Monday, 31 May 2010

Ramble 'N' Rave

On Friday 11th June, Billy and PC subscripient Sam Harris will be hosting a fundraising event; Ramble ‘N’ Rave. This event will be taking place by popular demand due to the success of the New Year’s Day Treasure Hunt. The night consists of a family friendly treasure hunt, a barbecue and to finish the night off some live music from local talent. The bands playing will be Savaloy, Pink Elephant Fish and The Reverse.

The evening will commence at 6.00 and the latest time for families wishing to take part in the treasure hunt will be 8.00. The barbecue will be available from 8.30, with the live entertainment starting from 9.00. Admission for this event will be just £5 per family or £2 per head. The treasure hunt starts and finishes at Mytholmroyd Community Centre

Please come along and support two great causes (Great Generation and WSJ 2011).

For further information please email 

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Ask Mrs Smith...

Q. Dear Mrs Smith,
Help me i accidentally threw an egg at David Cameron I also ATE A FIVE YEAR OLD BOY

Help me...

A. To really help you overcome this problem, we need to identify what you need help with. What worries you the most? Is it the fact that you turned to cannibalism and ate a five year old? Is it that you are worried you can not control this urge of cannibalism and you may strike again, which could have even more serious consequences and complications if it was to be a loved one? Or, is it that the five year old is waiting to be digested, and you fear the worst for your health? I advise that you go and see a doctor IMMEDIATLY! He/she should be able to remove the five year old and you will be free from all possible health risks, however, if there is a risk of eating the doctor I would seriously consider confining yourself to a cave and hope for the best....with any luck you will only have stomach cramps for a few days. If the cravings persist, it may be best to give in, and find yourself a new victim...perhaps a member of the BNPs, or, if you're brave enough to put up with the taste, David Cameron! By taking your anti-conservative policy to the next level (congratulations on your successful egging btw) you will not only manage to satisfy your cannibalistic urges, but also impress your friends with your ability to eat a grown man, and not just a meagre five year old.

Q. Dear Mrs Smith,
My closest friends think I'm a paedophile.

A. OK, please allow me to use an anecdote here. I have a close(ish) friend (who in this particular analogy we shall call Michael in order to protect his identity and limit the risk of humiliations and mockery.) Since starting at a new college a year and a half ago, he has made a very close group of new friends. Unfortunately for Michael, this group seem to find it hilariously amusing to give each other nicknames, and poor Michael's nickname is 'PaedoBoy'. No one is sure how this came about, it may just be that he has a general attraction to girls younger than him. Regardless, the consequences of this nickname have been severe and  a few nasty rumours have started which make it very difficult for him to talk to any younger girls in front of his friends. This naturally caused a rift in our friendship. Michael refused to talk to me unless he was alone. It wasn't until recently that  there was a significant break through. For the first time I can ever recall, Michael spoke to me in public. Yes, it may have only been about my German oral exam, but still, this small improvement is proof that he has finally learned to accept his nickname. The only thing I can really suggest is for you to follow Michael's example and accept your friends views in good humour, make a few possibly jokes about it and maybe even go to such lengths as to call yourself 'PaedoBoy' - extreme I know - but by resorting to these measures you're showing your friends that the prospect of you being a Paedophile is ridiculous and is nothing more than a joke. Unless you ARE a paedophile, in this case, I urge you to stay away from young girls for their sake!

Thankyou for all letters sent in, and apologies for any that weren't published, we shall try our best to publish them in the next issue. So, keep sending all your niggly little queries to

Hope to hear from you soon,

Love Mrs Smith  x

Desert Island Discs: New Castaway!

Hello all, It's time to reveal the next castaway for our Desert Island Discs Feature - I have plunged my hand once more into my fez, and the God's have decided that our second ever castaway will be...

Sophie Hoyle

Sophie is a member of the new web-team, and helps produce the agony aunt feature which appears on the website. I'm sure you all anticipate her Desert Island Discs choices (which will be going on the site in a fortnight) as much as I do. Until next time,

Callum MacRae
Website Manager - Painter's Chronicle E-Magazine
Tel: 07970 440 467

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Sincerest Apologies

Dear all subscripients,

Those of you down at the stall today (and no doubt many of you were) will have noticed that unfortunatly I wasn't around for my much anticipated book launch. Unfortunatly this is because my plane from Gatwick to Manchester was delayed and because I have to be in Edinburgh tonight, there simply wasn't enough time with the delay to come to Hebden then up to Scotland. I am therefore sincerly sorry to have missed the BGW - but from what Billy has told me, it was a really good day.

All the best,

Robert Holme

Friday, 28 May 2010

PC Stall

Well, tomorrow is the big day - the Painter's Chronicle board will be in Hebden Bridge at their stall from 9 till 5 raising awareness and funds for the Chronicle. Not only will you meet real life members of the board, old and new, but you will be entertained by a whole host of acts - from jugglers to live music, the PC stall is going to be a-buzz with the finest entertainment the youth of Calderdale have to offer. As if this wasn't enough, the board, friends and subscripients have spent all day baking delicious cakes of all kinds (see our facebook page for a full list of possible appearances) especially for you. In addition to this already irresistable line up, THE Robert Holme KBE will be in attendance to read a selection from his new anthology - a rare opportunity you would be mad/incapacitated/'away' (cough JOE COTTON cough) to miss. Anyway, I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow, it promises to be a truly enjoyable day,

Callum MacRae
Website Manager - Painter's Chronicle E-Magazine

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Film Review With Sam Larner


Wimbledon is a 2004 romantic comedy starring Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst. It’s directed by Richard Loncraine who’s previous works include an episode of “Band of Brothers” and the cult classic “Slade in Flames”. So how does this offering fare?

Well firstly let’s start with the bad points. The tennis shown in the film is just awful; it’s displayed in a way that makes you assume it must surely be deliberately terrible. It makes you wonder if Loncraine has only ever seen Wii tennis and is now basing a film on that.

Secondly, this is a film where anyone who has ever seen any kind of movie before will be able to say exactly what happens. Let me just set it up for you, Paul Bettany is a mid-ranked tennis player who is competing in his last Wimbledon championship. He falls for Kirsten Dunst who is a leading female tennis player. Now, bearing in a mind that this is a romantic comedy and so they must go through a rough patch, can you guess the plot?

Thirdly, it is just Hollywood sugary, confectionary, rom-com, clichéd bile.

Despite all these things I couldn’t help but be utterly charmed by the film. I thought Kirsten Dunst was absolutely brilliant as the love interest and she is the successful female, the type required in all rom-coms (Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” and “Notting Hill”). Paul Bettany is also fantastic as the down and out tennis player who’s got the money but not the success that he would’ve wished from his tennis career. Throughout Wimbledon his challengers are like characters from Wacky Races and are obviously planned to make you despise them.

So, no it’s not the best film I’ve ever seen, in fact it’s not even in the top 25, but as a purely mindless hour and a half it’s hard to beat. And in a time when Hollywood movies are getting shallower and shallower this is quite a refreshing change. Give me this over “Leap Year” and “The Holiday” any day.

On a separate note as a new addition to this column I will be including a movie trivia section relating to the film reviewed. The 2010 film “Leap Year” includes in the trailer a scene which is 76 minutes into the film, this leaves just 14 minutes of the film not explained by the trailer!

Lastly, a cult classic from the 80’s “Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death” is written by J.F.Lawson, the same man who wrote “Pretty Women”, the first is far more romantic, although finding it in video shops is difficult.

And as a quick note from me, this review reminded me of a brilliant song by my idol Ezra Furman - Kirsten Dunst, by Ezra Furman - enjoy! 

Callum MacRae
Website Manager - Painter's Chronicle E-Magazine

Book Launch, Moorland Crows

Monday, 24 May 2010

The Painter's Chronicle, Big Green Weekend 2010

Painter's Journey Post

It’s Monday morning, 9.30am and it’s been two weeks; this can only mean one thing...I’m on the rattler coming home! Time for another 'Painter’s Journey Post'!

Today's subject is...The Exam Season

A large proportion of the people reading this will, at present, be attempting some revision for their forthcoming exams, and the rest who are fortunate enough not to be in exam season this year are likely to have experienced these times in the past. We all know end of year examinations are important and more times than not are key stepping stones in our career paths, so it’s probably worthwhile taking the time out to ‘hit the books’. That’s all very well and good, but in May, June and July! Could there possibly be three months where it is harder to resist temptation and use your recreational time playing sport, socialising and generally relaxing in the lovely British summer weather to instead lounge around inside making mind maps and reading out extensive information from a text book? If you’ve just read that and believe it’s quite easy to resist those temptations then A) I salute you for your willpower and B) You really should get out more and make the most of your teen years!

Surely the big bosses at our beloved exam boards realise this? It’s not rocket science to realise that the exam season is a very stressful and tense period for all who take part, and with the added strain of having to undergo it in the peak of British weather, just about finishes it off. We’ve waited all year to go outside and make the most of the long, light evenings and warm subtropical climate and instead we’re urged to use the time to sit indoors and get revising. Why?!

Firstly, I believe that having the exam season in the summer will not see the best possible results from young people; quite simply because we can’t resist the temptation. When the great outdoors is calling, we will go. I for one don’t have enough will power, and revision and studies comes second best at this time of the year. I find it simply impossible, I know exams are extremely important, but you’re only young once, and I for one will not forget that.

Secondly, we spend quite a lot of study time in the winter churning out masses of coursework to complement our summer results. Although this can be a real drag and, at times, quite demoralising, wouldn’t this time be better served preparing for exams? As a general rule, we’re indoors much earlier in the day during the winter and generally there is less going on, so theoretically this gives us more time to prepare and revise, does it not? And if the exam boards are still insistent on keeping the coursework aspect of qualifications there, I’m sure young people would be more focussed on getting it completed once exams have been concluded. This way it could be done in a more relaxed manner gradually throughout the summer months, knowing that there are no more exams to worry about in that year.

Finally, are sweltering, hot conditions the best tonic to successfully sit an exam paper? Not really. It affects the way our mind works, our concentration levels dip and the energy levels we walk into the room with soon evaporate (quite literally). I’m not an expert on this, and right now I’m considering asking Dr Jo to take out a review on it, but it’s a pretty basic factor isn’t it? Sitting an exam in a cooler, calm environment has to be better than the aforementioned one.

In three relatively short paragraphs, I believe that I have expressed the views of not only myself, but the views of most young people. This really is something that needs to be looked at by the education authorities. Results will improve. We can make the most of our childhood era. And by linking the two together the characteristics of this generation will be more positive. 

Best of luck to everyone taking exams this summer from the Painter's Chronicle Team.

Friday, 21 May 2010

'Winning' the Argument

Well, after moaning about the Tory government last week, I thought I'd moan about something else. I'd call it 'consciousness-raising' but I expect you will call it moaning. This week I want to talk about the way people use language when talking about discussion and debate. Recently at school I've become more and more aware of people saying things like "Oh, I wouldn't bother arguing with Tim, you'll never win." and "I'm not even going to get into this discussion, I'll only lose."

I think there are some fundamental problems with these statements, which are telling about how we view attempts to broaden and widen our knowledge and understanding (or maybe it's just because I'm [unfortunately] at a grammar school, I'd appreciate it if any comprehensive school students could let me know if the same sort of stuff is heard there). By saying you don't want to enter into a discussion with someone because you'll 'lose', you are, in essence, saying you don't want to enter into the discussion because you may be proved wrong. But what's wrong with being wrong? Why do we have to take being 'right' as some emblem of pride, and stick to ridiculous beliefs and viewpoints just because we're too scared of humiliation to listen to the oppositions argument?

I think that engaging in discussion is vital to uncovering the 'truth' (for lack of a better word) of an issue or dilemma. It's essential to look at the reasoning and evidence behind the oppositions argument, evaluate it against yours, without any bias, and come to a reasoned conclusion. Sturbonness and pride are the enemies of progress, and don't succumb to them, because you're better than that. It may seem a little humiliating to be proved wrong by a peer, but why should it be? It may seem harsh, but to close your eyes and ears to all the evidence and logic to protect your own pride is nothing but simple petty vanity.

So next time you hear someone challenge your views or beliefs, don't shush them, invite them to exchange opinions, and you will soon find that your understanding of life will broaden rapidly. Thanks again for reading, and please express your own thoughts in the comments section. Until next time,

Callum MacRae
Website Manager - Painter's Chronicle E-Magazine

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Film Review With Sam Larner

After a thrilling debut with his review of 'The Hangover', Sam returns with another exclusive review for the Painter's Chronicle website, this time reviewing; 'Let The Right One In'

Let The Right One In

Occasionally a film will be so beautiful that it will make up for the generic Hollywood duds throughout the rest of the year. Let the Right one In could be described simply as a Swedish, Vampire, Romantic, Horror.

Let The Right One In is a remarkable piece of film making from Swedish director Tomas Alfredson, it follows the lives of two young Swedes in the Cold War era. It is set in a suburb of Stockholm and both live in large non-descript council buildings. Oskar is a 12 year old boy who is bullied at school and keeps a scrapbook of deaths in the Stockholm area. He is incredibly lonely and often spends evenings in the courtyard of the box of flats pretending to stab his bullies with his knife. It is on one of these nights that he meets a girl who has just moved in next door called Eli. She is mysterious and is initially unkind to Oskar. The film revolves around the innocent romance between these two characters, even after Oskar discovers that Eli is a vampire and must kill to stay alive.

The film has an incredibly dark feeling and aesthetic. It is very short on dialogue however every shot appears like a great Constable or a Cezanne landscape. The objects aren’t beautiful for example the woods have a distinct industrial feel about them and the blocks of flats are just concrete beasts however they are viewed like great cathedrals.

The film is Swedish and so does have subtitles but don’t let that put you off. The dialogue is fairly sparse and often quite simple. If you are a bit behind the Vampire revolution that is taking over our screens then I suggest that if you only see one Vampire film then it is this. I can’t stress enough the awe inspiring brilliance that emanates from the screen when this is on.

Both lead actors do brilliant jobs in what I would imagine are quite challenging roles and in some parts you feel sorry for Kåre Hedebrant (Oskar) because you feel he must’ve been bullied at some point to produce such a realistic performance.

Leave what you may think about foreign films and go and rent this absolute masterpiece of modern cinema. It is a truly genre defying work.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Desert Island Discs

Well here is our first ever Desert Island Discs feature. This week we hear from Freddy Vinehill-Cliffe, author of Manshackle. The next castaway will be announced in a fornight. Enjoy,

Callum MacRae
Website Manager - Painter's Chronicle E-Magazine

Choosing five albums to take on a desert island with me is difficult, because I have too many albums I consider ‘favourites.’ I’ll probably want to change these choices in a week, but here goes...

The only one which absolutely, unquestionably has to go on the list, ‘Songs for the Deaf’ is my favourite album ever. My Mum bought this for me when it first came out and I was nine, which seems ridiculous now thinking about some of the lyrics. I went through a phase a few years ago where I decided this was too mainstream for me, then I realised that I was being a douche. Favouritest. Album. Ever.

I really do wish I was Jello Biafra, even though he is what you might call a ‘tubba lubba’ nowadays. But at this point he was not even a little bit overweight – a fat man may struggle to keep up with such fast songs.

It’s rather morbid to think about what you’d like to be the last thing you hear before you die, but if I had to choose one it would probably be ‘Only In Dreams,’ the closing track from this album. And no, that isn’t just because it’s a long song. Partly though...

Test Icicles are kind of the band that got me into noise-rock, despite the fact that it’s basically just Bloc Party but angrier. ‘What’s Michelle Like?’ genuinely scared me when I bought this.

The most influential album on me in terms of the music I write. I bought Surfer Rosa first but I’m gonna be CONTRAVERSIAL and say I prefer this one. Soorryyy.

I haven’t put a book because it’s already a week since Callum asked me for this article, and anyway, imagine someone actually wanting to read or even write something! Oh wait...

-          Freddy


Red lorry, yellow lorry
how fast can you say?
Around the world in 80 days,
not at all.

Did you know that the Graf Zeppelin used less fuel on its circumnavigation of the globe than a boeing 747 uses to taxi the runway?

Robert Holme

Independent Minded Members of the Community

Independent minded members of the community,
James is one of these,
The way he walks, the way he talks,
like footnotes on the breeze.

Independent minded members of the community,
meet every Saturday afternoon for tea and cake,
in the parish church car-park
like footnotes on the breeze.

The reverend is an independent minded member of our community,
he always speaks his independent mind.
Although some may call him a scheming Machiavellian prince.
I don't seem to mind.

Robert Holme

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Ask The Team - Get Involved!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Film Review With Sam Larner

Yet another new feature on the Painter's Chronicle Website!

Budding young journo Sam Larner reviews some of the recent successful film releases. This week starting with 'The Hangover'.

The Hangover

It seems that in the last few years we have been made to suffer seriously sub standard comedy movies. “Superbad”, “Rolemodels” and “Knocked Up” are all examples of these. Now I know that for many young people “The Hangover” is considered a great example of how a comedy should be made, unfortunately I’m not one of them.

It’s directed by Todd Philips whose previous films include Frat House and Starsky & Hutch, all fall into the category of stupid, “not amusing enough movies”. To get an idea of what Todd is “into” here is a list of the cameo appearances he has been involved in: “Foot lover on bus” and “Gangbang guy”, it’s not sounding great is it?

So onto the film. It starts with a group of guys who are visiting Las Vegas for their friends stag night. Lifted from the plot of “Bachelor Party” and not unlike “Dude Where’s my Car?” I am well aware that I will be in the significant minority in believing that “The Hangover” is anything other than brilliant, original comedy.

The problems are numerous, firstly most of the attempted humour revolves around a clearly mentally ill man. Now, I have nothing against this kind of humour, in my opinion if a joke makes me laugh it is fine, however this isn’t enough to hang a $36million film on. Secondly, it just isn’t funny, it swings madly between surrealistic humour, for example the scenes with the tiger and Mike Tyson and then it swings back to simple gross out humour for example the breastfeeding scene. You sense that at some points the film could veer off in a direction that would create interest but at each of these junctions Philips just pulls it back into Hollywood’s idea of a funny film. Lastly, the films treatment of women is truly deplorable and although Mike Tyson only has a small role in the film it seems like his misogynistic views were employed by the film makers.

I know it’s not particularly popular to “dis” “The Hangover” however I can’t lie to you, it’s a bad film. It’s not funny enough and I hope that when you’ve all woken up from the joint lobotomy you’ll realise that Las Vegas isn’t a great place, it’s the end of the world and any film that’s set there which follows the plot of other unfunny films such as “Road Trip” or “What Happens in Vegas” is seriously on the wrong road.

Before I go I’ll leave you with a piece of film trivia. The star of “Freaky Friday” and “Mean Girls”, Lindsay Lohan turned down this film on the basis that she didn’t feel the script had any substance. This is a film that Lohan thought was substandard and she would’ve got paid for it.

Thanks Sam, and we look forward to more reviews from you!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Pedantry Time!

If there are two things I love in this world it's pedantry and showing up Joe, so I'm combining the two by pointing out a mistake in the Chronicle! In the 'Random Facts to make your day!' section it was stated that no word in the English language rhymes with purple, orange, silver or month. COMMON MISCONCEPTION. 'Month' rhymes with 'Granth' as in the Guru Granth Sahib - the holy text of Sikhism. That's all for now, and if anyone else spots any slip-ups I would love to aid you in publicising them!

Callum MacRae
Website Manager - Painter's Chronicle E-Magazine

Painter's Journey Post

Hello and welcome to another 'Painter's Journey Post', my fortnightly post on the train back from London to Leeds on a Monday morning talking simply about whatever crosses my mind at that particular time!

Today's subject is...Reality Television

Well, ‘The Apprentice’ returns to our screens this week, but not ‘The Apprentice’ we all know and love, this version is to be known as ‘The Junior Apprentice’, slightly different. You may remember towards the end of the last series this version being advertised, asking for ‘budding entrepreneurs between the age of 16 and 17’ to come forward and appear on one of the BBC’s most popular shows.

After the regular Thursday morning chats with my friends about the Wednesday night show and debating whether Sir Alan was right to sack who he did, quite a few people suggested that I should apply for the junior version. I’d never really considered it to be honest, but after some persuasion and a few texts from a few people further afield suggesting that I applied also, I decided that ‘I may as well, what is there to lose?”

I’d never gone for anything like this before so everything was new to me and I didn’t really know what to expect when applying. It turned out that I needed to do a series of application forms, a presentation and a one-to-one interview. I wasn’t going to worry and get worked up about the process of selection (as many clearly did), I simply went with a laid back approach, again asking myself, ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’ I did, however, put in a lot of effort and made sure I was performing to my full potential giving myself every opportunity to progress. I don’t believe in doing things half heartedly.

Anyway, that’s enough about me; the point of this piece is about the processes involved in producing programmes like this, and my opinions on them. I’m using ‘The Apprentice’ as an example in this case as I have first-hand knowledge of the processes, but I am positive other programmes on our screens are also run in a similar way.

‘The Apprentice’ is a programme that continually brands itself on finding entrepreneurs with potential, budding business bosses and people with a genuine eye for success. I don’t think anyone can deny that. My argument though, is, do they really select the best people to fit these categories? I don’t think so. For a start, the people carrying out the selection process are not Sir Alan Sugar, Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford. They’re not people who work below them. Infact, do they have any business/entrepreneurial knowledge at all? No! The people who make the decisions and decide whether you’re worthy of a place to take part in the actual TV series and be in with a genuine chance of winning ‘The Apprentice’ work for Free Mantle Media, the broadcaster. These people are trained in media and television, not business. How does that one work then?

Now, I’m not saying I should have gotten any further than I did, in honesty I was very surprised and chuffed with how far I did get (the last 120), but it was obvious to see on the day that some young people with real business knowledge and potential, some of which already had a lot of success were turned away. Not at the expense of better candidates, but at the expense of better characters; people who would make more exciting television and tick the box for; male and female balance, ethical balance and background balance. Is this fair? Not really, seems as though the ongoing issues of political correctness have won once again.

I’d like to sum up by saying; I, like many of you really enjoy watching shows such as ‘The Apprentice’ and I will continue to do so, but just be aware when tuning in on Wednesday night that the ten candidates you shall see out of the 25,000 who applied are not necessarily the best young business talent, they’re probably more likely to be naturally gifted characters who have the ability to entertain, along with a little bit of business knowledge on their side too. A little fake I think, but good television none the less.

Friday, 7 May 2010

The Election

Well, although the exact details of the nature of our parliament are somewhat vague, one thing is clear - the Conservative party have a majority in our parliament. Whilst lamenting this today, I was told by many friends and acquaintances "Don't worry, It's not that bad. The Tories have changed since Thatcher, they're much more progressive now." But are they? The Conservatives have always been notorious for having disobedient back-benchers, and whilst David Cameron has been persuading you that his party has 'changed' his back-benchers tell a very different story.

To pick one example, I'm going to talk about the recent scandals over homophobia in the Conservative party. I'm sure you'll have heard the disgusting story of Phillipa Stroud (If you haven't - please do: Link). Also whilst searching on the internet I found some truly astounding statistics on Tory opinions of Gay Rights. In the recent parliamentary vote to equalise the age of consent 95% of Labour MPs voted to pass it, 91% of Lib Dem MPs voted to pass it and just 14% of all Tory MPs voted to pass the act. Again, when voting on whether or not gay couples should be allowed to adopt, 94% of Labour MPs voted to pass the act, 100% of Lib Dem MPs and a truly frightening 6% of Conservative MPs voted to pass the act (Link). It is these MPs, not hundreds of David Camerons, that will be voting on whether or not our laws are passed, and it is these MPs who are supposed to represent the British people.

However, although it borders a very dark, sinister cloud, there is a silver lining. The Conservatives are coming in to power at a time of recession. Not only that, but they are coming in to power with, what I gather from my economy-literate friends, a very poor plan of recovery. So perhaps what we shall find is a vast dispiritedness with the Conservatives, such as the one which we saw in 1997, and one which they truly deserve. I just wish the British public didn't have to learn its lessons twice...

And for those of you who are still finding it difficult to come to terms with the new Tory government, seek refuge in the wonderful words of Talking Heads - 'Don't Worry About The Government' (thanks to new web-contributor Freddy Vinehill-Cliffe for this recommendation!) - Link

Callum MacRae
Website Manager - Painter's Chronicle E-Magazine

Saturday, 1 May 2010

The Painter's Chronicle Spring Issue

The Bear Is Back!
Coming to your inbox on 03/05/2010