Very Broad Indeed

It’s just another update but this one is slightly different, as it’s not only about book availability, it’s also about how I am broadening my horizons to help me on my path to world domination.  Or something like that.

The first thing I would like say contains three words and will probably make some of you make the same noise Scooby Do does when he is puzzled – ‘Danish Coffee Festival’.  I can hear how hard you are scratching your head from here.  Stop it, before it bleeds.    As part of the Festival which takes place in Copenhagen on the 8th and 9th of September the organisers have asked people to send in stories relating to anything and everything connected with coffee.  So I did.  You can read it here.  Entry is free to everyone, so if you have anything to say about coffee, why not submit?  After all, it is the name of black liquid magic.

The next item on the agenda is that it is true, I have started a football career.  That is football writing.  I could have been a Premier League footballer if it wasn’t for the fact that I have no desire to pay pvc clad Grandmothers for sex.  Therefore I have settled on writing football.  My first article is already on-line at a website called State of the Game.  You can read my debut article here.

I know a number of people have been asking me when ‘Existence Is Futile’ will finally be available in Poland.  I am delighted to say NOW!  Today I discovered that it is available on Kraina Ksiazek .  On the subject of the ‘Existence Is Futile’ paperback, I have to say that it is spreading through Scandinavia like rumours of a new celebrity sex video on the internet.  The awfully nice chaps at cdon.com have made it available on cdon.no, cdon.se, cdon.dk and cdon.fi.  It’s also available via another vendor in Finland – bookplus.fi  Incidentally if you happen to read any stories in the papers about a rise in the suicide rate in Finland, it has absolutely nothing to do with my book.

The first reviews of ‘Existence Is Futile’ are starting to dribble through on the electronic superhighway, and so far have been mostly positive.  If you have read ‘Existence Is Futile’ or ‘The Story of Albert Ross’ and have enjoyed them, please try to find the time to write a review, as they help me immensely.  Also I would like to remind all of you that the photo competition on Facebook is still in effect.  No winner will be declared until the 8th of September.  All you need to do is to take a photo of yourself reading ‘Existence Is Futile’ in an unusual or imaginative situation, upload it to Facebook and tag the ‘Existence Is Futile’ group.  So get snapping.  Let’s see how creative you lot really are.  Until next time.

I Fought The Danelaw And The Danes Won

Last week I had the pleasure of spending a few days in Denmark.  Copenhagen is starting to become as familiar to me as beer is to Hagar the Horrible.  Every time I visit I find yet more reasons to fall in love with the land of the peculiar guttural groans that masquerade as a language and this time was no different.

For me personally nothing summarises Copenhagen better than the phrase  ‘cultural melting pot’.  At all times of the day the city is filled with a diverse assortment of characters often clearly defined by both their dress and their language.  Not only that, the denizens of Denmark have an immense appetite for stimulation irrespective of form.  A great example was the fact that we were lucky enough to visit a Gregory Crewdson exhibition, a fascinating photographer who by his own admittance doesn’t take any of his own photographs.  Each time I visit I return with yet another cultural experience to add to the list.

As much as I love the cosmopolitan nature of Copenhagen I have often wondered where the evidence of contemporary Danish culture can be found.  In the age of globalisation an extraordinary number of people have been brainwashed into submission by the endless stream of American propaganda which is thrown at us in the forms of gadgets, gassy drinks and pre-gastric band operation sized jeans and fast food menus.  In ever-increasing numbers people are writing American style books, plays and songs and making American style television programs and films to the point that we are so over saturated with the American dream and American ideals that the vast majority of us have lost the sense of ourselves to the extent that we no longer have a reflection.  When my good friend Poul suggested watching a Danish film entitled ‘Rejsen Til Saturn’ I rolled my eyes, took a deep breath and prepared myself for what I presumed would be a European Toy Story.  How wrong was I?  From the moment a naked man appears waving the flag of Denmark from his arsehole to quite possibly the most unusual finale I have ever seen, the laughs keep coming.  The striking thing about Return To Saturn is the fact that the film offers a window into the contemporary Danish character.  It offers no apologies and it pulls no punches and most of all it’s a rip-roaring comic ride presented with a refreshing honesty which the vast majority of filmmakers are too gutless to ever present.  Aside from learning a great deal about the Danish psyche, and a perspective on a number of current day social issues, I have also learned the real use of a German sausage and how to protect the Earth from an alien invasion.  I am sure some of my newly gained knowledge will one day be useful.

My final thought, in my opinion says a great deal without saying very much at all.  When we arrived at Copenhagen airport to depart, we were informed politely that due to the fact that the vast majority of the passengers had already checked it, we were going to be flying early.  In thirty-one years on this earth I have never ever been politely informed that my chosen form of transport was going to leave early.  The very idea is like Danish engineering.  It’s rational and its genius is its simplicity.  Much the same as all which is good in life should be.

For anyone interested…..

A short video about Gregory Crewdson

A ‘Rejsen Til Saturn’ Trailer in English