Sunday, 18 January 2015


It's wet and cold, but not - as the papers insist, -15 and the coldest winter in 20 years, dunno where they get that from, according to yesterday's Daily Mail - 1 person every 7 minutes will die of cold. I really think they just make this all up after a boozy lunch.

The weather was so cold, dark and wet yesterday that it was  almost impossible to get anything done. Even with about 30 mins of extra daylight - it's still pretty grim.

One thing I managed to do yesterday was finally get around to watching 'Frank' - the 2014 film based on the book by Jon Ronson about his friendship with Frank Sidebottom, the alternative musician from Timperley - more famous for his strange avant garde paper mache mask he was never seen without. The genius of the film is that although it's based on the real 'Frank' - it is totally different - like an alternative universe where things mirror but are never really the same. Great performances by Maggie Gyllenhaall, who must be the best actress of her generation and Michael Fassbender who manages to create a heartbreaking performance without taking the mask off  (until the end - but not as a 'reveal' - nothing as obvious as that) It's  a great film, warm and funny but quite sad and challenging at the same time - I loved it.

I was a huge fan of Frank Sidebottom - he was absolutely 'Northern' at a time when it was all eyes 'south' and his obtuse, abstract, bizarre act and tuneless singing were the perfect antidote the soulless plastic pop of the 80's and 90's. The  Jon Ronson book about Frank was serialised by Radio 4 last year - read by the Author - I intended to pick up a copy at the time - I'll have a look in Waterstones' tomorrow. Talking Waterstones' - I think they have officially dropped the apostrophe now - but I'll continue the fight against punctuation dumbing down.

Chris Sievey (Frank Sidebottom)


Steerforth said...

It's Waterstone's, not Waterstones'. My son, who has just walked in, says I'm being a cunt by writing this. I've told him to mind his language.

Anonymous said...

no - you're 100% right and I'm ashamed- I got into a row with someone this week about this sentence 'We're Hastings' premier hotel" - on THAT occasion, I was right. But we can both agree - it isn't Waterstones.

Anonymous said...

Waterstones dropped the apostrophe in 2012. It caused a minor hoohah at the time, including this twitter account that might amuse

All the best, Natalie

Grey Area said...

Thanks, Natalie - that's lovely. I remember the 'drama' at the time and considering my own feelings if I were to have been in that branding meeting. The rise of digital and the need for a neat URL has thrown up many issues like this over the last few years, but I'm all for celebrating the apostrophe - It's got me out of many tricky typographic situations in the past and as a dyslexic - it's a really useful focal point in any written sentence and has helped me navigate many tricky passages.

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