Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking jump with parachute

Here’s something with fright attached. I remember Felix Baumgartner’s jump so well…we listened to the live broadcast whilst driving into rain on an English motorway.

The Phraser

Garnerin parachutes into London - 1802 Garnerin parachutes into London -1802

That was 1802 – a decade over two centuries later the following happens: a huge gossamer balloon floats into the nothing of the stratosphere. Beneath it clings the tiny dot of a capsule, and inside it is an Austrian, Felix Baumgartner, aged 43.

When the balloon reaches 128,000 feet (24 miles) above the Earth, he will step out and drop into the deep.

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Visit to the food stalls in Camden Lock Market’s West Yard

My first visit to the food stalls in Camden Lock Market’s West Yard was in 2012. I loved it and a few articles followed. This is one of them.

The Phraser

Camden Lock Market, London Camden Lock Market, London

Camden’s markets attract some 15 million visitors every year. This summer we joined the crowd.

Once through the curiosity and distraction of the general stalls and the shoppers, we made our way to the West Yard for food.

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The identity question – Zimbabwean?

Why are we who we are? This is an old thought remastered, that takes me straight back to where I began.

The Phraser

Zimbabwe's children - what next? Zimbabwe

A young man, a stranger, asked me about identity, about my identity as a Zimbabwean. His question made me think…am I Zimbabwean?

The further I travel the more elusive the idea of ‘belonging’ becomes, and the more urgent the need for ‘identity’.

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Baristi and stress on the caffeine front

It’s winter again and I’m back in the UK so I thought I’d give this coffee post another shot of thanks.

The Phraser

Coffee - a pleasure in life Coffee – a pleasure in life

Coffee and I are well-acquainted. We meet often, frequently in a motorway services. The setting is big, like a strange spaceship, but the point is the caffeine – especially in winter.

Winter in the UK is sock damp and everywhere, smudged beyond the windowpane into a world that hides in its own armpit – head down, surviving.

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Interview: Jem Rolls on Performance Poetry and the Fringes

So pleased to discover this in amongst the early Phraser pieces. Originally I split the interview into two parts – here I have put them together. My thanks always to Jem Rolls for allowing me the interview.

The Phraser

Jem Rolls - Performance Poet Jem Rolls – Performance Poet

Jem Rolls – a tall, intense performance poet with over two decades experience – first performed his poetry on stage at the age of 31. He began in London, took his work to Edinburgh, and has spent many summers performing on the Canadian Fringes.  

Here he explains the art of the performance poet, and touches on the life and challenges that come with it.

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James Bond, Skyfall and…lenses

Skyfall was released in 2012 – a Bond box office best, as dramatic as they come…and with strange side effects.

The Phraser

Skyfall smashed British box office history and set the tills ringing.

We were there. We popcorned in for bombs and bashings; for smouldering moods; for shriek-screetching music; for back-stabbing; for ‘British is best’; and for villains who should have been locked away for life.

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Madagascar 3…or Argo?

I discovered this little memory in my update of The Phraser – a film review of a sort…and very brief.

The Phraser

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It is an autumn evening with a few hours before my young charge has to return to his school. Can we fit in Madagascar 3? Yes…of course.

We race down the steep hill into the town. Lights flick on in the buildings around us as we park and run the square to the cinema entrance.

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