1. Where does this find you? Tell us the story of how you got there.
I'm on a train going to the Sheffield Documentary Festival to talk on
the subject of Non-linear Narrative and do a Show'n'Tell of my work
in the area. I'm focusing on Osama Loves (www.osamaloves.com
is a participative journey narrative - think Dave Gorman meets A Long
Way Down with a bit of Pete McCarthy thrown in for good measure - and
) which uses anecdote/first-hand
experience to provide sex education beyond the easy answers of self-
help manuals. Someone Twittered me this week to tell me that if you
Google "sex" at the moment Sexperience comes up #2 of 680,000,000
returns. I missed the train I was supposed to get because I was
having a meeting with Antony Gormley and I was in no hurry to leave
his studio - it's not every day I get to meet a true artist of his
calibre. Even took a sneaky pic for Moblog (http://moblog.net/view/861614/antony-gormley-and-my-pen
2. Why do you moblog? How do you use the site?
Much though I love telling stories with words (www.arkangel.tv
love even more telling them through still pictures. My Moblog is
called Simple Pleasures because it strives to capture in images the
day-to-day things that for me make life worth living - and living
well. Sometimes I list the Simple Pleasures represented in the image
- most of the time I let the pictures do the talking.
3. What's your least favorite subject to talk about? Why?
Money and finance. It's so dull, I can't work up any enthusiasm for
it. My wife once asked me would I mind if our older son (only a
toddler at the time) turned out to be gay - I said as long as he
doesn't turn out to be an accountant I'm happy for him to be whatever
he wants to be.
4. Now that the worst is over, what's your favorite, and why?
Music. I love it. Can't sing or play but it's central to my life. I'm
into art of all kinds but music is special in the way it by-passes
the intellect and goes straight to the heart (and cahones, if you buy
the Carlos Santana line - which I do). As Walter Pater said: All art
aspires to the condition of music.
5. What's your most vivid memory from your childhood days? Paint us a
Sharing Saturday mornings with my best friend every weekend from
shortly after starting secondary school. The routine was up to town
(central London from the suburbs) for a long Space Invaders session
in some dodgy old arcade; Foyles and various other bookshops for
browsing and judicious purchases; Forbidden Planet for comics; a bit
of a wander; then back out to the burbs for a tennis or table tennis
session; rounding off the day nicely at a local cinema (there were a
good half dozen within walking distance - now all flats or gyms or
razed to the ground). Very happy, carefree days punctuated with
6. What is the best purpose to which media -- any form of communication
media, from clay tablets up through radio, magazines, books, movies,
television, et cetera -- has ever been put?
7. How important is the visual element to presenting a feature to the
What if you were the only audience?
I'm a very visually oriented person, so hugely important, though not
always moving pictures - often a still image captures the essence
better. The technical 'quality' of the image is not critical - in the
same way Polaroids have a magical immediacy (as does Super 8) so can
mobile phone shots. That said, the cameras in phones are getting so
good I guess that aspect of moblogging is on its way out - shame in
as far as having a distinction between regular camera and phone
camera added a touch of the Polaroid-magic to the activity.
8. In your view, what's wrong with the world today?
People lose sight of the Simple Pleasures and what is truly of value.
9. If you had ultimate control, how would you fix it?
I would call in George Benson (in the absence of Nat King Cole) and
have him wander the Earth on a neverending tour singing Nature Boy to
each and every one of us:
"The greatest thing
You'll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved in return"
10. Ask yourself -- and answer -- the question we most obviously left
Q. What's the best track of all time?
A. Flamenco Sketches by Miles Davis (on Kind of Blue)
I'm going to have it at my funeral (on the way out - the way in track
is Acknowledgement by John Coltrane from A Love Supreme). I was
introduced to the record at college by Adam Barker, a former
Commissioning Editor at Channel 4, back then room-mate to David
Baddiel. So my first encounter with it was as a circle of black vinyl in a 500 year old room, 144 square inches of intense Miles with that far from square tie and cool blue suit beside the record player - a scene I can still picture vividly in my mind's eye. I love the track because it brings with it great tranquility.
Posted by arkangel