Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Ray is currently Annoyed with... (another fun Rant!)

I was recently interviewed by a New York website ( www.FineAndDandyShop.com / www.FineAndDandyShop.blogspot.com ), who are doing a Profile piece about little ol’ me - I’ll let you know when they post it up.

And there in the list of questions was: “Currently Annoyed with?”

Well I just sat down and let it flow. Whether they publish all of it, I don’t know, but here are a few morsels for thought:

“ Where do we start? [Take your pick] -

A - Starbucks: Have you noticed that in every Starbucks, in every city and every town of every state and every country in the world, however large the Starbucks shop is, they Still have only ONE bathroom? [OK, there is one store - in NYC - that has two bathrooms…one of them is usually bust].

B - Facebook. For continually telling me to “download this” and “download that”. For changing the layouts and formats of their pages when nothing was wrong with them in the first place (change for the sake of change signifies desperation); and for not allowing me to go Invisible when I want to - I keep getting approached or hit on to start engaging in a chat when all I wanna do is clear out my emails. (For all its faults, I still prefer myspace). Still, the moment facebook is no longer ‘Kewl’ everyone will migrate elsewhere…. From the completely pointless twitter to some other networking site.

Moreover, Facebook has recently agreed to let third party advertisers use your posted pictures without your permission. Click on SETTINGS up at the top where you see the log out link. Select PRIVACY. Then select NEWS FEEDS AND WALL. Next select the tab that reads FACE BOOK ADS (top left). There is a drop down box, select NO ONE. Then SAVE your changes.

C - J Crew for restricting their online purchases to the US, Canada or Japan only. Everywhere else in the world? - we don’t wanna know. Wake up, J Crew, it’s supposed to be a WORLD-wide web…and a Global economy. A matter of principle here.

D - Tucker Carlson for caving-in to MSNBC network pressure and ditching the bow tie! (yes, I’m still annoyed at that, after all this time).

E - Increasingly sophisticated cellphones. I don’t want them with internet access, bells and whistles and thermometers. I just want a simple, basic mobile phone that sends and receives calls and texts and wakes me up in the morning. That’s all. Nothing more. Surely, I am not alone in this?

F - Ageism - everywhere and in everything, especially the creative media. How many times have you heard the phrase “we’re always on the look-out for new talent”? - when what they actually mean is “we’re on the look-out for Young talent“. It permeates the media and creative arts and is the un-admitted shame of our industry.

There is a such a wealth of untapped / un-encouraged creativity out there in all fields; we shouldn’t write people off after, say, forty just because they maybe never had the breaks. Perhaps the Chinese have got it right: the older the person, the more respected they are within their community.

G - Everything to do with the UK, especially the inept, paralysed, useless government (see my “Broken Britain” series of postings on my blog). At least in the States now there is a sense of a “coming-togetherness” to fight this recession and pull yourselves out of it (and, believe me, I do respond to that American ‘can-do‘ spirit). We in the UK have a dithering leader, like a rabbit caught in the headlights, who does not have the guts to do the honourable thing and have an election now. We have an angry and bitter electorate who are ready to rise up and vote for the far-Right (and the longer it goes on the stronger those passions become). Sadly, we also realise that Nothing will happen in the UK until our next scheduled General Election (June 2010), and the hope that with a new government there might be a new perspective in things. Currently, we are a country in limbo with a government holding onto power by its fingernails and determined to stay on at all cost. Besides, I have been planning to relocate for some years. It’s time to draw a line and move on.

Am I coming across as a grumpy old grouch? (I guess when I hit 50 I thought: “this is fantastic: I can officially become a miserable old git AND get away with it!”)

- Well that was it, off the top of my head.

No doubt You can think of a few more…

Friday, 24 July 2009

Bratislava Hot Serenaders + Henry de Winter: Livin' In The Sunshine, Lovin' In The Moonlight

Another in my occasional postings from my Favourite musical discovery of 2009: the Bratislava Hot Serenaders and Henry de Winter.

I cannot say anything at present but my dear friends at the Eccentric Club have made contact with the excellent Herr de Winter in Berlin (he is now a member of this esteemed club) - and moves are afoot to bring him to the UK.

If anyone can help regarding the UK regulations for bringing dogs into the UK, please get in touch (you must have guessed by now that Bobby, his dog, travels Everywhere with the splendid Henry).

That is all I can say at present. ENJOY!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Teach Yourself Screenwriting - THE MOVIE! ...

...well, not quite.

One of my facebook chums sent me these links to five short films on a site called VideoJug.com ; they are five mini-epics based on my book Teach Yourself Screenwriting. I have no idea when they were made or when they were put up (even my Commissioning Editor at my publishers Hodder & Stoughton - who MUST have cut some sort of deal at some point - isn't aware of these miniature masterpieces.

The URLs are:-






Do please visit, add your comments, and enjoy.

P.S.: My facebook link is www.facebook.com/tyscreenwriting

P.P.S.: In a few weeks time I may be able to tell you of some exciting developments planned for Teach Yourself Screenwriting in 2010 but at the moment I am sworn to secrecy.......

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

My Tailor on Portuguese Television

Last Friday (10th July), my tailor - Ayres - was on Portuguese television: a programme called “Magazine Europe - Contacto“.

Click on the following link and see it in all its glory:


Ayres (that’s how you spell it, not Aires as in the TV caption - and it’s pronounced Eye-Rez) is in the first part of the programme: from 2 minutes in to 8 minutes. He’s also interviewed at his workplace (Gieves & Hawkes in Savile Row). It’s all in Portuguese, naturally, but at least you get the idea.

And he came back from Portugal with a few suit commissions (including two from members of the Portuguese Parliament).

Indeed, if you go back to my blog on the Naked Bike Ride in London [June 14th], you’ll find his back (and backside) in jeans and white short

And here he is with his Grandfather - Ayres is the third generation of tailors in his family.

Congratulations, Ayres….. [we have some spectacular creations to unveil in the future]..... I always like to think I can spot the rising stars!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

...and now I'm featured in a Cartoon Strip too...!

My dear acquaintance and talented (award-winning, I should add) artist / comix creator / blogger etc. etc. Lawrence Gullo suddenly sent me the latest installment of his elegant strip:
[Click on the strip and it will open out to its full glory].

At the bottom he wrote: "Jack the Ripper's good looks are based on Ray Frensham...".

Look! See: he made me look younger! How splendid. (And he got my favourite walking cane just right).

I don't care what Jack's next exploits are, I'm just thrilled at being immortalised in such a fashion. Thank you, Lawrence.

The URL for this strip (and his website) is:

I hope the link works.