Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Funny Games

Got Sky two days ago. Reluctantly. Only because Freeview isn’t going to come round here till the day before analogue switch off, and then only if the wind is in the right direction and it isn’t raining. (Unlikely.) So set out to get Freesat, but then they sell us the two package deal because it’s actually cheaper, as long as we remember to cancel the packages before a year is up, which they’re hoping we won’t and they’re probably right. Two surly blokes show up (‘We’re not allowed to lift carpets’) and drill holes in the walls and stuff, and half an hour later we’re all Sky-ed up. And then we watched a five year old repeat of Frasier. That’s progress.

Last night’s viewing diary. Watched a bit of Battlestar Galactica on Sky 1. It’s been highly praised and I like SF but it’s into the third series and I couldn’t get into it. Ads came on, and stayed on a very long time. Switched off. Later tried Whatsisname Booker being nasty about TV. He played many many clips of EastEnders, linking them with weary comments about how boring it is. It is, but so was he. Tried Russell Brand talking about Big Brother instead. RB can be a funny man and almost was, but not quite on this occasion. Switched off. Watching Sky now feeling like wandering lost and confused in endless arid landscape in dry, airless heat, sterile earth all around, bland white sky above, not another living creature for miles around. Sort of Harry Dean Stanton in Paris, Texas, but without the cool music. May suggest this for their next advert.

Next plan is to reduce Favourites (should be called Least Indifferent To’s) to five ordinary channels plus BBC4 and Film4. Pretend others don’t exist so can’t be distracted, confused and made anxious by them. (Actually not sure whether to include Channel 5 – is it really just back to back CSI?)

On happier note, Son has taken to leaving breakfast table and running into front room shouting in huge excitement: ‘Come on! Funny games!’ And Daughter yesterday cried out ‘Dad!’ from bathroom. Sounded urgent and I hurried upstairs, concerned. ‘What is it?’ I said. She replied: ‘I can spell spider backwards!’ Good to know.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Back to work on The Show this week. A script to deliver, an edit to do. When not working on The Show I should be working on a few changes to the Book that’s out in the autumn, and the new Novel, and a Radio Drama idea, and the two original TV ideas I’m collaborating on with friends, and the Film idea I’ve got. Mostly though I’m on the Guardian website, or BBC, or Ain’t It Cool, or Digital Spy, or adding things to my Amazon wish list, or just buying them, or listening to Mark Kermode’s film podcast, or reading and sending non-essential e-mails, or working out what holiday we’re taking this year and ‘researching’ places and prices. Or writing this. Broadband is evil. Should be banned.

Trollope fitted in his hugely prolific writing life around working full-time for the post office. He was disciplined and conscientious, and he said if he missed one day’s writing it took him a fortnight to get back into the rhythm. Hang on, could be a lesson there …

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

All Human Life ... in the bath

Christmas and New Year all good. Have barely sat in front of a computer for a fortnight, which must be a good thing. Haven’t thought about The Show except as a viewer and have been enjoying that aspect of it. Best moment possibly playing with remote control cars outside house, racing them around elaborate course. (With Brother-In-Law obviously, not child.)

Son was two yesterday. A good day, friends round, Teletubby cake, etcetera. Then in the bath in the evening he said he was sad. I said ‘Because Herbie’s gone home?’ He said Yes. I said ‘But you had a nice time with Herbie.’ He gave a small smile and said Yes. ‘And we’ll see him again soon.’ Son nodded. ‘Later,’ he said, with a bit of a question in his tone.

Seriously, why bother writing novels and short stories and TV dramas? Just watch a two year old, see the unfiltered emotions passing over his face. Regret, nostalgia, anticipation, hope. It’s Christmas, it’s the passing of youth, it’s the story of quite a few relationships. Something is gone or going, maybe something better is round the corner. Later. (Pronounced ‘Pater’ by Son.) Later.