Monday, October 31, 2005

Not sponsored by anyone.

In case anyone read Tess Alp's Guardian article and had visions of me reclining on an enormous Lego throne, blowing my nose on first edition Wodehouses supplied by foxy Amazon ladies, any plugs here are purely enthusiasm-based. Also, that would be a weird vision to have, frankly. Get some fresh air or something.

UPDATE: Interesting interview with Arthur Mathews, in which he talks about The Day Today, Father Ted, Big Train, and the vastly-underrated Hippies.

EQUALLY RANDOM UPDATE: U2 (ish) sing 'Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes'

AND ANOTHER: Truly excellent song by Jeremy Warmsley gets an excellent video.

If you've ever seen a taxi rank doing that weird shuffling 'move forward a foot at a time' thing when the car at the front has gone and wondered what would happen if the participants got their timing a little off, I can now tell you, having witnessed such a glorious occurrence this weekend on the Moor (Falmouth's town centre).

1. A loud crunching sound as the front bumper of Taxi 5 encounters the rear bumper of Taxi 4.
2. Taxi Driver 4 (burly middle-aged man) leaps out of his car.
3. Taxi Driver 5 (burly middle-aged man) leaps out of his car.

But then, as if to remind me why I live in Cornwall:

4. Taxi Driver 4 adopts the stance (including side-to-side head-bobbing motions) of a Latino woman from a film, and wags a finger in the air, chanting 'Oh no you di'nt!'.
5. Taxi Driver 5 shrieks with embarrassment and mock-anguish, flapping one hand in the style of the deceased Larry Grayson, and clapping the other one over his mouth in exaggerated horror.
6. Both participants scream with delight, eventually collapsing into each others arms in hooting, weeping laughter, wiping tears from eyes.

Almost as cheering as when, many years ago, a stout Cornish policeman told a friend of mine, then responsible for a one-man Falmouth-based crime spree, that if he had to fill in any more forms due to this person's idiocy, he (the policeman) would take him (the wannabe crim) "round the back of the station, and smash 'ee up." The tone of regret and concern in said policeman's voice and manner had just as much of an impact as the threat itself, and the aforementioned childish buffoon quickly mended his ways and now works for a respected publishing company.

Happy endings all round.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Knitted Yoda

Worth its own post, I thought. More up here by boyknitsworld.

Similar stuff over at craftster, which might inspire a few people to do something productive now the longer nights are drawing in. Hopefully including me, now that my adventures on World of Warcraft are tending towards the 'listless'. Or I could go outside, but that way madness lies. And dead mice, currently strewn across the driveway like the aftermath of some kind of rodenty gang war.

Dreamquest of Unknown Numpty

Well done Danny Stack (he's not the numpty by the way), whose short film 'On The Death Of His Wife' has been selected as short of the week on the C4 film website.

I love all this DIY stuff - a few years ago, the standard advice for young comedy writers was 'write some stuff for radio'. At the time, they were talking about Weekending, only I hated it, so I didn't bother. Nowadays, I think you'd be better off making your own stuff and podcasting it - which will lead to an astonishing amount of ghastliness, obviously, but I like to think the good stuff will shine forth from the dungheap. But then I am inclined to positive thinking to the point of imbecility, so again, who knows?

It's gems like that I'll be sharing with the Pro. Writing group later today. Maybe I should charge an entrance fee or something.

Falmouth is currently plastered with home made posters for lost animals. Currently missing: an albino ferret and a parrot. I like to think they've teamed up to fight crime, but who knows? A couple of days ago I saw a poster for a found blue persian cat, which reminded me of why I attach such significance to blue cats in the first place...

Cornwall still has a number of residual rituals from the old Celtic tribal system. One of these is that on a boy's thirteenth birthday, he is sent into the corner of the playing field where the gypsies once killed a child*. Wearing shorts and a Supertramp T-shirt**, my bare legs were whipped with nettles, and I was forced to drink Cripplecock cider until I fell to the ground, foaming at the mouth, pupils like whirling supernovae.

Traditionally, at this point, one's totem animal would appear. Ben Fisher had seen a dolphin. Daniel 'Gibbon' had seen a... well, enough said. David Eddy saw a pair of rather elegant wolfhounds, annoyingly. I however, saw an animated blue cat. Not the one from the Magic Roundabout film (the old one), as I've never seen it, but a bit like it only different. It winked at me, whispered 'when applicable, upgrade to OS Tiger - the Spotlight app is well worth the eighty quid alone' and then vanished.

Nice to see a poster for a found animal though - usually the other way around. Then, a couple of days later I saw a poster for a 'lost' blue persian cat, just round the corner from the 'found' cat poster.

Which reminded me of why I attach such significance to blue cats in the first place. Cornwall still has a number of residual rituals... wait, I've done that bit.

Basically, about a minute later I did a classic comedy double take and called the number on the poster, giving the owner directions as to where said pet could be found. And above me, I felt my totem spirit smile. In a catty sort of way.

It was right about the Spotlight thing though - sometimes it finds the bit you're looking for before you've even finished typing the word. Marvellous.

Just thought I'd better get all this out of my system now.

*Obviously they didn't really. In fact no gypsies ever came that far south-west, so at school we barely had an idea of what gypsies actually were. Popular opinion had it that they were a strange alien race, made up of whirling gears and strange lights, who set fire to bushes and took off their faces to reveal a lizard underneath. But then we might have mixed up Religious Education class with late night repeats of V. Regardless, I suspect all schools in the UK have a corner where 'gypsies killed a child'.

** Model's own, sadly. And just after I remembered this, I saw an ad for a Best Of Supertramp CD. How strange. But somehow... logical.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tum te tum...

I'm at that weird stage when I'm waiting for the results of about five meetings, which probably means I'll only ever hear from about two of them. Tch. At which point I've got bored with World of Warcraft. Damn. And there's no good comics around these days either. Harrumph.

On the plus side, I managed to pick up the dictionary of imaginary places for under a fiver in a nearby bookshop, then headed over to Jess Nevin's site to see that the book version of his Fantastic Victoriana site is getting very close to completion - over here.

And then after an interesting debate with Todd over at twitch film, I was put onto a writer called Charles Williams, of whom I had never previously heard. So that's all quite promising.

Talking to Agent Sarah about editing the Cabinet - the good news is it's mostly cutting down rather than having to put in new stuff (although I'm sure there'll be some of that too). And the last thirty or forty pages, which I was a bit worried about, as I was a bit tired, and felt that it was going in a slightly different, darker direction to the rest of the book, turned out to be her favourite bit. In fact, I have an inkling (unintentional quite complicated pun) that the book may work better if the middle gets slapped about a bit, and brought in line with the end*. Probably won't be dressed up in a bow and tarted about publishers until mid-January now.

The only wasp in the tincture is that m'flatmate gets home tomorrow, after being away for a pleasingly long time, having just texted me a list of surfaces she'd like me to clean for her arrival. This did not Go Down Well, and I suspect there will be Words.

If any millionaires with second/third/fourth homes in Cornwall, specifically around the Falmouth area, are reading this, and would like to offer me cheap/free** housing for a while, I would be prepared to put aside my normally militant views on cornish second-home buying. I will also try and crowbar your name into a script somewhere but I can't guarantee anything.

I am quite clean and tidy. Hence the sudden onrush of what can only be described as 'tetchiness'.

*Grrr. Writing is manly job. Off to fight gerunds now.***

**You don't get if you don't ask.

*** Like in that very good Woody Allen short story, the name of which escapes me.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Strange worries

Next week I'll be talking to the Falmouth School of Art's Professional Writing Course, because it's only down the road. This will be, I think, the third time I've talked to the newies on the course, and I just went back and had a look at last years talk, and remembered this bit:

"What makes Henry laugh is other people’s pain. ‘I was talking with a friend about slapstick and he fell and hurt his ankle. I was crying with laughter. I like well-timed actual pain."


I never did anything about this before, because it's like finding a horrible photo of yourself, and pointing it out to people, trying to explain that it's the lighting, really, it is.

But as some of the new people may go back and check on what I said last year, to make sure they're getting their money's worth and not being fobbed off with yesterdays tea boiled, I thought I might put this in context*. Also, I wouldn't want them to think they're going to be meeting a monstrous tosser of the lowest order.

What actually happened was this: when I lived in Canterbury, a very good friend of mine who gave me my first break (he used to work for the types who make Bob the Builder) came to visit. We headed out for a pint, and on the way (so no drinking yet) had really quite a profound and rather abstract conversation about the art of slapstick. At which point m'colleague fell rather spectacularly off the pavement, disappearing from my field of view entirely.

Now I don't normally laugh at people hurting themselves. I promise I don't. It's a small-minded sort of thing to do which would put me in the company of people who read mens magazines with three-letter titles, a place I don't want to be. But when you're talking about slapstick, and someone executes a perfect pratfall, one has to show one's appreciation somehow. Almost immediately however, it became apparent that my good chum had actually hurt his ankle quite badly and was now in quite a lot of pain. Which made it worse, as I ended up with the sort of nervous giggle practiced by lunatics and over-sugared schoolchildren. So things were, frankly, a bit frosty. Until I bought him lots of drinks and apologized profusely.

He went to work for Aardman later on, and I had another drink with him much later, so I think we're okay now.

Anyway, I wouldn't want the new people to walk into the room thinking I'm a socially-retarded monstrous tosser. Obviously they may walk out thinking exactly that, according to how the talk goes, but that's their right.

Oddly enough, I did some freelance work as a mob hitman in the early nineties, killed a lot of innocent people in a variety of horrible, gruesome ways. Never lost a nights sleep over it.

Funny how the human mind works.


* Also, I made less money this year, which has sent the graph all to crikey. And yet I'm having more important meetings. Perhaps my talk should be titled: 'I have literally no idea what I'm doing'.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

You can't keep a good zombie meme down.

Unless of course you SHOOT IT IN THE HEAD.

Zombie Snot Worm

The Onion frets that Pittsburgh is 'Unprepared For Full-Scale Zombie Attack'

And finally: Frank Lloyd Wright vs. Zombies

sleep now

I have written a book!!!*

It has eighty two thousand, three hundred and seventeen words, distributed fairly evenly amongst twenty chapters.

It contains sort-of-zombies.

It's a children's book (with sort-of-zombies in it).

And pirates.

And lots of things that fly.

I had that feeling when I finished it (well, finished the first draft, there's lots of reworking to do on it), of 'no idea if anyone else will like this at all, but this is definitely the book I meant to write'. This is a good feeling.

I seem to write about tea quite a lot.

I use the word 'fluttered' five times in the book.

Also the word 'vortices' once, which I was quite proud of. Although I had to check the spelling.

People 'narrow their eyes' in my book quite a lot (again, five times in total - perhaps they're annoyed at all the fluttering). Clearly I am at all times trying to write scenes for Ori. I worried about whether I should have a scene where all the people un-narrow their eyes, lest people think they squint for the remainder of the story, but on balace, I think I was right not to write this scene.

I'm going to have a cup of tea now. And then a nice lie-down.

*apologies to JonnyB

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

It's like a metaphor, mixed with another metaphor.

Kt pointed me in the direction of these little beauties, which aren't just zombies, but specific Original Dawn of the Dead zombies. They must have taken ages to do, which makes it funnier. Go to the link for more.

Spent the weekend at Pennyfeather Towers, where I was admirably looked after by PP himself. In return, when an asthma inhaler fell out of his bag (I didn't know he had asthma) I pointed at it and shouted 'Hahahaha! You fat wheezer!'. I still don't know why I did that. Apologies, PP.

Pennyfeather Towers is now equipped with a bathroom of astonishing elegance and beauty, and I don't usually notice these things. This time I had to though, as it cost about a million pounds. Fortunately, the new door was put on about an hour before I got there, otherwise it might have been a bit weird. Said door however, bore a faint resemblance to the Tardis, and t'was but the work of a moment to persuade PP to get it painted blue, although he drew the line at a flashing orange light and a flush that made a terrifying shrieking grinding noise, which was a shame. If you look to the left of the door, you can see PP's violin, which is HUGE! I think he was tricked.

The reason I was up in Canterbury wasn't just to see PP's bathroom though, fabulous though it is. M'esteemed colleague in booksellery, Paula, is selling up and travelling around the world, so it was lovely to see her, and I hope she has a great time. I'm also mourning my sudden lack of a source of free pre-publication proofs, but there we are. I'll just have to come to terms with this difficult time.

Meetings were good, particularly when the person I met told me how a lot of people high up at the BBC 'really hated Green Wing', information imparted with the air of one who has casually rolled a hand grenade into a noodle bar. I think said person may have expected me to turn pale with shock, or sink slowly from my chair, clutching feebly at the air with one hand, but I knew that anyway, so I got to shrug and say 'Tch', which I like saying. To be quite honest, I only really write with the intention of pleasing four people: 1) me, 2) my best mate Sass, 3) her brother Matt and 4) Stephen Fry. As long as three out of the four of use are happy, that's really all I need. Not that I know how Mr. Fry felt about Bob the Builder, but he's never rung me up and said he hated it.

To digress into a potentially useful bit of writing information for a second (it'll be over quickly, and will never happen again), one strange regularity of meetings is that the thing you got called into discuss turns out to be of no interest to the person at all. They will then say 'so do you have anything else you're putting together?' in a casual manner, often employing some deliberately casual business as they do so, so as stirring a cup of tea, or half-heartedly leaning out of the window to shoot an albatross.

When this question is raised, NEVER EVER SAY 'NO'. I cannot stress this highly enough. If necessary, look at the noticeboard or the manufacturers name on your coffee mug and MAKE UP A STORY. Some writers create treatments specifically as a trojan horse, to sneak themselves under the wire, from which point they can then mention, with a similar casualness, the project close to their hearts to which they have devoted every second of the last five years. If they had mentioned this project first, they never would have got in the door. Strange but true.

While I think of it, Josh Friedman has some notes on what to wear to Hollywood script meetings. Useful stuff.

Nearly nearly nearly finished the book. The last chapter is crawling past, even though I know what I want to do with it. It's the equivalent of one of those huge action scenes in a film that lasts three minutes, but takes five months to film - I'm down to five hundred words a day, compared to around two thousand when I was in St. Ives. They're quite important words though, so it's worth getting them in the right order, I think.

* Makes sense. The Doctor dresses well (usually including a scarf), has lots of attractive female companions which whom he never sleeps**.

** Anyone who has know me for a reasonable amount of time, please feel free to make your own jokes.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

wish list

I'm off up North (London) for more meetings. Bearing in mind I have a cold that makes me feel like I'm underwater and prone to mild hallucinations, it might be fun.

In the meantime, here's a brief list of stuff I would love to come out on DVD. Apart from the obvious.

How Do You Want Me?

All Quiet On The Preston Front

A Bit Of Fry And Laurie


UPDATE: now with the top secret, long awaited name...

And finally, a boxed set of everything ever done by Jack Rosenthal

UPDATE 2: greta's blog is blimmin' brilliant. The cartoons made me laugh through my nose, which was unfortunate, what with my cold.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

This story can be independently verified.

Last night, out for a meal in Falmouth with Person I have known since I was about fourteen, and shall henceforth be referred to as Best Mate (B.M.). She is an girl, and there is a candle between us as we peruse the menus, but romance is not in the air. We have been friends for too long. In many ways we are like one of those nineteen-fifties married couples who sleep in seperate beds with one foot on the floor at all times. I don't usually drag her into the blog thing as she doesn't read it, and so has no means of correcting 'mistakes', but she comes out of this one rather well, I feel

ME: I think I might be mildly autistic, you know.
B.M.: What was your first clue?
ME: The Dungeons and Dragons.
B.M.: Yup.
ME: Also I fear change.
B.M.: We all fear change. What are you having?
ME: Um, chicken kiev, I think.
B.M.: You had that last time.
ME: I know. I didn't like it very much.
B.M.: Have something else then.
ME: I will. I'll have something else.

We look at menus for a while.

ME: We could open a theme restaurant for autistic people. It would be called 'Quantusnevercrash' (see UPDATE below). And the forks would always be in EXACTLY THE SAME PLACE.
B.M.: Hee.
ME: Hoo. And-
B.M. That's enough now.
ME: Mmm.
B.M.: Also, you don't recognize me in town, even when I'm jumping up and down and shouting your name.
ME: You go on tip-toe and murmur. It's not the same. But I am quite bad at... you know, the big picture. I'm better at details.
B.M.: We don't talk about you enough.
ME: You're right. Sorry.

I'm holding the menu at a low angle, trying to decide what to have.

ME: It's weird though, with the absent-minded thing. Sometimes it's, you know, not that funny. Today I was on the phone, and I kept trying to take my glasses off, but I wasn't wearing any, so I was just poking myself slowly and repeatedly in the eye.*
B.M.: Oh dear god.
ME: I know.
B.M.: No, you've set fire to your menu.

I have indeed set fire to the menu. I stare at it.

B.M.: Probably blow it out.
ME: I'll blow it out.

I blow it out. There is a large hole in the menu, and an unpleasant chemical smell is drifting across the restaurant, not adding to the other patrons' enjoyment of the meal, for which I feel guilty. The waitress appears.

WAITRESS: Are you ready to- oh.
ME: Your menus are terribly flammable. It's probably quite dangerous.
B.M.: Also, 'sorry'.
ME: Yes, sorry.
WAITRESS: Are you ready to order?
B.M.: I'll have the rack of lamb.
ME: Chicken kiev please.

I didn't like it very much. But I did tip quite heavily.

UPDATE: 'Non-U' (good reference) points out - 'Psst. No 'U' In Qantas. A true autist would know that so I think you're ok.
Otherwise, as you were.' Thanks Non-U.

*In fairness, I was arranging a meeting with the Head of Comedy for quite a large broadcasting channel**. But still.

** No I'm not, I got confused. But the person I'm meeting is much better than that and has produced some comedy stuff I liked very much indeed. Also, I haven't slagged this chap off on the interweb, which is a bonus.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Butterflies OF DEATH

If anyone remembers me asking for wind-up butterflies quite a long time ago, you may be pleased to know (or you may not care less) that although a number of butterfly sources were discovered, the scene in question was actually filmed with a different papery item entirely. I've seen the scene, and it works fine - there were some concerns that the effect I was after wouldn't have quite worked anyway: the effect being so random and fast, it would have been over before you knew what had happened. The amount of thought that goes into these things is slightly worrying, frankly.

Anyway, The Mighty Evans (now promoted at her workplace, so if you work at the BBFC and you've recently had a madwoman in a paper crown and a sceptre made of Cheesy Wotsits* ordering you to bring her coffee in a 'gold mug', that'll be why. She'll settle down soon), has sourced a tiptop and highly reputable supplier of windup paper butterflies, that seem likely to satisfy any reasonable person's desire to fill envelopes or books with propellable erstatz insects that, when opened, release themselves into the air in a startlingly violent manner likely to cause at the very least, a serious cardiac arrest. The suggestion is that you use these for advertising, but unless you're advertising those paddles you rub together and stick on people's chests whilst shouting 'CLEAR!', I think it could backfire.

Still, great work, the Evans - may your new role as Queen of Films last long and get you lots of perks and that.

*if you bite the ends off and lick them, they stick together - I once made a ET-style long Wotsit Finger at school lunch break and turned round to David Eddy, pointing it at him whilst doing a very creditable 'phoooooone hoooooome' bit. D.E. then flicked it with a fingernail, sending the ET Wotsit Finger to oblivion and leaving me with A) a hitherto-excellent impression suddenly weakened by the lack of an appropriate visual backup and B) no lunch. D.E. is now married and lives in Liverpool, where he presumably STILL RUINS PEOPLE'S LIVES.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Aardman Warehouse Fire

Terribly sad news that a fire has destroyed warehouse containing Aardman's Animation archive. Fortunately no-one was hurt, and Nick Park has downplayed the incident, which keeps it in perspective (especially when the news is full of the ghastly earthquake in Pakistan), but a great shame nevertheless.

Having done some work for Aardman's Planet Sketch show, I was delighted to able to go into the company's HQ (unscathed, as far as I know) where they keep various classic Aardman characters in reception, in glass cabinets that now have my smeary fingerprints all over them - sorry guys. I'm hoping some of these models will have been out of the warehouse at the time, as there's something truly magical about seeing the original character models of Wallace, Gromit and the others, and realizing just how much hard work and imagination went into bringing them to life.

On the plus side, the Wallace and Grommit film seems to be doing fantastically well, despite/because of being wildly parochial with puns to groan at and and old-fashioned ethos of slightly ramshackle British craftsmanship running throughout. Chaps, I salute you. And I know it's not Aardman, but can I just apologise again for thinking that the Corpse Bride was CGI? I had a number of corrective emails on the subject a while ago, and I really am very sorry.

I just hope the tortoise made it.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

context zombies and giant wooden robots

Okay, everyone should have seen that 'Shining recut as a chick flick' trailer thing by now.

But have you seen the other trailer from the same project? Looks at first glance like a high-speed zombie movie, but if you can guess the actual film in less than ten seconds, you may award yourself a mini-mars bar, or piece of fruit of equivalent size.

UPDATE: But not if you look at the filename, which would give it away rather. I agree too, they lost marks by putting on glowing eyes, making it a B+ rather than an A.

From making light

Also, from the ever reliable screenhead, what happens when rival viking soundsystems clash. The fact that I never thought of a Viking/Transformer crossover has me kicking myself.*

Back from St. Ives, where on the last day, I was shat on by a seagull. Only a bit, and I think it was rather affectionately done, to be honest. Nearly finished the book now, probably just a couple of days finishing the last chapter or so, but the seagull thing is of greater interest, I suspect. I was going to hang on for a couple more days, but the security light opposite the flat ('securing' a shop that sold only frying pans and fishing rods, which makes sense I suppose) was misfiring, and the strip of extra window high up in the wall that couldn't be closed off meant for a series of nights sleep best described as 'not great'. Also. people travelled all the way from the South-East to argue outside said window late at night. Every morning I would stumble out, sleepy-eyed, tripping over bits of thrown pasty and dropped 't's. Gah.

I'm such a moaner - I had a great time, and it's a brilliant way of getting a book finished. Cold turkey from broadband had an interesting effect as well: played half an hour of World of Warcraft, only to say to myself 'But... this is just a game! It doesn't mean a thing!' So I read a book instead.***

And for ye of little faith, here's the bbc link to the crocodile story. Mere words cannot express my joy at the statement that 'according to experts' the 2ft caiman is 'probably an unwanted pet'. As opposed to... actually I genuinely can't figure out what else it could possibly be. And what experts? Crocodile experts? Things-in-the-wrong-place experts? Handy when you've lost your car keys. 'Where did I - well, over there, obviously'.


Originally uploaded by jamesandthebluecat.

I bet it was this one that shat on me mere minutes after I took this pic. You can tell by the look on his face....

*With a small plastic leg with one wheel on it, obviously. That I can't work out how to restore to its proper position without breaking.**

** Transformer humour. Jesus.

*** Admittedly the book in question was the Monsternomicon supplement for the Iron Kingdoms sourcebook for the V3.5 edition of D&D, but the thought was there. And when I was away I read the Pursuit of Love and listened to the Balanescu Quartet, so leave it.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Breaking cover for the crocodile thing

My faith in human nature, always somewhat shaky at the best of times, has been further weakened by the discovery of a small crocodile in a Cornish lake.

Not because someone clearly thought their pet newt was getting suspiciously large and toothy and wanted to give it freedom and as many swans as it could eat: I find this eminently laudible, and swans scare me. The alternative was probably ending up as a handbag.

What upset me was that the woman who reported this to the media said that she saw what she first took be a log floating in the lake, which then went on to wink at her, so she 'chucked a stone at it, and it vanished'.

Now, mundane existence is called that for a reason. It really is, on the whole, unutterably dull. So when one's attention is caught by a winking log, here, may I be so bold to suggest, are a few of one's options.

1. Loud and sustained applause.
2. Saying to oneself 'Wheeee! I appear to be in some kind of cartoon!' and testing that suppostion by trying to make portable holes, painting railway tunnels on the side of walls and seeing if trains then enter with no danger and so on.
3. Finding the nearest group of loud, feral teenagers and crying 'Lads! A rumour abounds that last night a six-pack of cheap cider fell from an overhead aeroplane and dropped, kerplunk, into the centre of the lake. Being teetotal myself, I have no desire to appley alcoholic drinks, but I do like a tidy lake, so ten pounds to the first of you scamps who gets to the centre of the lake and sort of... splashes about a bit. That's it sir, Oh, I'm sorry miss. Either way, just reach around with your hands, nice and flappy-like...'

Not chucking a half brick at it. Just because she had a baby on her, which by the way, was in a pram, and so unlikely to be in any real danger. And even if it was, the advantage of having just one single crocodile in Cornwall far outweighs the cost of yet another pink bag of shite.

Cabinet going well, nearly finished (may spill over into next week, but just tidying really. Toy-fu back soonish (apologies all those people sent here by the now-sadly-defunct Observer blog just as I'd decided to give it a break to get the book finished).

Back Sundayish.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Right, I'm off to combat the terrifying carnivorous seagulls of St. Ives* with one hand, while I try and finish the book with the other. Behave yourselves. I don't want muddly footprints*** all over my site when I get back.

* In D&D terms, a monster with a Challenge Rating of 4, Attacks: beak +6, flappy feet +3 and a ranged area effect weapon you really don't want to be on the wrong end of, even if it is supposed to be lucky. Also has skills: Sense Pasty** and, Mob Tourist. Varient 5 hit dice Dire Seagull with Carry Off Small Child rumoured to exist, as yet only a rumour.

** That was originally misspelled as Sense Past, which gave the nice image of a seagull constantly experiencing other people's flashbacks, like being trapped in one of the duller episodes of Lost.

*** Another spelling mistake, to be honest. But yes, somehow once again more evocative and interesting than what I actually meant. Humbling.