Tuesday, 13 May 2008

The Grapes are pressed

old desk set upTimes move on
Image by shell_s via Flickr
And the news as we wait here outside the Palace is that an equerry has just come out and pinned an official notice to the gate stating that Sour Grapes is dead, I repeat Sour Grapes has passed away. That's official confirmation that Sour Grapes is no more, and with that it's back to you in the studio.

Actually it happened nearly two weeks ago, and only comes again to the fore because normally this weekend I'd have had to write a new column, and instead I had the whole three-day break all to my jammy self. I basically loafed about, did a little bit of work, took Boy Ten to a soapbox derby sort of thing, visited a mate who's setting up a new music school, and not much more than that. Luxury.

Sour Grapes was born in January 2001, when Rachel Johnson, sister of London mayor Boris, left Brussels and bequeathed me her two-weekly slot at the back of the magazine. I was instructed to make it "acid and cynical".

That was more than seven years ago, or roughly 380 weeks, or 190 columns, which because of one thing or another (we were always the first thing to be jettisoned when ads exceeded expectations) was whittled down in reality to 164 published columns.

When The Bulletin's new editor said the magazine was about to undergo a complete makeover, and that Sour Grapes would have to go and live on a farm, my reaction was composed of equal parts relief and delight. Weight from the shoulders, chains from the ankles, etc.

So now I'm doing other things, some of which are visible at the Flanders Today website. That's a new weekly paper of which I'm news editor, as well as roving features writer on subjects like the movie In Bruges, the TV character Bumba and the Kryptos Quartet.

In the meantime I'm revisiting the Wordpress site where I had begun posting old published columns, and which I hadn't touched since December. This evening I posted five new entries, and gave the whole site an overhaul, using Zemanta to put in links, tags and pictures. I've mentioned Zemanta before, and though it has some teething trouble faults (too many holes in its coverage, way too US-centric) it's great for a bulk job like that.

The address of that site is Sour Grapes Through the Ages. You're very welcome to drop by. No flowers, please.