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17 Apr 2014


The fictional detective, Philip Marlowe has had the impact on my life of a real person. John Banville, who won the 2005 Booker Prize with the ‘The Sea’, has been persuaded by the estate of Raymond Chandler to write a new Marlowe novel. For me, this is sacred ground – best left undisturbed – but this week I read ‘The Black- Eyed Blonde’; unsurprisingly I’m disappointed.

            The tone of the prose is actually quite good – and I can believe that we’re in 1950s Los Angeles – but it’s the character… I feel I know Marlowe well – over many years – and much of what Banville has him think, feel and do is out of character. I particularly dislike the novel’s concessions to modernity; graphic violence (I don’t want to know when someone’s eyeball has popped out); casual sex with his client (not Marlowe’s style); even the excessive drinking is too realistic – sordid. I realise that my Marlowe is quintessentially a romantic figure – quixotic – I don’t want him ‘modernised’.

            In fairness to Banville – I was never going to like what he wrote; and even if Chandler himself returned to life – I don’t think he could add to the legend. In the final two novels – the effects of his out of control drinking were showing through; a tad too much sentimentality – a new sententiousness creeping in. But the character of the care-worn Philip Marlowe - fully realised over the seven novels – is a major literary achievement and he remains a reliable friend whom I visit regularly; I wish they’d leave him alone.



We still have copies of Laurence’s book ‘Kindness’; a selection of Bulletin intros from 2007 – 2012. See,



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The SENs is the name Senscot gives to our work with Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) - both thematic and geographical. SENs provide members with opportunities for peer support, collective action and market development. The vision is of a growing community of 500 frontline social enterprises across Scotland - connected and energised through a network of Networks.

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The SENs: Thursday 17th April 2014

Over the last twelve months, the work and activity around the thematic SENs has been steadily increasing. The four thematic SENs – Sport; Health; Community Food; and Culture and Creative – has seen significant growth in their respective memberships and, equally importantly, a similar increase in joint working initiatives – either for on the ground delivery or policy development - with Scottish Govt departments; other public agencies; as well as with colleagues in the third sector. We have also begun the process this year of bringing together the members of the thematic SENs and Roundtables. This work will continue in the year ahead. In the year ahead, we will also be looking to tie in the work of the thematic SENs with that of the local SENs. One immediate example of this is the CC SEN and Glasgow SEN meeting up with Glasgow City Marketing Bureau re the role of SE in the city’s tourism strategy


Glasgow SEN and the Cultural and Creative SEN are holding a meeting with Glasgow City Marketing Bureau on May 9th.  GCMB works with numerous partners, stakeholders and businesses to position and promote Glasgow across national and international markets as one of Europe’s most vibrant, dynamic and diverse cities.  This is an informal meeting where social enterprises will have the chance to hear more about GCMB...Read more
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