Polanski behind bars

“The idea that we have known where he is and we could have gotten him anytime, that just isn’t the case.”

said Chief Inspector of the US Marshals Service Thomas Hession. Well, as Polanski’s agent Jeff Berg says,

“How hard would it be to find someone shooting a major film in a European country? He travels with transparency across Europe. It makes no sense.”

If it takes 30 years to capture Roman Polanski, then don’t expect them to get Osama Bin Laden any time soon.

Rollover Barbirolli

Steve Earle played the Bridgewater Hall tonight as part of his Townes tour, just him and acoustic guitar. At first I was disappointed that there was no backing band but his energetic playing and big personality filled the auditorium.

The guy clearly idolises his late friend and mentor Townes Van Zandt – with whom he shares some pretty self-destructive traits – and most of the set was devoted to him. Between songs Earle shared his refreshingly liberal political views and gave the audience a glimpse of his wayward past – heroin addict, alcoholic, jaibird.

A great evening, but what Hallé conductor Sir John Barbirolli would have made of this troubled troubador playing here I cannot say.

Urbis purpose

It looks like Manchester’s Urbis gallery might become the home of a National Football Museum instead.

Good. Not that I have any appreciation of the game. I watch a football match on TV with the same level of comprehension as our cat. We can both see coloured shapes moving around on the screen but that’s about it. But Urbis has been a white elephant from the start. Continue reading

That was easy!

For a long time I have been meaning to cancel a Spanish telephone line. When my parents overwintered there, it made sense to have a phone. But now the place is used just for holidays and in any case we now have mobiles.

I have been putting it off because I had read horror stories about Telefonica customer services, and indeed had experienced their bureaucratic maze myself several years ago. That was when I tried to return the old rotary dial handset which was on rental, to replace it with a pushbutton handset I had bought. Continue reading

Health and safety gone mad

I was on the motorway today and passed a car which had stopped on the hard shoulder. Its elderly occupants had got out and were dutifully standing next to the vehicle in the drizzle waiting for assistance.

What kind of unthinking adherence to safety advice results in this absurd risky behaviour from four presumably rational people?

“Quick, get out!”
“Er, but it’s raining.”
“Get out! Get out! It’s not safe.”
“Hmm. I see what you mean. Another vehicle could leave the carriageway and plough into our car.”
“Exactly. So get out and stand next to it. Then you will be invincible.”