Machine hearts, machine men

Ricburgis heard them long before he saw them. Even in the deadening depths of the forest, the sound of metal against metal carries. The oak, ash and beech did their best to muffle it as their boughs worked in the wind. But the creaks and rattles of mighty […]

Journalese: Doorstep

Not just a place for lavender pot plants, the doorstep is the natural habitat of the reporter and their oppo in tow, the snapper. Handily, the perfumed presence of lavender plays a vital role in masking the smell of fear from the hack consigned to do the dreaded […]

Journalese: Copy

There’s a reason journalists refer to stories as copy. Ctrl A, Ctrl C, Ctrl V Look at any hack’s keyboard and you’ll find those keys worn and beaten. There are no finer practitioners of the art of cut & paste than today’s reporter. No website is safe, no […]

Yoga for the lazy

Classified ads refer to them as ‘studio garden apartments’. You’ve got to admire estate agents. There is literally no reality they cannot alter with their mellifluous redefinitions. As a hack, I take my fair share of blame for curbing reality, corralling it with stock phrases, clichéd versions of […]

The etiquette of sauces

It was the smell that registered first: bacon, food of the gods, the drunk ones that is. Ambrosia? No, thanks.Then the sizzle, the reassuring sizzle filtered its way through a dim pop song. Was it Blondie? The sizzle matched the cymbols. Then the pain: shit, another hangover. And […]

Warm Snow

The dream was always the same. He’s standing in a forest and it’s snowing. Large flakes that sting his eyes. But instead of the bitter cold that the soft white blanket usually brings, it’s warm; hot even, and he can hardly breathe. In the distance, wailing. Three white […]

Its all about the optics

The sign on the meshed door said Lee’s Tailors: Repairs Here! And behind the grimy window a small Singer sewing machine stood proud among piles of unfurled asymmetric trouser legs and cloth, reels and needles. ‘I thought we were getting a drink, Ibrahim?’ I ventured. He pointed to […]