabre tastes. Anyway – Christmas is passed, but not forgotten, and it’s time to look ahead to the New Year, and to plan those resolutions.
On to the resolutions…

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06 MacBride is the New Black

MacBride is the New Black

I have just finished reading Flesh House by Stuart MacBride. It was brilliant, though I don’t know why I sound surprised – I’m not a MacBride novice by a long stretch, and I was in fact re-reading this one. I’ve actually read most of his novels – my first, the aforementioned Flesh House, must have been back when I was twenty or so. It was (and is) an extremely gripping police procedural, veined with a delectably black sense of humour and splattered with enough visceral detail to keep Jack the Ripper himself happy. After reading it for the first time, I tracked through the remains of his oeuvre, devouring his books on sight. Of course, this reading fervour rather blinded me to the chronology of his Logan McCrae series; I don’t think I read a single book in consecutive order, having started with the fourth and finishing with the first. Not a problem – they’re all great stories and they work well as independent novels. But that hasn’t stopped me going back and reading them all again from the beginning.

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05 A Mean Tagine

A Mean Tagine

This one’s a recipe.

Two years ago, I couldn’t have told you what a tagine was. All that had changed by Valentine’s Day 2013. My relationship with my girlfriend had been ‘Facebook-official’ for just a couple of months by that point – long enough, importantly, to warrant some romantic obligations. I decided simply to kick my flatmate out for the evening and invite my other half round for an amorous evening of gifts, candles and a homemade meal. I offered her an invitation and enquired of her: what would she most like to eat that night? Nothing too difficult, came the response. A tagine?
On to the recipe…

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04 Ford Coppola’s Dracula

Ford Coppola’s Dracula

This isn’t going to be a review. Honest. But I watched Bram Stoker’s Dracula last night and loved it to such a degree that I’ve got to muse over it. As its title suggests, it is intended to be more faithful to the 1897 gothic horror novel than previous exhumations – not difficult when considering the character-juggling 1931 version starring Bela Lugosi or the comparatively action-packed Hammer production of 1958 with Christopher Lee. But this isn’t quite Bram Stoker’s story – this one belongs to the director. This is Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula.
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