September 2nd, 2020


The First Rule of the Drive-In

Back in March, Secret Cinema announced a summer programme of drive-in movies at Goodwood. Not only was I desperate for any form of entertainment or treat to look forward to, I've always wanted to go to a drive-in (I blame Happy Days), so I made a booking, and on Sunday Howard and I saw Fight Club.

We arrived in good time, as instructed, received a Bluetooth speaker to put on the dashboard, and were directed to bay G2. The bay numbers were important if you wanted to order food through the website, which we did.

As we waited for showtime, we were entertained on the big screen by our hosts, Frankie and Johnny Starlight, complete with sparkly outfits and ridiculous accents. It wasn't the full-fat immersive interactive experience Secret Cinema usually offers, but it was good fun, with prizes to be won in games of Glove Box Bingo and Car Twister.

I enjoyed the film, which I somehow hadn't seen before. It's so entrenched in pop culture that I knew what the twist was, but this didn't spoil my enjoyment at all. The sound was fine and we had a good view, pretty central in the second row. Exit was quick and easy.

I am looking forward to going to a proper cinema again, though. I didn't realise quite how much I liked going to the flicks until I suddenly couldn't.

Lions on Air

My friend and fellow spy fiction fan Jeff, of, has started a podcast dedicated to Mick Herron's Slough House series of novels and novellas about disgraced MI5 agents sent to work in a dead-end office under the ghastly Jackson Lamb in the hope that they'll get fed up and quit.

Jeff kindly asked me to join him for one episode, and I picked Dead Lions, the second book in the series and probably my favourite.

It will be readily apparent that I did my homework at the last minute, having a quick flick through half an hour before we spoke rather than studiously re-reading the whole novel as I fully intended to. We spend a lot of time talking about the strangeness of small English towns, a section callmemadam will find full of factual inaccuracies and downright lies, not to mention slander.

Barbican Station podcast