Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Big Snakes

My mate asked last night, (over sloe gin and Scrabble), if he could have my kids' hamster, after it died, to feed to his kids' snake. Blimey. Wasn't sure they'd be up for that, especially six year old Son. (Him of the forks and scorpions, below.) I could see him being unsettled and confused by it. Is this what happens to all dead creatures? What about aged relatives? Are they fed to a big snake when they die? No, not too sure about that. If we did it, we'd have to have a ceremonial burial, then follow it with a moonlit, Burke and Hare style exhumation. Take the corpse to the reptile. Midnight feast. Of course, worms, snakes, what's the difference in the end? Circle of life, etc. I told him I'd think about it. Drank some more gin.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


So Jerusalem was wonderful, not disappointing at all. Maybe a tiny bit overlong, in that final third, but basically I loved it. Traffic wardens, giants and Rooster Byron as a sort of ruined reincarnation of St George or King Arthur, funny and surprising and shot through with a deep thrum of melancholy, which is something I always respond well to, because life is shot through with a deep thrum of melancholy too, isn’t it? Along with joy, you’d hope, and surprises, and a forward-looking drive towards, you know, something. And a good sprinkling of contentment. But Jerusalem, yes, it wasn’t all about that central performance, but still, Mark Rylance was brilliant. I wasn’t sitting there admiring him, admiring the craft, I just believed it. Lovely stuff. Plus the Courtauld Gallery, and catching up with family and friends … all good. And I’m looking forward to Hugo in 3D. And Dr Who this year, from the look of the trailer, it looks pretty good, doesn’t it?
And, as a nice bonus, got home to find a review of The Last Word in The Guardian.

'A lobster quadrille of tentativeness' ... exactly what I was shooting for, obviously.

Thursday, December 01, 2011


Feeling better now. Been grappling with an episode, not getting it right (apparently), feeling frustrated and worried ... but now it's done, and satisfaction seems to be in the air, and look, it's December, Christmas has moved from a vague shape on the horizon right into view, a jaunty boat with colourful sails and a crew full of elves drunk on Baileys ... I'm going to give up that metaphor. What am I most looking forward to between now and Christmas? Going to London to see family and friends, and, especially, to see Jerusalem. It’s had fantastic reviews, Mark Rylance is supposed to be stunning, have I imagined it or did I see the phrase ‘once in a generation’ somewhere? So obviously, it’s likely to be disappointing. Maybe Rylance will be like Daniel Day Lewis in Gangs of New York, over the top, mannered and frankly a bit panto. Maybe he’ll be bravura, like Anthony Sher swinging around on his crutches in Richard III, so you admire and enjoy it, but you aren’t fully engaged, don’t quite believe it. Maybe. Either way, I’m expecting slippage between anticipation and the event. Because I’m a bit of a gloomy git. I’m Paul Giamatti in Sideways (which I saw again a couple of days ago - fantastic), not Thomas Haden Church. But, but, but … still capable of taking pleasure from anticipation, from actual experience, and from memory, because it’s London, family and friends and a play, what’s not to like? And then it’s Christmas, more family, and food and drink and presents and Dr Who. Although Dr Who last year, that giant, floating shark, it was rubbish, wasn’t it?