Jamie Oliver: Man On A Mission

At 10:22pm last night – May 31st, 2011 – Jamie Oliver broke down on national TV and finally admitted he was part man, part vegetable, sent from the planet FOODALICIOUS to take over planet Earth and convert everyone on it into good-food-loving maniacs physically incapable of cooking any meal in longer than thirty minutes. I know, it was a bomb-shell for me to! But calm down, that wasn’t actually what happened; that was just what I thought he was going to say. In fact, he didn’t – it was worse. He didn’t say anything much. For a change, and not in a nice way – and probably for the first time since being born into the world – Jamie Oliver was completely and utterly speechless.

Yes, you may wish to read that last sentence again. Then you may wish to double check you haven’t altered another reality and come back and read this (for what it’s worth I can assure you you haven’t entered another reality, but can you trust me? For all I know I may have entered another one before I wrote this!).

Back to Jamie and his rage and upset-ness.

Let me tell you, I felt his rage. Jamie, you see, had just been shut down again on his quest to bring better food to the school-children of LA. And when Is say again, I actually mean again-again-again-again. I’d be the first to admit that I didn’t used to be the greatest Jamie Oliver fan, but all that’s been changing recently. After seeing how much passion and dedication Jamie has put into this latest series – not to mention the numerous obstacles he’s encountered while trying to do something essentially simple: give American school children proper good food – my mind is made up. Absolutely. Jamie is a good man and we should be proud of what he’s doing.

Tense spider-versus-man encounter!

There was no caption for this photo I found on Google images, but if I were to write it it would probably say something like “shocked woman who has just seen a spider and, on closer inspection, noticed it had a siezeable penis too.” A confusing situation indeed. I have literally no idea if spiders have penises or not, and unless you are freakish in the mind I suggest you do not ponder it!


Evolution of a book cover

Book covers are mysterious things. Like magazine covers and bill-board posters, they’re not strictly art or advertising. Instead, they have a much more difficult job than any of the former. 1) they have to be bold enough that they draw you in, but without that throw-away quality that some glossy magazines have. 2) they have to project an image, but it has to say much more than just “buy me”, and that message has to convey the essence of the book. 3) they have to do all of the above, but without alienating any particular social or minority group.

Oh, and they have to be different and original too, let’s not forget that.

So you could say that designing one is a challenge. For anyone, even those who do so for a living…


New page up: BMX Is Not Shit!

One of my favourite BMX pics, taken from inside the house, looking out at the crazy little skatepark in my garden

Seeing as there’s been a fair bit of interest in the Chad Degroot article, I thought it might be a good time to post a couple of chapters from my BMX novel up. Who knows, it might bring back some good memories for people who have been riding a while.

This was the very first real novel I ever wrote. It came as close as you can get to being published, but in the end was rejected by the publisher on the grounds that there “isn’t enough people in the world who would find a BMX novel interesting”. I still disagree wholeheartedly with that statement. I suppose it didn’t help that at the time — and this is still the case, I think — there were only a handful of BMX books out there. That and the fact that the book came in at a whopping 634 pages…looking back I can see why they thought it was a risk!

I wrote this book with the intention of apealling to both BM X riders and those who have never read / seen anything about it, so don’t be put off if you know nothing about BMX — it’s about growing up as much as anything.