Nowness: May 2024

It’s May 2024. I’m a writer. I live in Glasgow. I’m married to Samara. This is all exactly as it should be.


I run a small press magazine called New Escapologist and I’m currently putting Issue 16 together. It’s a thing of beauty and will be shipping very soon, so why not pre-order a copy?

Work continues on the film I’m making with Mark Cartwright and Anthony Irvine. We’re basically turning my book about the Iceman into a documentary and it’s been tremendous creative fun so far.

I’m editing a new memoir called Before I Go for “the archaeopteryx of alternative comedy,” (Alan Moore’s words, not mine) John Dowie.

You might remember me mentioning Dowie’s other excellent book The Freewheeling John Dowie in my previous Nowness message. I’d enjoyed it greatly and was irritated that it was no longer in print. Well, I pulled some levers and strings and it’s now available again as an e-book at least. Hooray!

The month of June, if I can mop up these few projects in the meantime and since I’m not needed on any film shoots, will be devoted to something completely new. Ooooh, yes.


I’m 300 pages into a thousand-page biography of Portuguese poet Ferdinand Pessoa by Richard Zenith. It’s very, very good so it’s hard to begrudge the absurd length. I want to tell the world about Pessoa, but there would be no point: Zenith is your man for that.


I just got back from London where I was filming at the Comedy Store with Mark Cartwright and our little team. We met some incredible people and I’m particularly grateful to the Obi-Wan of improv Neil Mullarkey for all he did for us. Thank you Neil.

Culture Devourment

I’m writing this in a quiet moment at Tectonics, a weekend city festival of experimental music. It’s always one of my cultural highlights of the year. Today I’m all about Koichi Makigami.

For TV, I’ve been watching Werner Herzog’s filmmaking Master Class, chunk by 15-minute chunk. It’s more about spending time with Herzog than actually learning any practical skills for me. But as the Bavarian man himself says, you don’t become a poet by learning to type.

Some films I enjoyed recently were The Delinquents (2023) and Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days (2023). I review both in Issue 16 of New Escapologist since they’re about, in different ways, escapes from work. I saw these films at the GFT. Support your local art cinemas, you sods.

Physical Form

Here’s my picture of the “month” so you can continue to monitor my ongoing decay, this time taken at the Comedy Store in London:

Old Now pages (Then pages?) are squirreled pointlessly into the Now Page Archive

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