Time For Truth, Truth In Time

I was reading Stephen King’s Joyland, which I’d picked up in a charity shop, over my morning coffee when I encountered the following line:

When it comes to the past, everyone writes fiction

Is this fact or fiction, so to speak? This line was unearthed in a work of fiction. And, to further blur the lines, truth can be found in fiction and fiction hidden in truth. But what about what it refers to, in regards to history? Our own history?

Revisionism. I’ve known people alter the facts to suit and justify their own particular narrative. Events recounted that don’t quite match up with our own recollection of things. I guess we all know someone like that.

But what about me? Do I ‘write’ fiction about my past?

I think I’m mostly the opposite. At the time, wherever along my timeline that ‘time’ was, I’d sometimes put a spin on things. Make myself appear more favourable and, forever the storyteller, embellish things for entertainment purposes, playing to the audience.

And of course obscure things I’d prefer not see the light of day. We’re all human and life is a learning curve.

Now, further down the line and removed by years and even decades, I recount how things really were back then from my own perspective (and it’s all about perspective, isn’t it?), with an insight I didn’t possess at the time.

Maybe age brings with it, along with wisdom, a certain candour. A candour maybe recognised by encountering an alternate version of truth in the midst of a work of fiction.

Introducing Pennywise

I’ve always been a Stephen King fan. I grew up reading him. I love his depictions of small town American life, as well as his more epic stories. Though I also read his thrillers, it is the horror books of old that I have a penchant for.

My two favourites are Salem’s Lot, and It. King’s stories don’t always translate well to the big (or the small) screen. In regard to Salem’s Lot, I do like the original television adaptation, starring Hutch himself-David Soul. Though perhaps more faithful to the book, I’m not so enamoured with the remake.

As for It, I last watched this years ago. I don’t recall much about it except that I was disappointed. Well, now a new, two-part movie is being made. The first movie is about the children, The Loser’s Club, who come together to fight the evil presence that resides in Derry. The second film will depict the next confrontation, when the children are now adults.

I’m looking forward to seeing a fresh perspective of King’s great novel. Today, I saw the first glimpse of the new, evil Pennywise. I shared it today on Facebook, tagging in the picture two of my friends ostensibly because they are King fans, but also because they are afraid of clowns.

You’re welcome. I’m that kind of friend.


Apocalyptic London

As fog blanketed parts of the country, this amazing photograph was tweeted by passenger Sarah Wells as she flew into London, showing the skyline of our engulfed capital.

“Flew into foggy London. Views are beautiful-this is the Shard and all the towers in the city.”


Like in the pea-soupers of old, the swarming masses below are hidden in cloud and vulnerability.  Stephen King’s The Langoliers comes to mind.

Hopefully everybody was still there when the plane landed.

The Coffee/Book Trade-Off

The primary school of my two youngest children lies very close to our town centre, and so, often, I find myself ambushed by surprise texts from my wife to call down and get various items of grocery while I’m still on the perilous school run. Personal plans be damned.

Much more preferable, though, is when I have forewarning of this, as I take a book along with me so I can read a few chapters over coffee before entering the melee of consumer hell. With a house full of children, students, a wife (just the one), I take whatever chance I can get to thrust an uninterrupted nose into a book

This is the non-negotiable shopping chore trade-off.

I used to go into McDonald’s, but recently I have discovered a great coffee shop, situated below a tattoo parlour, run by a charming Polish guy, who, when I enquired about his opening hours in the morning, asked if 8 o’clock was okay for me? Straight away we got off on the right foot.

I prefer to give my custom to small, local businesses, and besides, this place is cheaper, friendlier, more personal, and the coffee is better too. The place is called Coffee And Dessert House, which pretty much does what it says on the tin, but I’m on a diet.  It is a book reader’s perfect escape haven, and I have already placed my towel on my own spot: an armchair below a tall, standing lamp.

View from my claimed armchair.

View from my claimed armchair.

Dotted around the place are two portraits of Marilyn Monroe, and two portraits of Audrey Hepburn. An obvious draw are the deliberately slanted bookshelves. The owner has said I can take any that I fancy away with me to read, but, as usual, I have a long backlog of books to get through, but I appreciate the gesture.

You can keep your Happy Meals.

Monroe, Hepburn, books and vinyl. Not a freaky red haired clown in sight.

Monroe, Hepburn, chess set, books and vinyl. Not a freaky red-haired clown in sight.

I was in there yesterday finishing The Great Gatsby, that great and tragic book, low music issuing from a retro-style record player adding to the past-time feel of the place. I have never seen the film, but when considering the eponymous character, Leonardo DiCaprio never comes to mind.

I could imagine some of Fitzgerald’s acquaintances sat in here, drinking cocktails rather than coffee. Maybe with a little more lace than I normally wear, with matching pearls.


My wife had another list of things for me to get this morning, so I left armed with my Kindle, which comes before the kids’ packed lunches. Having a break from the modern classics, I began an anthology of horror stories, selected chiefly because of the inclusion of two stories by two of my favourite horror writers:  John Ajvide Lindqvist, of whom I haven’t read anything new for a while, and the inevitable Stephen King.

This morning I had my coffee dark. I should have been Swedish, I am made for fika.