Tracer by Rob Boffard (a review)


A fast-paced sci-fi thriller set in a post nuclear apocalyptic future where humanity has been forced to abandon Earth to live on an artificial station. Full of action, suspense, and plot twists, this is a novel you could easily imagine as a blockbuster film, giving you plenty of popcorn thrills and spills with some enjoyable characters and scenes.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I thought I’d start sharing by book reviews here on my blog, and what better way to start than with book six of the Harry Potter series, right? Er… ok.

My Goodreads account has been linked with this blog for ages, but I’ve only recently started to actually write reviews rather than just allocating stars. I’ve added the handy category “Book Reviews” to this blog as well, so all my reviews can be found with relative ease (from the category section on the right when on a specific post). I’m no review virtuoso – most of my reviews are brief and spoiler free, and that’s the way I like them. I thought it might be worthwhile sharing them here anyway.

Here we go them:


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K Rowling

My score: 4 out of 5 stars

This is my first read of the Harry Potter books, I’m gradually making my way through them. I must say that I found the last one (The Order of the Phoenix) a bit tedious, and nothing that much seemed to happen, which is particularly impressive seeing as it is the longest of the lot. Still, I am apparently not alone, as it seems the general consensus that that is the weakest book – or at least, everyone can agree that Dolores Umbridge is a c**t.

So, it took me a while to get to The Half-Blood Prince, but having now read it I think that this is my favourite one yet, and I’ll be delving into the final installment before too long.

Also, it is now clear to me that there needs to be a Harry Potter show made immediately, or very soon, by HBO/Netflix/Starz/whatever which revolves around Voldermort’s origins, as partially detailed in The Half-Blood Prince. We need to see Dumbledore wearing his swanky plum suit, visiting young Tom Riddle Jnr. in the Orphanage, and then follow Tom through his seven years at Hogwarts. Then, after a 7 or 8 season show doing this, we need to then skip ahead a few years with a spin off show where we see Harry’s parents and the Maurauders and the first generation of the Order of the Phoenix, culminating with Voldermort killing Harry’s parents.

This has to happen. It must happen. It will happen. This is what everyone wants to see, and we’re talking two long series with at least seven seasons per show, so at least 14 years before it’s done. So, can we get on with it please?

Professional Reader


Hello there!

It’s been a while, but that’s ok. The wheel turns and the mind twists and drifts as it will. I’ve been wandering/wondering different streets of the internet, but have returned now to this old haunt.

But of course, it’s not me anymore, it’s me. I’m different since last I wrote here, as are we all. None of us are so completely static that we remain unchanged for any length of time. Me, I thrive on the volta.

Speaking of volta, I’d like to introduce you to DaMa and The Cabinet Volta.


The idea for The Cabinet Volta coalesced from a number of trails of thought, inspired principally by the passing of David Bowie and the (then) imminent date of the 100 year anniversary of the founding of The Cabaret Voltaire and the consequent birth of the Dada movement. (February 5th 1916)

Dada was an experiential response to the absurdity of War and the corruption of society, as well as a celebration of life, freedom of expression, and living in the moment. Many of the ideas and techniques developed by the Dadaists have since gained mainstream acceptance. This would include collage (both art and sound), cut-up techniques, unconventional typography, manifestos and other publications, Photomontage, Assemblage, certain aspects of performance art, even flashmobs!

However, Dada itself was never meant to be a long-lived movement, but more a reflection, or reaction, to the time. Hugo Ball, author, poet, and one of the founders of Dada, said:

“For us, art is not an end in itself… but an opportunity for the true perception and criticism of the times we live in.”

Thus it seemed appropriate to develop a concept that was fresh for NOW, whilst still echoing the importance of the original influence.

My first foray into DaMa expression came as a new release by my alter ego The Ephemeral Man. It includes new music, and five “badly taped-over classic pop album cassettes”, each with unique artwork.

The word “DaMa” was chosen to have Yin & Yang connotations (Da and Ma being slang for father and mother, respectively), as well as having other correspondences, to which I quote from Wikipedia:

  • Dama gazelle (Nanger dama)
  • Fallow deer (Dama dama) Tammar wallaby or dama wallaby (Macropus eugenii)

in business, science and technology:

  • DAMA, the Data Management Association
  • DAMA, abbreviation for “discharged against medical advice”
  • Demand Assigned Multiple Access, a bandwidth allocation strategy
  • DAMA/NaI, an experiment to detect dark matter
  • DAMA/LIBRA, successor experiment to DAMA/NaI
  • Dama, Stage name of Rasolofondraosolo Zafimahaleo, Malagasy musician, member of the band Mahaleo
  • DAMA TECHNOLOGIES AG, Swiss Precision Machine builder, focus on the optical and ceramics industry.

in culture:

  • Dama, a name for Turkish draughts
  • Dama (stage name of Rasolofondraosolo Zafimahaleo), founding member of the Madagascar folk-pop band Mahaleo
  • Dama (Dune), a fictional character in Chapterhouse Dune (1985) by Frank Herbert
  • Dama-fruit, a fictional fruit in Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, which renders its eaters invisible

“The Cabinet Volta” is itself of course a play on the name of “The Cabaret Voltaire”, the nightclub in Zurich where Dada was conceived and often enacted. Whereas I’d love for The Cabinet Volta to one day become a physical place that people can visit, for now it is a metaphysical space for art, protest, and performance.


  • 1:  A cupboard with drawers or shelves for storing or displaying articles
  • 2: (also Cabinet) (In the UK, Canada, and other Commonwealth countries) the committee of senior ministers responsible for controlling government policy
  • 3:  archaic A small private room.


  • In poetry, the volta, or turn, is a rhetorical shift or dramatic change in thought and/or emotion. Turns are seen in all types of written poetry.
  • The volta (plural: voltas) (Italian: “the turn” or “turning”) is an anglicised name for a Renaissance dance for couples from the later Renaissance
  • In music, a repeat sign is a sign that indicates a section should be repeated. When a repeat calls for a different ending, numbered brackets above the bars indicate which to play the first time (1), which to play the second time (2), etc. These are called “first-time bars” and “second-time bars,” or “first and second endings.” They are also known as “volta brackets” and have no limit to how many there can be.
  • Latin


    Frequentative of volvō, formed through its perfect passive participle volūtus.


  • volūtō (present infinitive volūtāreperfect active volūtāvīsupine volūtātum); first conjugation
  • I roll, turn, twist, or tumble about
  • I wallow
  • I ponder




  1. being, character, condition, rank, nature, or quality of someone or something