Richard Benson

Month: February, 2013

Greetings cards for people who feel like family but are not actual blood relations

When I was buying my mothers day card from a shop on Kentish Town Road today I noticed a large number of cards with messages like this one: What I mean is, cards who are for people who are like a family member, but not an actual one. I’m sure there are more of these […]

A film of Queenie Watts singing an old-school jazz ballad about the Isle of Dogs

The singer and actress Queenie Watts ran a pub called The Ironbridge Tavern in East India Dock Road, Poplar, London. In the early 1960s the Tavern became a fashionable destination, and the director Michael Orrom made a good short film about the pub, its neighbourhood, and Queenie herself. This is my favourite sequence – Queenie singing about […]

Spare Time

Laura is away working in New York, so with the television to myself I work my way through the second volume of the BFI’s Humphrey Jennings collection, which my sister gave me as a birthday present. At the end I get the first one out and re-watch his masterpiece Spare Time. Spare Time (1939) is […]

Miss Stink

Our house has been in a state of some excitement over World Book Day. All the children and teachers at Violet’s school dressed up as favourite characters from books, as they do at schools everywhere I think. For Violet there was only one choice – Mr Stink from David Walliams’ Mr Stink, her favourite book. […]

‘Witches cast their spell over many a sleepy hamlet’

I’ve been listening to this song called The Geography of Peace by Belbury Poly: It’s a good enough song, but the real attraction for me is its sample of a teacher-ish voice saying ‘the geography/of peace’ over eerie flute music. The sample is from a 1970s public information film, and in that in that shattered, […]