It’s 9pm on a Saturday and Swarana and I are once again in Cambridge passing the time before we give Richard Branson a tinkle.
We’ve been doing this every once in a while since 2013; driving up to Swarana’s Mum’s, playing a nice game of Scrabbs, eating dosa or bhel puri or tasty shaak, and nervously picking up the phone to dial the Virgin Dick.
You see, back in the Christmas of 2012, I lovingly bought Swarana two tickets on a hot air balloon from Virgin Balloon Flights. But every time we’ve come up to punch those tickets, the flight gets cancelled at the last minute.
Continue reading Up, up and a whale of a time playing Scrabble
The bus up to the Cameron Highlands is as gorgeous as it is exciting. Winding up the mountains, the road teeters perilously on the edge of cliffs, or meanders meekly through the jungle. The views are remarkable, which is just as well, as the bus shunts from side to side as it corners each bend, rendering a book about as enjoyable as a migraine (which is what you’ll get if you try to read).
Passing through Brinchang, the mountainside by the road begins to be covered with sheltered greenhouses, or planted with row upon row of bright green tea bushes. Continue reading Getting high in Tanah Rata
He certainly has an imagination, does Mr Miéville. And no more evident and unworldly is it than here, in Perdido Street Station. This bonkers fantasy science fiction is the first of a trilogy set in the world of Bas-Lag, a planet home to a vast array of sentient races, from proud, dangerous cactus folk, to the aquatic, water-sculpting frog people.
The reader is not led gently into this other world. Far from it. We are welcomed initially with the illicit inter-species love affair between fat, eccentric scientist human Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin and his Khepri lover, Lin. The Khepri, we learn promptly, are a sub-species of human-to-the-neck, scarab-for-a-head people. Continue reading Perdido Street Station – China Miéville – [Book Review]