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Lev Parikian
I think. Runnily.
Recent Activity
At least you have a sympathetic teacher... (I apologise for the frivolous tone of the comment ;-)
Toggle Commented Feb 28, 2011 on Never apologise? at This Itch of Writing
1 reply
I love the fact that you acknowledge, and explain, the different points on the spectrum (as with Psychic Distance). So clear. A lot of what I've read about writing has presented information in absolute terms. This good; that bad. I know you do this with your examples above, but in each case it's clear why you do so, and the 'good' is actually good! I have read several examples of show vs tell in which I have actually preferred the 'tell' version, simply because the 'show' version reads as if it has been written by someone obeying all the 'rules', as if by fitting slot A into tab B you can suddenly become a writer. The most liberating words in this post, though, are 'you need both'. At last, permission to tell (as long as we do it right) ;-)
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I've upped sticks and moved Runny Thoughts over to Wordpress. Just seemed like a good idea. All the content until February 2011 will remain here for a while, but future posts will appear at will do it as well. In fact there's a little story about bad spelling up there right now. You can subscribe to the new blog once you're over there, if you feel so inclined. Thanks. Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2011 at Runny Thoughts
1. Sorry, thought it was clear. Dilemma is the only way to spell dilemma. Nobody seems to know where dilemna came from. 2. I dont use a spellchecker. They are liable to allow such things as I combed my hare. If Im not sure I look it up in the dickshonery. 3. Kudos. I bet he liked your cowboy sunhat more than he liked Cannes. 4. Roffle. I once convinced a Canadian friend of Wife Number One that Peebles was pronounced Pebbles by the locals. 5. Maybe somebody got confused, but Im guessing theyre from different roots. Condemn seems like it comes from the same place as damn (and maybe indemnity and other similar words? Latin? Will now look it up. Lev [email protected]
Toggle Commented Jan 29, 2011 on The Hormns of a Dilemna at Runny Thoughts
Every Friday, the so-nearly-six-you-can-almost-smell-it-year-old has his weekly spelling test at school. Simple stuff, obviously: goat, boat, coat, pneumatic, syzygy, that kind of thing. And every Friday I think of Charlie Brown. Well, actually I think of Charlie Brown every day, but that’s another story. On Fridays, though, I particularly remember the sequence in which good ol’ Charlie Brown plucks up courage to enter the school-wide spelling bee, only to be eliminated in the first round because he spells ‘maze’ M-A-Y-S. He heard the word, and immediately thought of his hero Willie Mays (the only baseball players that have ever crossed... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2011 at Runny Thoughts
The leek is a marvellous thing. And I’m not even Welsh. There were two of them in the fridge. I lopped off the tops, rinsed said tops cursorily in running water, and bunged them into the stockpot with a chicken carcass (it’s a fairly pointless exercise without one of these or equivalent, to be honest), a carrot, salt, and water to cover. I could have put in a bay leaf and some parsley and all the other usual gubbins, but what can I say? I’m a rebel. I live on the edge. The rest of the leeks, the main attraction... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2011 at Runny Thoughts
I’ve just spent a pleasing half-hour, on my last free weekday evening for ages, catching up with one of my favourite blogs, so I thought I’d encourage you to say hello to it too. Here it is. Just under the words ‘here it is’ in the last sentence, if you’re still looking. As you will see from reading any one of the glittering posts thereon, Mr. Fool is interested in words. Specifically, he delights in the exploration, explanation, and probably a couple of other words beginning with ‘expl-‘, (you’ll have to ask him for those) of the how, why, when,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2011 at Runny Thoughts
Back in the day, when I knew no better, I had a cookbook addiction. My shelves groaned under the weight of glossy food porn, each new fad lovingly and self-consciously represented at great and ostentatious expense. I was especially fond of cheffy books: the Roux brothers, Anton Mosimann, Alastair Little, Shaun Hill, Jean-Christophe Novelli, Marco Pierre White, Pierre Koffman, and so on and so fifth. (This was before the revolutionary days of the River Cafe and their authentic, yet somehow staggeringly expensive take on Italian peasant cooking). I pored over them, taking in their wisdom, fondly imagining that one day... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2010 at Runny Thoughts
So it's half past ten on Christmas Eve and my wrapping's done. I've made inroads into Santa's mince pie and brandy (I'm doing him a favour - have you seen how much weight he's put on lately?), Kate Winslet is romcom-ing it up big time on the telly, and so my thoughts naturally turn to a seasonal message for the loyal blog readers who have nothing better to do over the festive season than to read my inane witterings. If you’ve got this far, you have my sympathies. And here's where we hit the snag. You see, I happen to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2010 at Runny Thoughts
Frank, I understand your anger, but if you check what I wrote youll see that I covered my arse with the thoroughness of a tabloid following a royal romance. I never said we would win the test or even the series. I refer you to the series is Englands to lose and England may still lose the series and They were going to happen anyway. Not my fault. This win was the result of one mans brilliance, a brilliance I think he will struggle to repeat in the rest of the series. It was backed up by Husseys excellent batting and huge experience of condtions at the WACA, which was fed by our moronic plan to feed him with short stuff. Apart from him, and to an extent Watson, the Australian batting still seems to be in disarray. And the main point I was trying to make, among the lame puns and hopelessly stretched metaphors, was that the broader picture of Australian cricket isnt so healthy. If we had won this match, we could have expected half-empty grounds at the MCG and Sydney, and press coverage to match. Cricket is struggling to recruit young people - the last thing we really want is one-sided series, whoever is the winner. Mike Selvey wrote an excellent article about it here: Oh, and remember Headingley 2009. This England team has one atrocious performance in every series. Now its out of the way we can go on and win. Lev
A strange thing happened one morning a couple of weeks ago. Pale, sleep-deprived men staggered out into the streets, disbelieving grins on their faces. They smiled at random strangers and helped old ladies across the road. Some were even polite to traffic wardens. Alan Sugar was nice to an Apprentice. Yes, extraordinary circumstances prevailed: England had won a Test match in Australia during a live Ashes series (by which I mean an Ashes series that hadn't been won six months before it started by those dastardly Australians with their underhand trick of playing the game much much better than anyone... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2010 at Runny Thoughts
Thanks Emma. Great stuff as always. In my experience (extensive musical and limited writing-wise) there is no such thing as time wasted, as long as it is time spent with at least part of the brain engaged. For example, if I'm learning a score, sometimes the frustrating hours when I think I'm not becoming any more familiar with the music yield rewards much further down the line (I know the conductor's experience is different from that of the instrumental performer, who must physically learn the notes, but I think they have similar experiences, when a difficult passage suddenly clicks because of all the tearing-hair-out hard work that has gone before). Similarly, when writing, I have spent mornings staring out of the window with a scene churning round in my head, making no sense at all. And then the idea crystallises while I'm doing the washing up (or, as is the case at the moment, listening to the cricket). And I wouldn't have reached the crystal moment without the churning.
Toggle Commented Dec 4, 2010 on The common scaffold at This Itch of Writing
1 reply
Ill make up for it in the sentence after this one. Thanks. Lev
Toggle Commented Dec 2, 2010 on Snow Balls at Runny Thoughts
If you're anything like me, which you're not, unless you're a forty-five-year-old Anglo-Armenian conductor/writer and father-of-one whose current extreme sleep deprivation owes much to the Australians' stubborn insistence that The Ashes be played once every four years in the antipodal hemisphere instead of, as any civilised person knows, its proper home, by which I mean the green and pleasant land that I call the nation of my birth and that you probably call England, although of course you all know that I just put that bit in to annoy Australians, of whom I am actually very fond, especially those of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2010 at Runny Thoughts
I can restrain myself no longer. It seems that everyone is doing it. I think I even heard the Pope talking about it the other day. Or maybe that was something else. Yes, it’s time for an Ashes preview. If you are the kind of person who would rather go on a date with Gillian McKeith while being serenaded by Wagner (the X-Factor one, not the composer of Test-match-length operas) and danced at by Ann Widdecombe (see how topical I am!) than read about cricket, then I do urge you not to lose interest at this point. As I showed... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2010 at Runny Thoughts
Ah, Halloween. Traditional in England few years ago. I may be in the minority, but we didn't 'do' Halloween when I were a lad. Maybe it was the proximity to Guy Fawkes, with its soggy catherine wheels, short-lived sparklers and half-baked potatoes; maybe we hadn’t yet recovered from the breathless excitement of Harvest Festival; maybe it was simply not in our consciousness except as an annual episode in Peanuts cartoons. That is how I knew about it. If it hadn’t been for Linus van Pelt and his attempts to lure the Great Pumpkin to his achingly (nay, eye-wateringly) sincere... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2010 at Runny Thoughts
Fascinating, as always. I've always understood, though, the 'more practice - luckier' quote to be by Gary Player. Music, golf - in many ways the same kind of thing.
Toggle Commented Sep 27, 2010 on Hanging on in there at This Itch of Writing
1 reply
I am reading a book. Why thank you. I’m proud of myself too. Not any old book though - a murder-mystery-detective-type-thing. It’s very good. As is normal in these situations, there is a blurb on the back, which, effectively, gives you three Crucial Pieces of Information: CPI 1: there is a murder. So far, so normal. CPI 2: there is another murder. Again, only to be expected. CPI 3: one of the main characters disappears. Aha! An interesting twist. Wonder where it will lead? There is also the usual bit of guff about the main detective. Fair enough - they... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2010 at Runny Thoughts
I regard myself as a pretty open kind of guy, prepared to see the best in people, as I hope they would in me. But over the last ten days I’ve found myself increasingly involved in furtive behaviour. It’s my own fault. Who would have thought that a simple blog post on confectionery would spark off a national debate, local uprising, bit of a chat on Twitter and a dozen or so comments here on this blog? Deary me, the outrage I caused. Well not so much outrage as cheerful disagreement, to be honest. But thanks to everyone for sharing.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2010 at Runny Thoughts
Charity has changed over the years. It was so simple back in the day. Well-meaning people rattling tins on the street corner; a plastic dog with a slot in its head; the occasional raffle, with a family tin of Cadbury’s Roses as the third prize; a single Oxfam shop on the high street, selling your old shoes and a Val Doonican LP. But those days of innocence are long gone, and I'm not sure we're any the better for it. Chariddee has become big business. Go to Oxfam nowadays and you could easily mistake it for a ‘boutique’ with its... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2010 at Runny Thoughts
Regular readers will know that I am not afraid to tackle the big subjects on this blog. Politics, classical music, literature, food, ecology, social networking, technology...the list goes on. You name it, it’s probably been subjected to my ill-informed and unthinking scrutiny. But I realised the other day that I have been remiss. There is one burning issue that remains undiscussed here. Reader, I apologise. All I can do is rectify the situation without further ado. It started with an innocent tweet in my timeline. The mere mention of the word ‘curly’ in conjunction with its natural rhyming partner was... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2010 at Runny Thoughts
I have blogged before (here) about how the Classical Music industry could and should learn from sport. The events of the past week have thrown up another instance. First, a bit of background. The News of the World revelations about alleged ‘spot-fixing’ in cricket have caused, it is safe to say, a bit of a stir. The moral high ground is now more crowded than Groucho Marx’s cabin as commentators, ex-players, bloggers and ordinary-men-in-the-street wring their hands while simultaneously throwing them up in the air in horror (quite a feat when you’re also balancing on the High Wire of Hypocrisy).... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2010 at Runny Thoughts
So thats the BSOs Nielsen year in 11/12 confirmed then.
Toggle Commented Aug 30, 2010 on Unclassical Brits at Runny Thoughts
I don’t get political very often on this blog. But here’s a brief rant. I’m afraid those of you who have come to expect writing of a comedic and trivial nature here will have to wait a bit longer (those who think my writing is more laughable than funny should, on the other hand, feel right at home). The papers, blogs and social media were abuzz yesterday with the story of the cat and the wheelie bin. If you missed it, a lady in Coventry was caught on CCTV stopping to stroke a cat before whipping open a handy wheelie... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2010 at Runny Thoughts
Have to say Im amused by the number of people taking the moustache thing seriously ;-)) Lev
Toggle Commented Aug 24, 2010 on Unclassical Brits at Runny Thoughts