A Peculiar Contradiction

“Peter, you live in this spectacular environment, a beautiful house set in a gorgeous landscape of lush green rolling hills, with a veritable menagerie of cuddly dogs, inquisitive emus, nosey alpacas, gentle chickens and reclusive ducks. Your home is replete with exquisite artwork, precious collectibles, an exemplary wine cellar, an impressive array of rare whiskeys and a garage full of grand automobiles. Clearly, you live an idyllic life. So, please do tell me, how is it possible for you to conjure up a dastardly villain like Tooth?” This is the beginning of Norman B’s face-to-face interview with the famed crime-thriller author, Peter James. Over the last couple of years, the two men have met a number of times via Skype and telephone, but this was the first time they had met in person. When Norman mentioned to Peter that he would be visiting the UK, his home country, Peter enthusiastically invited Norman to his country home. In the dashing style, appropriate for a best-selling author, James showed up at the local railway station in his gleaming new Aston Martin to whisk the radio host through the beautiful Sussex countryside to his sumptuous estate. After a leisurely stroll around the property, a delicious lunch, including pork pies, (a ubiquitous English delicacy), was served. Then, Norman B’s informal, perhaps unconventional interview with Peter James began. With a sly, sometimes cheeky wit, Peter is an engaging conversationalist and natural story-teller, making it easy to understand why his DS Roy Grace crime novels have sold 18 million copies worldwide. When you listen to Peter James merrily chat about his research in creating gruesome crimes, imagine the spectacular setting Norman B describes above. It’s a peculiar contradiction, a charming erudite writer living the privileged life of an English squire who delves into the darkest depths of man’s most cruel behavior for his work. Is this the allure of Peter James’ writing? Find out in the next edition of Life Elsewhere.

Also in the program, we are delighted to play for you two songs from the new album, Sleep On The Radio by the highly-rated producer and musician, Gordon Raphael. The album is scheduled for release on Zero Hours (UK) September 22nd. Widely known for his work with The Strokes, Gordon’s friendship with Norman B goes back to his early days in Seattle when he formed two original bands, Mental Mannequin and Colour Twigs. In the 1990s during the famous Grunge Revolution, he was keyboardist for the psychedelic band Sky Cries Mary– and starred in an epic dark-wave band called Absinthee. An in-depth interview with Gordon Raphael is being scheduled for an upcoming edition of Life Elsewhere.

Life Elsewhere is available at iTunes

Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  
Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio
Thursdays 6.00pm ET at Internet Radio Network
Fridays at 9.00pm GMT on Cornucopia Radio

If you miss any editions of Life Elsewhere, go here then go to the Listen On Demand panel, choose the date of a show and click play.

Life Elsewhere Music airs:
Mondays at 6.00pm & Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on NWCZ Radio
Fridays at 10.00am Eastern Time on IRN
Cornucopia Radio airs Life Elsewhere Music throughout each week

You can hear all the volumes over at Mixcloud

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Letter From Home Part 4: The Disappearing English Pub

“The traditional English pub has all but disappeared.” Sighed a long-time friend, “Now they’re all about gourmet food with TV star chefs!”  She added, grudgingly. To prove her point we had lunch in a Tudor-timbered hostelry, with part of its structure dating back to the 16th century. Instead of squeezing in between regulars crowding the bar, attempting to catch the attention of the bar person, we were guided to a table by a fabulously slim young lady of Eastern European extraction, dressed in the obligatory black. We were handed beautifully designed menus offering gastronomic delights that could have been at odds with the surroundings until you got to the section headed Pudding. There, in their ubiquitous glory were the three words that confirm you are still in a pub in England…Sticky Toffee Pudding! This could start a long debate but, at some point in the last century, dessert in England became known as pudding. And here is where it becomes rather complicated, on almost every menu everywhere in England, under the pudding items will always be Sticky Toffee Pudding. You could be in the most snotty of haute cuisine establishments or chowing down in a workman’s caff, yet no matter the price range or the snob appeal, Sticky Toffee Pudding will be there. Of course, the name is a misnomer for the American diner, as it’s neither pudding in the American sense, or really that sticky as far as sticky goes. It may taste of toffee, sort of. But, that would depend on your idea of toffee. The reason Sticky Toffee Pudding is on every menu is most likely to do with the English obsession with connecting to our roots, as daft as that is. The menu at this pub, now proudly called a gastropub was, despite all the possible pretensions, most appealing. Two of our party went for the Bouillabaisse, one opted for the Trout a la Maison, while I went down-market with the curiously-named Posh Fish Finger Sandwich. After the meal my friend and aspiring authority on English pubs, suggested we go to a real pub that hadn’t been gentrified yet. “This is where you can still get a proper pint from a vast selection on tap and a bag of crisps if you happen to feel hungry.” She advised with a bit of know-it-all-attitude. The One Eyed Cat in Ripon, Yorkshire, did indeed have a splendid and varied selection of draughts beers on tap and yes, crisps were available along with pork rinds and pickled eggs for those in need of something to sop up the ale. There was a cozy fireplace with an actual fire, despite this being the middle of summer. A few customers sat silently glancing from their beer to whoever should venture through the front door. The jukebox played Jolene and a sign above it read, “Don’t bang the front!” Which I found disturbing and funny at the same time. “This one will probably be another gastropub the next time you visit.” Groaned my friend. I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps I had been away too long. The appeal of the traditional English pub had in effect all but disappeared from my memory.

For the month of June and part of July, Life Elsewhere. host, Norman B has been revisiting England, his home country. Part of his journey has included interviews which will appear at later dates on the program.

Life Elsewhere is available at iTunes

Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  
Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio
Thursdays 6.00pm ET at Internet Radio Network
Fridays at 9.00pm GMT on Cornucopia Radio

If you miss any editions of Life Elsewhere, go here then go to the Listen On Demand panel, choose the date of a show and click play.

Life Elsewhere Music airs:
Mondays at 6.00pm & Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on NWCZ Radio
Fridays at 10.00am Eastern Time on IRN
Cornucopia Radio airs Life Elsewhere Music throughout each week

You can hear all the volumes over at Mixcloud

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Letter From Home Part 3: All White, Alright?

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Gleaming pristine white dazzles and dares you to upset its cool fabulousness. In almost every home I visited, white is the color of choice. Glossy smooth surfaces, sumptuous seductive leather, cozy cuddly cashmere, white is everywhere. Fittings, fixtures, and furniture are all determinedly white. Bathrooms are clinical and kitchens are like laboratories. All the homes I visited from stately Georgian town-homes to Edwardian villas, rustic farmhouses to mid-century-modern bungalows, the interiors were dominated by varying shades of white. The ever- present brilliance of whiteness comes as a stark contrast to England’s frequent cloudy gray skies. The whiteness is even more noticeable when you come in off a grubby street jam-packed with dirty, dusty automobiles. From super-duper Teslas to top-of-the-line prestigious German models, keeping a car clean appears to be a low priority in England. But, presenting an unblemished sparkling white home interior is de rigueur. Far different from my days of growing up in England. Then, most homes were decorated in various shades of awful. Garish wallpaper, hideous prints on everything and stubbornly oppressive furniture. The whiteness in today’s English homes seems to be a statement: “We’re modern, we’re cool, and we’ve got brilliant taste!” Yet this is a quandary for a visitor like me, still perplexed as to who voted for Brexit?”

For the month of June and part of July, Life Elsewhere. host, Norman B has been revisiting England, his home country. Part of his journey has included interviews which will appear at later dates on the program.

Life Elsewhere is available at iTunes

Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  
Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio
Thursdays 6.00pm ET at Internet Radio Network
Fridays at 9.00pm GMT on Cornucopia Radio

If you miss any editions of Life Elsewhere, go here then go to the Listen On Demand panel, choose the date of a show and click play.

Life Elsewhere Music airs:
Mondays at 6.00pm & Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on NWCZ Radio
Fridays at 10.00am Eastern Time on IRN
Cornucopia Radio airs Life Elsewhere Music throughout each week

You can hear all the volumes over at Mixcloud

Make a Donation Button

 

Letter From Home – Part 2: English Gardens & American Yards

The first thing you need to know about gardens in England is, they’re not the same as gardens in the USA. There they are known as a yard. While a yard in England is certainly not a garden. A yard is a most likely a place you would store or dump things. Typically it would be an unattractive place, such as a builder’s yard, a scrap metal yard or perhaps a knacker’s yard, (don’t ask). But, it couldn’t be a school yard, because that would be a school playground. Confused? Stand by, there’s more. In England you don’t park a car in a parking lot, instead, you park a car in, wait for it, a car park. You drive on a road, not a pavement, while you walk on the pavement instead of the sidewalk. The hood of your car is delightfully named a bonnet so the trunk is obviously(?) a boot. You won’t have a fender-bender in England because fenders are bumpers. In England you’ll make a call on your mobile, in the States, you’d make the same call on a cell. Candies are sweeties in England and cookies are biscuits. A faucet is a tap in England, and a nappy is a diaper in the USA. The oddly tortuous-sounding pacifier becomes the brazen dummy in England. Of course, there wouldn’t be a need for a pacifier or dummy without a willy or a fanny. And that’s where the translation becomes really difficult, if not downright awkward. We speak the same language but we can easily bewilder each other with the words we choose. Thankfully, the common language of gardening is shared enthusiastically by both countries, in spite of each nation’s perplexing weights and measures standards. Finally, the second thing you need to know about gardens in England, they are glorious places to seek refuge from the moans and groans about Brexit and Mr. T – – – -.

For the month of June and part of July, Life Elsewhere. host, Norman B has been revisiting England, his home country. Part of his journey has included interviews which will appear at later dates on the program.

Life Elsewhere is available at iTunes

Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  
Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio
Thursdays 6.00pm ET at Internet Radio Network
Fridays at 9.00pm GMT on Cornucopia Radio

If you miss any editions of Life Elsewhere, go here then go to the Listen On Demand panel, choose the date of a show and click play.

Life Elsewhere Music airs:
Mondays at 6.00pm & Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on NWCZ Radio
Fridays at 10.00am Eastern Time on IRN
Cornucopia Radio airs Life Elsewhere Music throughout each week

You can hear all the volumes over at Mixcloud

Make a Donation Button

 

Letter From Home – Part 1: Fish & Chips

Fish ’n’ chips are still big in England. I guess the seemingly never-ending fondness for a dish that can be cruelly unpleasant if not prepared properly, came as a surprise to me. So many changes have taken place since I left England all those years ago for a career in the US of A. Yet, good ol’ fish ’n’ chips are still proudly available everywhere, throughout the length and breadth of England, found on bustling high streets and in tiny hamlets. Those same typical English high streets and picturesque villages are now also festooned with cool coffee shops, hip bars, gourmand restaurants and the ubiquitous gastropubs. And, each one of these establishments will try to squeeze tables and chairs outside onto the already overcrowded sidewalks in a manner once considered fine on the Continent, but hardly the thing to do in staid old England. So who devours those enormous mountains of battered fish ’n’ chips and avoids posing languidly on spindly bistro chairs? Could these be the same people who hate menus from foreign cuisines, including Croque-monsieurs, baguette sandwiches, and coffee in all its many exotic forms enough to vote for the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union? Brexit has been the number one constant topic of conversation wherever I go. Everyone has an opinion and almost universally that opinion is punctuated with outrage. In London, the standard take is, “There have to be ill-informed idiots somewhere in the country, but they certainly didn’t live next door to me!” While the consensus of opinion when I get out of the city is sadly resigned to, “We knew our neighbors were ignorant!”

For the month of June and part of July, Life Elsewhere. host, Norman B has been revisiting England, his home country. Part of his journey has included interviews which will appear at later dates on the program.

Life Elsewhere is available at iTunes

Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  
Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio
Thursdays 6.00pm ET at Internet Radio Network
Fridays at 9.00pm GMT on Cornucopia Radio

If you miss any editions of Life Elsewhere, go here then go to the Listen On Demand panel, choose the date of a show and click play.

Life Elsewhere Music airs:
Mondays at 6.00pm & Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on NWCZ Radio
Fridays at 10.00am Eastern Time on IRN
Cornucopia Radio airs Life Elsewhere Music throughout each week

You can hear all the volumes over at Mixcloud

Make a Donation Button