Monday, December 29, 2008


The period between Xmas and the New Year is an odd place, isn't it? It's the one time of the year when shopping for crockery is genuinely gripping.

It's also easy to write off an entire day by thinking "ooh, you know, I'll have a little glass of wine with lunch". Which turns into a bottle, the St Trinian's movie, and then a weird wandering around the flat at 9pm muttering "but, I've done no work, and I don't want to watch any more TV, so I'll just go back to bed, but I'm not really tired and why have all the painkillers turned into anti-histamines and laxatives?"

So, a fitful night of sleep, when, due to the magic of text, I realised that I'd missed going drinkering with a fun ex, and another friend was having a drunken row with someone that I was accidentally on the receiving end of.

The cat was puzzled. I've replaced the thick sheet I normally sleep under with a duvet, as she's spent the last few nights remorselessly attacking the duvet mice which are my feet. As I'm now a deep sleeper, this guarantees me weird dreams about razor blades, and mornings spent hobbling on bloodied stumps to the germolene.

So, duvet. Which puzzled the cat. But it took her about ten minutes to burrow underneath it and carry on attacking my feet.

Not the best night's sleep. At 5am I found myself in the courtyard watching the cat take an al fresco crap. I'm going to try and have a more exciting day today.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Xmas

Well, here we are again. This year Christmas was spent in London - mostly with the cat ("tuna? for breakfast? well, this is kind you obsessed moron. i guess this means i'm still your substitute for a functioning relationship? sigh. PS meow"), and then an afternoon stomping the nearly deserted streets of London with Lee.

Things we learned:
  • Strada is open on Christmas Day
  • London at Xmas is not actually like Survivors. The lack of public transport means the streets are full of alarmed "I haven't done this for a year" drivers, managing to panic in second gear. On the way home, some police had pulled over a weeping couple who were had shot the wrong way up a one way street onto the bus lane on London Bridge.
  • Serial killers? No wonder they put the Wallace and Gromit special out so late.

On Boxing Day I went to the PC World sale at 8am. And brought some folders. For 47p.

Next door was Sainsbury's. With a big sign saying "Closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day", but that didn't stop people hammering on the door and doing "Are you open?" sign language to the two staff inside.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fringe again

So, by episode 5, it's not just stealing from the X Files.

In episode 4 there's a WHOLE SCENE stolen from Doctor Who: Midnight (the overlapping speech thing). In episode 5, JJ Abrams actually steals a lift crash from his own show Alias.

And yet... it's not Terminator. It kind of means well. Special Agent Pram Face still scowls through it (do women no longer smile on American TV?), and the "Massive Dynamic" plotline is already looking shoehorned in (Why don't they just call themselves Evil Inc?). But... oh...


Meanwhile, in other news, my subscription to Entertainment Weekly has finally turned up. It is great and tells me that Dollhouse is already facing a ratings problem as it's being put out after Sarah Connor. Good luck there.

And, bizarrely, we witnessed two gays on an actual date at an all-you-can-eat last night. I love watching straights on a date there (he looks delighted, she always looks horrified). But these were your proper gays. One of them was such a minty twiglet he pushed a piece of prawn toast around his plate while snapping his pouty blonde fingers at the waiters. The other was all muscle and grin. They didn't seem to be there ironically. Which is the only point, surely?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ida Barr's Christmas Show

I've always loved the rapping pensioner. I've seen her in dingy pubs, in community theatres, in a tent, and now she's at the Barbican, bless 'er. This was originally going to be "Ida Barr's Christmas Bingo" (probably using Ida's fiendishly complicated calling system - "No better than what she oughta, my care assistant's daughter - only 13"), but she's gone one better and manages a whole 90 minute show of her rapping, singing, and rambling on in her decrepit way. Her waspish tongue proves that octogenarians can get away with murder ("My dear old mother used to say 'Be a can, don't be a can't.'").

There's a game of musical chairs. And it ends with the audience doing the Hokey Cokey. Blissy.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dazed and confused

The cat is back from her stay with the A Gays. She appears to be snow-blind from a week of minimalism. And oh, she's changed. When she used to howl to be let out, it was an aimless wail. Now there's a purpose, as though she's saying, "Look, I'm on the guest list at Green Carnation. No, don't follow."

Friday, December 19, 2008


I don't like this yet. I may do. But it's essentially JJ Abrams does The X Files (I nearly typed that as JJ Abrams does The X Factor, which would be a whole other world of wonder, wouldn't it? Simon Cowell would get a backstory, Louis Walsh would have lots of improbable Irish flashbacks, and Cheryl Cole would get lots of fight scenes. Blissy!).

I don't hate Fringe, although plenty of people do. I just keep giving it final chances. Will Sour-Faced Special Agent stop sitting around on park benches looking poignant? Will Joshua Jackson stop looking like this is beneath him (How Dare YOU?!?!)? And when will they get rid of those fucking 3-D Letters In The Sky that set up each scene? (Just once I'd like to see one hovering over a building that says "Pretentious Wank").

The pilot was all over the cocking shop. Terrorists! Duplicates! A Race Against Time! Lovable Eccentrics! An Arc Plot! A Pensioner Mansonator (imagine Penelope Keith with a robot arm. That!). All fine. And then came The Twist. The Twist that was So Clever you felt your feet pulled from under you... or rather, you just felt a bit baffled and giddy before your chin hit the floor. If you've seen it, you'll know what I mean. It's that moment when you go "What? Hang on. What a sodding waste of my time."

Episode Two went back to the X Files for its inspiration... unfortunately they chose the second X Files film, and served up a grisly serial killer runaround... but with A Twist. There's that settling fear that it's basically The X Files all over again. There are still secret groups who meet in hidden rooms. There are wheels within wheels. No-one is who they seem. And we've got two charismatic leads with undeniable chemistry.

That last bit is a lie. As I said, we have a pram-faced Blanchett impersonator and I-Can't-Believe-I-Fancied-Him-In-Dawson's-Creek who now looks like William Riker.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

While I'm away

Lee is looking after my cat. And using it as a fur-covered excuse to criticise every single aspect of my life. I hate him.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The great escape

The cat has discovered how to unlock the cat flap. She has a great sense of triumph but no sense of direction. The last three nights of sleep have involved a mix of the following:

1) Cat leaping through flap. Going on tiny voyage of discovery. Coming back through. Waking me up to tell me what fun that was.

2) Waking up shivering to realise the cat is sat half through the flap, staring out into the night while all the hot air in the flat gently ruffles her fur as it whistles past.

3) Getting out of bed at Farming Today-o-clock to try and track down the distant cries for help. She's always invariably sat outside the flat downstairs outraged that I've moved.

There is a new joy to having a cat made mostly out of vast amounts of fur. On patrol this morning, someone opened a metal door next to her. All her fur stood on end. And it's a lot of fur.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Man of the week

I've not exactly been bothered about men for... crikey, six months now. Coo. Mind you, I've hardly been celibate - I've just been getting on with other stuff. But the odd man of note toddles along. F'rinstance, this weekend's Gentleman Friend:

1) He looked like he'd just stolen a car.
2) He threw me up against a brick wall
3) And then pistol-whipped me.
4) But not with a pistol.

He then proceeded to whisper a suggestion in my ear so outrageous that I promptly went home and fed the cat. Getting back on the horse is one thing. Galloping all the way to Kettering is quite another.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Spent an hour yesterday afternoon doing local radio circuit punditry about Oliver Postgate. Because I was asked, because I'd spoken to him on the phone a couple of times, and because it was an honour, etc.

At the end of an hour sat in a cubicle in Millbank I realised my flies had been undone the entire time. There's some kind of John Barrowman link there, isn't there?

Oh, Facebook

Is bombarding me with adverts for "Ultimate Gay Grooming". Um. They didn't think that phrasing through very carefully, did they?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


My cat has started getting post. A clothing catalogue turned up for her the other day.

Oliver Postgate

Damn. But Emily loved him. As did we all.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

State Opening

They closed off Westminster and St James's Park to traffic this morning for the State Opening of Parliament. Which meant walking my bike for a mile along eerily quiet, almost deserted streets, past ranks and ranks of policemen with guns.

The only flash of humanity was the occasional tourist with wheelie luggage who had decided to stand still and have a gawp, just in case something picturesque happened.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The scream of love

So, last week, the cat does A Cute Thing. In order to get breakfast at 5am, she slides gently up the bed and nuzzles me lovingly in the face, purring quietly and rubbing my nose until i blink and wake up. At which point, she gives a delighted little mew, another nuzzle and then trots off to the kitchen.

Naturally, I give in, whilst thinking "that is the most selfish thing I've ever shared a bed with that isn't blonde."

Of course, cats being cats, she's discovered something that works, and has repeated it every morning since. Unfortunately, the loving tarnish has worn off and her true nature has emerged. Instead of the gentle nuzzling, purring and kissing, she's settled for the short cut of jumping on my throat and screaming in my face.

Is it wrong to pray for a road traffic accident?