Stop,Look,Listen…my weekly selection of favourite films, books and events to get you out of the house

Watch...Callan (DVD)…filmed in black and white and made in the the late 60s, to me this series confirms my views of the secret services in this country; unaccountable, undemocratic and dangerous. Edward Woodward is mesmerising as Callan, the government agent who starts to question his orders to kill. In the first episode he has been demoted to work for a book keeper and then suddenly Hunter, his Secret Service boss, asks him to do another job, another killing. Woodward is suspicious of Hunter and does his own investigation, calling in his “grass” Lonely, played by Russell Hunter, to get him a gun. He realises that its not just another killing but that he too is in the frame. Very much of its cold war era it features escaped Nazis and informers and women do not get much of a look in. But it’s exciting, chilling and brilliantly acted. Is this why everyone seems to be watching Scandic TV these days??

Go to...The Tyburn Tree a musical presentation of a new album from singer Marc Almond and composer and saxophonist, John Harle. It is a musical journey through the streets of London, using nursery rhymes and the words of poet William Blake. The gallows at Tyburn provide the material for the song cycle that exposes the darkness at the heart of the history of London. The show is on at the Bridgewater Hall next month see

Focus on Clocking In… and explore the emotions behind the objects at the Peoples History Museum and get an insiders view on growing up during the Industrial Revolution. Join this tour on 17 February, its free, from 13:15 – 14:00, only 45 minutes. Further details see

Listen to... A tribute to Jack Johnson. Never been a jazz fan but I was interested in this because of its subject; the life of American black boxer Jack Johnson. Recorded in 1970 by Miles Davis, Jack Johnson is jazz-rock fusion, a type of music that trumpeteer Davis chose to specialise in at this time. The music was created for a documentary about Johnson. On the CD are other jazz greats including Herbie Hancock and John McLaughlin. Over forty years later it still sounds modern and really cool!

Love this blog...Blink and You’ll Miss It, written by local journalist Chloe Glover. Her posts are random, quirky and really interesting. Check out the one about Delia Derbyshire the electronics innovator and how the little Yorkshire village of Slaithwaite was the birthplace of violinist Hayden Wood. See

Have a laugh…and don’t we need one… What Manchester Really Thinks About The Tories…a group called the Intruders pretend to be from Tory HQ and ask voters in Wythenshawe if they will be voting Tory last Thursday…the reactions are what you might expect!. See

About lipstick socialist

I am an activist and writer. My interests include women, class, culture and history. From an Irish in Britain background I am a republican and socialist. All my life I have been involved in community and trade union politics and I believe it is only through grass roots politics that we will get a better society. This is reflected in my writing, in my book Northern ReSisters Conversations with Radical Women and my involvement in the Mary Quaile Club. .If you want to contact me please use my gmail which is lipsticksocialist636
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2 Responses to Stop,Look,Listen…my weekly selection of favourite films, books and events to get you out of the house

  1. Mark C says:

    Love Callan. You may have something there, though the Danes differ by placing female characters front and centre. And strong admirable depictions of female characters they are too. I despair of UK drama’s approach to females and the lack of strong role models for teenage girls today. British TV still seems to be stuck in a 90s limbo, believing that a strong woman is a snarky beer swilling tart with a heart a’la the odious harridans of EastEnders.

  2. Susan Richardson says:

    Thanks for the ‘have a laugh – cheered me up!’ Though the responses were surprisingly polite – did they edit the ruder ones out?
    Sue R

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