I’m going to write a best-selling children’s book

Yes, I am. Really. I’ve got no idea of plot yet, or theme or milieu or characters. But …

… on the back of the novel (or the blurb, as we best-selling authors call it), it will say:

‘…. then x unearths a terrifying secret.’ (x being the main protagonist – an orphan, obviously)

Oh yes – a best seller guaranteed!


Duh …


I’ve just spectacularly failed to put a Justgiving widget into my sidebar (yeah, it’s all Greek to me too), because (apparently) the text widget won’t accept anything fancier than straight html.

Yeah – whatever.

So i’m trying again here:

Oh blast! I’ll just have to settle for a link for now.

Anyway, the point is my son is lucky enough to be taking part in one of the OXJAM events: a newly devised youth production of Pink Floyd’s The Wall at The Dream Factory, a purpose-built (and quite wonderful) theatre for young people in Warwick. It’s going to be fabbydabbydoo (and I’m obviously quite unbiased) so come along, do. Or if you can’t, you can always sponsor him (but until I can work out how to do the widget, just click above). Pretty please. 

Damnit! If I had a brain, I’d be dangerous!!!!

(Haha and tralala – I’ve managed to get A widget in me sidebar – ooermissus – but not THE widget – the very posh one that shows you how you’re progressing towards your target. If I had, you would see that a vair vair nice man has been vair vair nice already.)

Meta blogger. Several, in fact.

Do you see what I did there?

Right. So Billy (whom I’ve never met … yet) wrote a very interesting post – in all fairness, he never writes anything but, and so prolific! – inspired by an article in the Guardian about the illusory nature of social networking websites, like Facebook and Myspace. The thrust (I feel I know you well enough now to use that term) of the article was that you don’t make real, proper friends on those kind of sites. Well, so far, so uncontentious. I’ve got a Myspace and although I enjoy the pick’n’mix nature of being able to see who’s whose friend and what kind of music they’re listening to, and the inestimable joy of being able to pry on people I used to know at uni before deciding if Iwant to get in touch with them again, I wouldn’t say it’s particularly enhanced my social life.

Blogging, though …

Help me with an analogy, would you? Myspace is to Blogging as … what? Coke Zero is to Cab Sauv? Maybe not quite, but you get what I mean. It’s a completely different experience. Much more in-depth.

Y’see, with blogging to get to ‘try before you buy’ as it were. When people are writing a couple of hundred words, two or three times a week, you can really develop a feel for who you’re dealing with. You can, dare I say, get to know them. And, if you like what you read, and if time and contingency permits, you can meet up. Some have even met the lurve of their life this way. And you can’t argue with that. So far, my experiences on this score have been super-duper and I’d have to say that, in that respect blogging has definitely enhanced my social network.

In the last few months, I’ve had coffee with this one when she was on her honeymoon (I know!), had lunch with this, rather petite one, here then with this one, here (that may be cheating, because we’ve known each other for ages – so shoot me). Then just the other day, I went to see Alabama 3 (see post below) with this one (whose bf didn’t particularly seem to be a twat, but I haven’t read her book yet, so I’d better reserve judgement), this one, who had a bad back and went early and this one, who may be troubled but who is vair, vair twinkly and who, I suspect, was probably still dancing as the sun came up.

Missed out a couple of times. Was unable to partay with this one because of an invasion of Venetians, and this one blew me out because she was poorly. Boooo.

Oh, and soon I’m hoping to meet up again with a Band of Wild Blogging Desperadoes – hereinafter to be known as BWBD … but that’s another story.

Help! I am turning into Michael Winner

This is no laughing matter.

This morning, I went for breakfast in the City. Now, one of my eateries de choix when I’m in that part of London is SOS – the downstairs bit, of course, I’m not made of money! – and I’d been semi-fantasising about their porridge since last night (which was odd, considering where I was – more of that later).

It’s awfully nice! When I’d walked past though, on my way home just before midnight, it was a hive of activity – and not in a good way. They had the painters in and a sign on the door saying that it would be closed for renovation but would be open ‘tomorrow’. No date was supplied. Did they mean tomorrow as in ‘tomorrow’? Or as in ‘the day after tomorrow but we’ve put the sign on early so tough luck’? It turns out it was the latter.

Thus it was that with porridge on my mind and murder in my heart, I ambled into Carluccio’s in West Smithfield. No porridge on the menu, so I settled – a little grumpily – for muesli with yoghurt and berries and honey. And some of their delicious coffee. Things were starting to look up. And I yielded to the temptation of some freshly squeezed orange juice. Except it wasn’t. And this is where the Michael Winner bit comes in.

Now, I don’t like to complain in restaurants but I was so disappointed with the – erm – dissonance between what I was expecting and what I was experiencing. It was almost as awful as that thing when you think you’re drinking coffee but it turns out to be tea (or vice versa). So I asked, politely – so maybe not so very like Michael Winner – if it was freshly squeezed. And my waitress, politely, went and found out that it wasn’t because they’d been terrifically busy the day before … or something.

Anyway – she very nicely offered me some fresh orange juice (because the oranges had now arrived – wtf?) for free and, although I was now awash with two cups of their lovely coffee and one glass of not-freshly-squeezed orange juice, I was still craving that sharp, clean, pulpy, authentic, invigorating and vitamin-packed sensation and so I said, ‘Yes, please’ and took it away in a paper cup to drink on my way.

Anyway, now to the plenary. Smith’s of Smithfield – please put dates on your notices. Carluccio’s – if it says ‘freshly squeezed’ on the menu, then make it so. And, note to self, when I want something great, I’m not going to put up with something just OK. Even if that makes me seem like Michael Winner. 

(Sometimes, of course, things are unexpectedly greater than you were hoping for. And that balances things out, doesn’t it? Yesterday night, for example, when I was oddly thinking about porridge and before I walked back along Charterhouse Street in the moonlight, I had spent an evening that was sharp, clean, pulpy, authentic and invigorating – but probably not vitamin-packed – with some very nice people. More of which, later.)