Henry Hill — American schnook.
Pablo Neruda — my neighbor.
Nora Barnacle — so that’s why Bloomsday happens on June 16.
“Travers loathed the movie’s animated sequences and was perturbed that Mary Poppins’ strict side was downplayed. After some heated meetings, Travers reluctantly approved. She would have been shunned from the star-studded premiere had she not shamed a Disney exec into an invite. The 65-year-old Travers spent most of the movie crying and ultimately refused to let Disney touch the rest of the series.”
“So I thought I would have a go at exploring this world, setting it in a time and a place I knew and could evoke very well – my Norfolk teenage years. I happened to turn 16 in 1984, the year of the Miner’s Strike and the most recent Civil War in Britain, the workers versus Margaret Thatcher. Although the landscape I lived in was very different to the besieged North – all around the coast, like the flickering candles of a black mass were the flames of the oil rigs drilling North Sea Oil, which enabled the Witch Queen to keep herself in power. Because of the echoes of the past Civil War of 1642-1651 – when Norfolk was staunchly Parliamentarian, and riding on the coattails of Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army came the Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins, who was said to have tortured and murdered 300 women in the Eastern Counties, including many in my hometown Gt Yarmouth – the year of 1984 had that resonance. In that year, one of my favourite records was Vengeance by New Model Army, which still seems to cast the clearest and most prophetic eye over what was happening then and what would come next…”