Monday, July 30, 2007

The Lunatic Fringe

Two jolly nice chaps I know, Martin and Mathew, are doing a show at the Edinburgh Fringe. If their everyday behaviour and conversation is anything to go by, I think it'll be a very funny indeed. And best of all, tickets are free, yes FREE, gratis, libre, not a penny (well, they do ask for a contribution to charity, but I think that's pretty reasonable).

So, if you're at the Fringe on August 7th and/or 9th, why not give it a go? Check out their website at Half Life Crisis.

Tell them I sent you. Or don't. Shouldn't influence things either way, really, but it feels like the sort of thing I should put at the end of this kind of post.

The Very Stray Thoughts Of You

1. Yes, a few days off there. Back now, though, and I had a good time, thanks. How are you?

2. My Pobrophenia post appears to have been greeted with general bemusement and disagreement. I'd argue that it's more apparent when both chaps are moving, but you might still disagree. Ah well.

3. Mike Reid - arguably best known from EastEnders - died yesterday. As I was a contestant in 1981 on the TV quiz show Runaround, which he hosted, I can cheerfully report that he was a friendly chap, and that he willingly signed autographs for the members of the audience who asked for them. Oh, and in case you're wondering, I won a digital watch, not the top prize. I still have the t-shirt, but it does look more like a belly-baring top now, so I only wear it on special occasions. Anyway, Mike was a nice chap, from my meeting with him.

4. I don't want to sound like an old straight, but when I was a kid, it was pretty clear to me that Battlestar Galactica (the original version) was a rip-off of Star Wars. When I was older, I felt the same way about Digimon and Pokemon, even though I was arguably outside their target audience. And now, again though the stuff's not aimed at me, am I entirely wrong in thinking that Kate Nash's music is suspiciously like that of Lily Allen?

5. When I'm not writing this blog, what do I do with my time? I'm glad you asked. At the moment, I've mainly been writing a screenplay, a stage monologue, and a shortish radio play. And at my back I always hear my second novel, not drawing particularly near… which does beggar the question of what I'm doing typing this right now, doesn't it? All right, I'll get me gone.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This One Goes Out For The One I Love

My frankly smashing fiancée Jules completed the Cancer Research Race For Life on Sunday, and I am, unsurprisingly, very proud of her.

I know the readers of this blog are generous as well as well-read folks, and so I hope you won’t mind if ask you to click here and sponsor her (it’s after the event, I know, but I can assure you she completed it). All donations welcomed, and the link’s one of those secure ones, so you don’t need to worry that your money will be purloined by miscreants such as a TV company running a phone-in competition or similar. Honest.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and the heart of my bottom.

The Television Will Be Revolutionised

Partly prompted by my recent tilt towards writing for TV, and certainly catalysed by interweb posts by Lucy and John August, I've been mulling over what TV might be like in the not-too-distant future.

I'm often wary of this kind of prediction, as it's often off the mark (cf all the jokes in the Year 2000 asking where our flying cars are, etc), and too many such articles both on TV and in print seem to end with the phrase 'scientists hope the {whatever] could be on sale within five to ten years', which usually translates the whole item into 'wouldn't it be kewl if..?' like the worst kind of writing on Ain't-It-Cool-News.

But anyway, it seems to me that the development of Tivo and Sky+ and other hard drives, combined with the 'shows on demand' facilities offered by the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 (and, for all I know, others) could well herald the end of TV scheduling as we know it. Which may not necessarily be a bad thing for the audience, but will certainly crate challenges for broadcasters and advertisers.

Given that we don't seem too far from a point in time where you as good as ignore the broadcast times of programmes and decide to watch them by downloading them (I'm kind of presupposing an internet-TV link here, but it doesn't seem too unlikely) at your leisure, and effectively creating your own schedule, doesn't this potentially remove the need for programmes to fit into timeslots? If, for example, an episode of Casualty is scripted to run to 58 mins instead of the standard 50, is there actually any need for it to be trimmed down? The next programme's not going to run late as a result, as there is no 'next programme'. So I'd see it as having considerable effects on the actual making of programmes - whether it'll lead to excessively slow-paced programmes with sloppy editing and needless padding, or allow for more creative use of pacing and the like is, of course, a matter of conjecture.

For commercial channels and advertisers too, there's the problem that 'ratings' as such almost cease to exist, which will play happy havoc with the idea of paying to have a prime-time slot, as again, there's no such thing as prime-time any more. There may be a vast number of people downloading or selecting Coronation Street, though the chances of them doing so at exactly 7.30pm and again at 8.30pm on Monday night seem rather reduced. Actually, you can watch the last 30 days' of Corrie online for free at, and I'd be interested to see what - if anything - they do about the ad breaks. Anyone know if they retain them (as with the televised omnibus) or drop them altogether (as if one was watching the DVD boxed set)? Removal of adverts would also have an impact on the placing of scene breaks and cliffhangers in commercial TV drama, too.

Now, I won't flatter myself that the above constitute searingly original thoughts, but things do seem to be heading towards the all-in-one side of things with the rise of cable-based TV/Internet providers with their 'on demand' film stashes etc, and I can't help thinking that being able to choose your own channel - YourTube, as it were - will have a startling effect on the form and content alike of TV programming in the not too distant future> It seems likely to change the nature of TV, from the making of shows through to the way they're broadcast and watched, as well as the monitoring of ratings and advertising rates. All fairly fundamental stuff, and I keep wondering just how it'll all shake out.

Which is, of course, to say: John expects that TV will be completely 'on demand' within five or ten years.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Oh, I'm utterly on my own with this one, aren't I?

Ah well.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Maybe They Should Have Inhaled

In the last couple of days, two government ministers have - in suspiciously similar words and circumstances - admitted that they smoked cannabis at college. It was many years ago, they said, and they haven't done it since.

The conclusion's there to be drawn, of course: if you don't smoke cannabis often enough, you end up as a Member of Parliament.

Harry Potter: The End*

Despite the alleged on-sale time of 12.01am tomorrow, as someone who used to work in a bookshop, I know this means that as I post this, bookshops (and other locations including, oddly enough, petrol stations) around the country have received their copies of the final Harry Potter book, and they're sitting waiting to be put on the shelves.

Now, I don't really care for the Potter stuff - I read the first book and thought 'eh', and saw the first film, and thought the same. I'm partly jaded by the fact that the character reminds me of the comic character Tim Hunter, partly put off the hype around something that seems fairly unremarkable to me, and certainly far from convinced by the claims that it's a series which both adults and children can enjoy; the one I read felt like I was dipping below my reading age, frankly.

That said, there are various things about the release of the final Potter book which I think are interesting:

1. The story of Joanne Rowling, and how her ideas went from ideas in her head to internationally recognised characters and films, etc. In my childish way, In think there's something vaguely magical about turning ideas into food on the table, like a kind of alchemy; transforming airy nothingness into grub.

2. The way she's kept the rights to the books separate from the films; as I understand it, all the merchandise that's available is related to the film incarnation (though I stand to be corrected). A wise move, I think, as that allows her to do what it's said Raymond Chandler did when people suggested the film adaptations had in some way diminished the books; apparently, he pointed at the books on a nearby shelf and said 'no, they’re over there, and they're still the same' or words to that effect.

3. In reference to the books being stored in bookshops, the publishers have done pretty well in keeping the events in the book secret, though some of the publicity (and I do think a lot of it is made up to keep interest levels up) does rather remind me of a story I heard about the release of 'Free As A Bird', the 'new Beatles single' back in 1995. The story goes that at the press event to mark its release, as the boxes containing the copies of the record were carried to the front of the room, the assembled journalists were asked to turn away, and they started to comply, but one of them shouted 'For crying out loud, it's only a record!', which broke the spell, and I'm rather inclined to feel that there may be a touch of this about the end of the Potter series. By this time tomorrow, of course, I'm pretty sure that the interweb will be awash with spoilers about who lives and who dies etc.

4. Waterstones, I gather, have started an online petition to try to convince Joanne R to consider writing more books in the series. Nice demonstration of commercial concerns over creative integrity there, though I can understand why they're worried, as the Potter books, especially when launched, are a big earner. Waterstone's e-mail alludes to the Return of Sherlock Holmes, which seems a rather premature comparison to me. Let's give it some time, eh ?

*Well, that should bring in a few new readers via Google and Yahoo.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Plagues and Plagiarism

Two things relating to Jane Austen (which is as surprising to me as it is to you; I don't really care for her stuff):

Firstly, this amuses me - it might not be wholly damning (they might only have one form rejection letter, after all), but it was kind of amusing. Though slightly negative, as it allows rejectees to say 'Ah, so this is why my genius goes unacknowledged', and other would-be writers to think that submitted material goes unread. Though that might clear the field a bit, hmm...

And secondly, following on from the success of Life on Mars, ITV have announced a show called Lost in Austen, about a woman who finds herself in the works of Jane Austen. A fun idea, but I would say that, as I enjoyed the book The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, which features a woman who finds she's able to ... oh, however did you guess?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It Pays To Increase Your Word Power

NUTTJob (n.) : One promoted beyond their abilities, and incapable of fulfilling their allotted role, to the detriment of others. Often overpaid or in a position of importance [f. Not Up To The Job].

This word is ideological freeware; use it as appropriate...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Links Fahren

Submitted for your approval, four links to places elsewhere on the world wide webternet:

1. What would I look like if I was wearing a dayglo t-shirt and running, you ask? Find out here.

2. Charlie Higson I was mildly surprised by, but this was genuinely unexpected.

3. Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, they say. But at least it’s a form of wit, I say. And some of these reviews still made me grin.

4. A picture, the cliché has it, is worth a thousand words. And the two pictures here certainly speak volumes.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Nota Bene: Good Notes

Aha. As I suspected, some jolly decent sorts have posted their notes from the Tony Jordan chat on Wednesday, and frankly, they’re probably better than mine.

So, I’d respectfully point you towards the write-ups by David and Lianne – if you read both their sets of notes, you get an extremely good picture of the event.

And, of course, an idea of just why it was so interesting and worthwhile.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sometimes It's Useful To Be Reminded Of These Things

Last night I went, as mentioned previously, to the Tony Jordan event at the Royal Court here in London. It was a nicely informal bash, with probably a couple of hundred people there, and topics covered in the interview and Q&A ranged from coming up with ideas to some real nuts-n-bolts stuff, so it was definitely worth my time and attention, especially as it was free (yes, free - arranged by the BBC. Huzzah for Auntie!).

Almost tempted to type up large chunks of my notes by way of sharing with folks who might be interested but couldn't get there, but while I mull over whether I'll just be duplicating work which others will be doing in more accurate form elsewhere, I'll share the following (only slightly elided) quote, which rang very true for me:

"Writers are always looking for reasons not to write, or why they haven't been discovered yet… there is no secret. A writer writes."

And don't worry, I'm not entirely unaware of the irony of posting this on m'blog when I could be finishing off something more substantive… but I thought it was worthy of reporting to a wider audience.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cup Of Tea… Or Perhaps You’d Prefer Something Stronger?

Anyone out there in the world of blogging fancy a drink after the Tony Jordan session tomorrow at the Royal Court in London? It’d be good to put faces to names (and words, if that makes any kind of sense).

If you do, drop me an e-mail at sometime between now and mid-Wednesday afternoon. Or leave a Comment on this ‘ere blog. Thanks.


There must have been a point when Eric Idle started to look like Gene Wilder, but I can’t pinpoint it exactly…

Curses, He Grimaced, Foiled Again… For Now

In case you’re looking for closure on the BBC thing I mentioned in this post, the successful entries are published here – and nah, I’m not amongst them. Ah well, I’m sure there’ll be other opportunities soon, and – hey, what’s this?

Right, back to the keyboard, I think.

As Samuel Beckett put it, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Not As Profound As The Butterfly Dream Of Chuang Tzu, I'll Freely Admit

I know it's a terrible way to end a story, but early this morning I dreamt the following.

I was in a room with a woman I didn't know, who was reading a newspaper.article to me. I don't why or how I knew it, but I knew this woman wasn't very intellligent.
SHE: It says here that there was a vicious attack, and the victim was left some toes.
ME: What?
SHE: The victim was left some toes.
ME: That doesn't make any sense. They left some toes? Let me see that.
(She hands over the paper, and I read it - oddly enough, I see genuine text in the dream. All sounds a bit like the start of Richard Linklater's film 'Slacker', I know, but 'tis true.)
ME: It says 'comatose', not 'some toes'. The victim was left comatose. It's one word, and the 'c' is hard.
SHE: Oh.

… and then, as the cliché has it, I woke up.

The above is entirely as it happened around 4.30am, ladies and gentlemen, and I share it it you not so much for the amusement value of the pun / play on words, but because this is the sort of thing my mind does even when I'm asleep.You might think the stuff I lob on my blog is dull, but trust me, you're getting the edited version. I, on the other hand, am thinking this sort of thing every single second of the day.

Oh, the horror.

Friday, July 06, 2007

And This Is Me*

If you go over to this site - and you do need to register, and it is connected to the release of a certain film - you can tinker around and create an 'avatar' of yourself in the style of the Simpsons, or - if you prefer - the cartooning style of Matt Groening.

So, to the left there, the Groening version of me. The nose is probably smaller than it should be, but at least they have an option to make the skin paler than the traditional Springfield Yellow Tan, to reflect my far less healthy pallor.

And in my defence, my hair doesn't really look like that. Honest.

*As Mike Yarwood used to say, before finishing the show with a song.

The Allure Of The Glass Teat (or ‘The Pictures Are Better’)

I don’t think I’ve specifically stated it, so I might as well now: I’ve broadened the range of my writing recently (not that you’d know from the blog).

By which I mean that I’m trying to broaden the range of things I write, on the basis that some stories are better suited to particular media, and this means I’m venturing away from the familiar territory of prose into the less charted waters of radio and TV – oh, and even a screenplay.

Which is part of the reason I didn’t post so much last week – I was racing to make the deadline for a BBC radio submission thing (should find out in the next few days if they liked the stuff), and so my typing energy was being expended there. Now I see about a screenplay competition which has appealing prizes, so I’ll try to get something done in time for that too.

As a result of thinking and reading and researching about these sorts of things, I find myself reading a lot of blogs and sites online about screenwriting and the like – the eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted that I’ve added David Bishop’s blog to the column of links to the right – and I suspect I’ll add more. And you’ll probably notice me posting more comments about radio, TV drama and the soaps, as I continue my research and try to make sure I know my market, and all that.

(Which is why I was looking at EastEnders the other day and thinking that you could see the rewrites in the Dawn-May-Rob storyline, most notably in the absence of a proper answer to the question ‘How far back does Rob and May’s “evil plan” go?’ I appreciate that they’ve rewritten it in the light of real-world news events, but I think that the holes showed a bit.)

And The Award Goes To… Oh, I can't Seem To Get The Envelope Open…

The shortlist for what's now going to be the final First Novel Competition (see this entry for the ridiculous reasons why) has been announced over at Susan Hill's blog.

I'm not amongst the shortlistees, but I'm sure that's because their stuff was better than mine. Still, no harm in entering - 'if you don't ask the answer's always going to be no' and all that.

I like to think I'm being reasoned and stable about this - then again, I take comfort in the words Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote in 'The Valley of Fear': “Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius"

And let's face it, he was a man who knew what he was talking about when it came to talent.

Tell Me If You Want To See A World Outside Your Window*

Just in case you think that I spend all my time in melodramatic self-absorbed mode, here are a few links to the virtual world which I think shed some light on events in the actual world. But as they tend to align with my own beliefs and prejudices, well, I would say that, wouldn't I?

'Shooter' Cheney a naughty boy? Golly, imagine my surprise…

Now, say after me: Reality. Fiction. Reality… Fiction. Now do you see?

But… this is painted as being a threat justifying ID Cards and ignoring the Geneva Convention and other basic rights. Surely we're looking at the massed ranks of SPECTRE, not just some idiots with a grudge. Otherwise, that would mean…. Why, that would mean politicians were lying to us. Surely not

Very possibly the greatest headline I've seen in connection with this whole business.

*With apologies to Tanita Tikaram (incidentally, the first musical artist I ever saw live - Sheffield Leadmill in about 1988. And jolly good it was too.)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Contains Incidents Of Brief Nudity And Criminal Activity

Since it wasn't proving cost-effective (about three visits in five months), I've now cancelled my gym membership. Thinking about it, I've been a member of a gym for the vast majority of the time I've lived in London (over a decade), but as my main form of exercise is now running, and London has an abundance of pavements and parks, I don't see any need to pay out for the use of treadmills. Should have realised this earlier and saved myself money, duh.

But, being how I am, my time in the gym hasn't always been without incident - and I don't mean someone getting the wrong towel or bumping into me or whatever. I mean, of course, the sort of statistically-unlikely and socially awkward nonsense that seems to be a recurrent feature of my life. So, I shall share with you two tales of my gym-related shame - there are more I could tell, but these have the common theme of involving the changing rooms.

Shame the first: talking to a (nude) stranger

At the chain of gyms I was formerly a member of, the showers were in a communal area, with little cubicles whose walls came up to about shoulder-height. It was a Sunday afternoon, and after a bout of exercise, I was having a shower. Another chap was doing the same, though of course we'd left a couple of empty shower cubicles between as a kind of buffer, as one does.

As I was standing there under the shower, rivulets of water streaming down my naked body (I'm sharing that detail for the ladies), the fire alarm went off. Just briefly, but it went off nonetheless. I frowned, and then looked over to the other chap, who was busy lathering shampoo into his hair. He looked back at me.
"Tch," I said. "This is the last place you want to be when a fire alarm goes off, eh?"
"Yeah," he said without enthusiasm, and then quickly looked away.
I couldn't understand why he didn't seem to share my bemusement. Until a second or two later, when I realised that he hadn't heard the alarm, and had a very male moment of panic.
Oh god, I thought. He reckons that was some kind of come-on, and that the comment about the fire alarm was my opening gambit.
I say that this is a very male thing, because as we all know, women's changing rooms are very different to men's. On the male side of things, we spend as little time as possible there, possibly grunting to acknowledge that the locker someone's obstructing is yours. That's about the extent of it. Whereas in the women's changing rooms, the women spend a long time towelling and applying lotions and powders and drying their hair, and even when they're partly-dressed, they'll find time to have a playful session of towel-flicking in their underwear. They… what's with that look of scepticism in your eyes? That's how things go over in the women's changing room. I've seen the films to prove it.

Anyway, it's a male thing, and I had that horrible sinking feeling of embarrassment - not so much because the naked man might have thought I was gay (he wouldn't be the first, and it's not an insult anyway), but rather because he might have thought I was gay and that 'oh, I wouldn't like the fire alarm to go off' was the best opening line I could come up with. If he thought that, it would have been truly horrifying.

Thankfully, the alarm went off again several minutes later, and one of the staff came in and asked us to dress and leave as quickly as we could, so I guess he must have realised I wasn't just coming up with lousy chat-up lines. Either that, or he might have thought that I somehow the power to predict when a fire alarm was going to go off. Regardless of which of those conclusions he came to, it was an awkward couple of minutes, I have to say, though it was probably amplified by the fact I was bare-ass nekkid throughout.

Shame the second: who would do such a thing?

Another time: having worked myself into a frankly testosteronal sweat (ladies), I went to the changing room, retrieved my towel, took off my clothes, dumped them on the floor, and wrapped the towel around my waist and went off to have a shower.

When I got back to my locker, all clean and glistening with beads of water (…), I found that someone had stolen my underwear. My t-shirt and shorts and socks and trainers were still there on the floor, where I'd left them, but my actually rather classy undergarb (Calvin Klein, no less) had gone. Now, I can't really believe this was an accident, as the boxers were atop a pile of clothes on a bench which was nowhere near anyone else's clothing pile or anything like that - in fact, there wasn't anyone using the bench near me. So I can only conclude that someone had stolen my sweaty boxers. Which is a little odd.

Granted, that branch of the gym was pretty close to Old Compton Street, so maybe someone had decided that rather than buying something saucy from Janus or Prowler to liven up things at home, they'd take my frankly-riddled-with-man-musk pants home to add some zing to things. But still…

Going commando wasn't really that big a deal - or that big a thrill, either, don't go thinking that - but why would someone steal my underwear? All right, let's be more specific - why would a man steal my underwear? All very strange.

I'm hoping that making home my base when it comes to running and the like will cut down on underwear theft, or eyebrows being raised at my come-on lines, but I'm not putting money on that being the case.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Hah! That'll Teach My Face! (or 'Who Needs A Nose Anyway?')

As you can see here, I've written a novel, Human Noises. I finished it a while ago, and then sent it to a number of literary agents. They recommend that you do this rather than send it directly to publishers, as publishers are often tight on time and staff, and don't have enough resources to wade through the slush pile at any great speed. Fair enough.

So, I sent it out, and got it back, and sent it to another agent, and got it back, and so on, until I'd approached around 75 agents. All of them rejected it, which isn't what I was hoping for, but as the majority of the letters said something on the lines of 'sorry, we're not currently taking on new authors', I didn't get too disheartened. However, after a while I shrugged my shoulders and started writing something else, on the grounds that Human Noises is a lengthy and involved tale, and maybe I should try to catch the attention with something a bit shorter and more punchy, and then say 'well, I do have this as well…'

Obviously, I didn't always take the rejections quite so calmly - some of the replies I received showed that they'd not read the covering letter, let alone the chapters they were purporting to reject (best example: the agency who thanked me for the chapters I hadn't sent them - I'd only sent them a letter saying 'would you be interested in seeing stuff?') - but I'm all too aware that rejection is a vast part of the whole scribbling deal. Some people, unfortunately, seem less able to take rejection or criticism (have a look here for examples, and here to see the other side of the coin).

Anyway, whilst working on the new book, I noticed that the author Susan Hill was running (as she has for the past two years) a First Novel competition, the prize of which is to see your book published. So I thought I'd send Human Noises in. No harm in doing so, after all, it's not currently on anyone's desk elsewhere. I e-mailed it off and waited.

Time passed, as it does, and as the shortlist was due last Friday, I had a look on SH's site to see what the news was (I was kind of guessing I hadn't made the shortlist as I thought I would have been contacted, but I could be wrong - it wouldn't be the first time). Now, if you're expecting all the above to lead to a dramatic “little did I know that I was the winner” type turn of phrase, then I'm afraid you'd better prepare yourself for disappointment, because…

… well, because some other entrants were clearly less well prepared for disappointment, even if it was only implied. What had happened during the judging stage was that one of the judges had commented that the overall standard wasn't very high, and that they were going to extend the deadline for entries (and, I think, allow writers with agents to enter, though I could be wrong on that). However, a lot of people took offence at this, and started sending both the judge and Susan Hill angry e-mails and posting comments on their blogs, many of which seem to have been personally offensive. All because these people had heard that the judges weren't too impressed with the calibre of entries, and somehow had concluded that this must apply to their entries.

So now Susan Hill has announced that the First Novel competition will not run in future years as a result of all this. I can't say I blame her at all - some people have acted in a frankly childish manner as a result of a comment which they rather self-centredly appear to have concluded was aimed at them. I agree almost entirely with the comments made over at Struggling Author where Marie points out that the best thing to do in these circumstances is to get on and rewrite it, or to write something else. I actually happen to think Human Noises is a pretty decent first novel, but I'm sure it could be improved, and I'm sure there are better writers than me out there in unpublishedland, so I can accept that my entry might not have been up to the standard required, without sending stroppy e-mails to the judges - especially as, at that point, the stroppy folks didn't know for sure that they weren't in the running for the shortlist.

Anyway, that won't be a problem for any unpublished novelists in the future, as the thoughtless behaviour of a few has led to the removal of a useful opportunity to be published. It all smacks of a child swiping the gameboard off the table in a tantrum so that no-one else can play. Bravo, I say, Bravo (hand-claps slowly and sarcastically).

The best way to deal with rejection, I’d say, is as per the old adage about ‘the best revenge is living well’, As I understand it, both Sylvester Stallone when receiving his Oscar for Rocky and Michael Palin when receiving (with his fellow Pythons) an award from the BAFTA folks took the opportunity to point out how many people had rejected them, and how they had, in spite of that, rolled their sleeves up and carried on working, and gone on to succeed.

A much more profitable use of energy, I think you’d agree.

Ah, But Was It Truly A More Innocent Age?

Posted in honour of the banning of smoking in public places in the UK.
I have to say, I'd probably have more sympathy if people admitted they were addicted to the addictive chemical nicotine instead of saying stuff about their civil liberties being curtailed ... is that mean of me?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

And I Have Promises To Keep

Well, my time is my own once again, and so I shall make good on the promises I made in my previous post...

Firstly, here's a frankly worrying picture from 'Jimmy Olsen - Superman's Pal issue 85'. Okay, so it was published some decades ago, but that is just not right.

Secondly, you may remember that on May 30 I stated - in a typically dismissive fashion - that Facebook is just a middle-class version of Myspace. And then on June 25 it was reported that a long-term study had suggested that...yes, you guessed.

And thirdly and finally in terms of keeping promises and talking about a personal matter, I'm very pleased to confirm that m'lady Jules and I are engaged. Those of you who've been reading the blog for a while will have noticed the references to her as 'my beloved' and 'the light of my life' and the like, as I've always been wary of the blog turning self-indulgent... or at least more self-indulgent than it already is, in terms of me waxing rhapsodic about Jules at such length that I break the internet or something. But, to put it simply, she's an incredible woman, who somehow manages to combine intelligence, looks, and a sense of humour. I didn't mention the engagement previously as it wasn't entirely public knowledge, but now it is and we're having engagement drinks and the like. I will, of course, post about any silly events involved in the run-up to the wedding (next year), but I'm probably going to spare you posts about choosing wedding caterers and the like... probably.