Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lost & Found announcement

Lost: the will to live. Last seen shortly before the opening credits of a Resnick DVD. Likely to be found staring wistfully at the hummus shelves in Tesco*. If sighted, please return as soon as possible - I have to get up tomorrow morning.

God. Damn. It. That adaptation** of Resnick's depressing...

Seriously, it should come with a mental health warning. I had to turn it off after 45 minutes and go listen to Joy Division. You know, just to cheer myself up a bit. I mean, by that point, even The Eternal (sample line: "With children my time is so wastefully spent") sounded damn near as uplifiting as Beethoven's Ode to Joy***.

Still, only another two and a bit episodes to watch, I suppose. Best get back to it. Now, where did I put those razor blades...

N.B. The producer of the series is our lecturer for scriptwriting (and very good he is too, despite having Resnick on his CV). He still has the copyright for it, or something, so it was just a series that was easy for us to use - for studying adaptation, writing sample scenes and storylines for the characters, and so forth. Well, I say "easy" - few things are easy when you've just slipped into a depression induced catatonic stupor. But anyway.

UPDATE: On that IMDb page someone wants to know when Resnick will be available on DVD - user name: CrazyMary.

No more need be said.

*HUMMUS UPDATE: fancy expensive hummus (caramellised onion; olive; lemon and coriander - that kind of thing) can now be found at Tesco again; sadly, none of the affordable plain stuff yet [sighs in a prematurely nostalgic fashion].

**don't believe that customer review: it's all lies. At least, the positive bits are.

***or whatever - I've never really been into happy music.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Today I am wearing black

There is a national crisis upon us.

No, not bird flu.

Nor the ever-present threat of terrorism. Nor even short people with umbrellas. No, this is a real crisis; a crisis almost too dreadful even to contemplate:


[Lines intentionally left blank to allow you all a moment to compose yourselves. I know I had to when confronted by the equally vacant spaces on the shelves of Tesco.]

It seems that earlier this week, Britain's major supermarkets recalled all stocks of hummus; it was suspected that some may have been contaminated with salmonella.

Fair enough, perhaps.

But what is most worrying here is not the possibility of salmonella. Rather, it has exposed an even more alarming state of affairs: there is just one manufacturer supplying almost all the hummus in Britain. Just one. Think about that. Think what it means.

That's right, all it needs is for one little thing to go wrong and suddenly we're all hummus-less. Just one little thing. Hummus-less.


Just like now.

It has been almost a week, but who knows how much longer we will all have to suffer? Who knows when hummus will be on sale again? Who knows when our quality of life will return to tolerable levels? No-one is saying.

Yes, sooner or later, things will return to normal. But what of the future?

Something must be done.

The monopoly must be broken. We cannot allow the supply of such a vital resource to remain in the apparently rather badly washed hands of just one company. A stable, consistent and diversified supply of hummus is essential. Only then will we be able to sleep soundly in our beds at night. Only then will we be able to once more contemplate the future. Only then will life once again be worth living.*


Well... yes, OK, I suppose, we could just make our own, but...

Look, just shut up.

UPDATE: On the bright side, I've been prompted to re-evaluate the merits of tzatziki. Yum!

Why I didn't like it when I was a kid I'll never know. [Shakes head] All those wasted years...

UPDATE 2: I still don't get taramasalata.

*I suppose the "once again" part's kind of debatable, but anyway...

Sunday, February 18, 2007


A subheading that caught my eye as I was scrolling through the online version of the Guardian Weekend magazine:

How do we wash nappies in a yurt? (Should anyone wish to know, go here).

Surely one of the most Guardian-ish things ever to appear in the Guardian?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A couple of albums for the calming of strange solitary moods

Looks Like A Russian by Sodastream* (see also MySpace page).

Static Patterns and Souvenirs
by Lorna (some tracks here).

Both of which I picked up for a quid in the nonchalantly named Sounds OK (the first on a whim, the second I vaguely knew from somewhere). And both of which are pleasingly countryish. The first in a creaky, intimate, lots of bowed double-bass type fashion; the second in a more expansive, subtle bloops and bleeps, and mix of male and female vocals kind of way. There aren't really any standout tracks on either; at least on first listen (I think both albums are growers). Instead, they're just nice, slightly melancholic albums a mind can unwind in. Like I said, perfect for the calming of strange solitary moods.

UPDATE: Definitely growers. Swans on that Lorna CD, is worth a download.

*On which there's a guest accordionist named Pugsley B Wateringcan. Probably not his real name, but stupidly pleasing nonetheless.

Hermitry - an apology

I've been in a strange mood for a few days. I get like this sometimes. Sort of disconnected. Disengaged. I can be out with friends, but I'm just not there. Neither am I really anywhere else; just not wherever I am. It has nothing to do with the company. In fact, the company can be excellent, as indeed it has been - there are so many brilliant people on this course. But I just sit there; sometimes snapping out of it for a second when something familiar catches my ear, before sinking back into wherever it was that I was, or perhaps wasn't, the second before. But mostly I'm just not there. Then I start worrying that people think it's something to do with them. If they even notice, that is. Which maybe they do. And maybe they don't. I wouldn't really know: I'm not there; or not quite. But, like I said, it's nothing to do with the company.

Right now, I could be at a burlesque / circus / music thing at Tremough. It sounds like fun. And I know people will be there who I really like, people with whom I have had some wonderful times (though I always have trouble telling anyone I feel either of those things). But I just know how it would go.

When I'm like this there's no choice but to take a couple of days out. Recharge. Visit the beach, perhaps. Staring at the water, the sky, the horizon always calms me, takes me out of myself, beyond myself. And sometimes I just wander - mentally / physically, either's good.

I don't know what it is exactly, this disconnected feeling, or what exactly causes it, but these days I know how to spot it; how to solve it: take a few days out. On my own - that's the crucial thing. But just a few - beyond that madness lies. A rather quiet and introverted madness, but madness nonetheless. So, that's what I've been doing. Hopefully, I won't have offended anyone with my self-imposed hermitry. It's just me. It's just recharging. Taking some time to let my mind stretch out and untangle itself; for it to unwind, I guess.

Really, it's just a matter of breaking the chain: the more days I spend feeling disconnected, the more disconnected I start to feel. But that's the chain broken now. Most likely, then, I'll be back to my usual, marginally less unsociable, self by Monday. So that's something for us all to look forward to. Ho hum.

Hmm. What a cheery post.

Next time: the best music to slash your wrists to,* probably. Woo hoo!

*Not really, of course. Although, you could do worse than Joy Division.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

More pointless ponderings



Shouldn't they be opposites?

Like I said, more pointless ponderings.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ho hum

Arthritic donkey.

That was the first thing that came to mind.

When I have writer's block that's what I do, write the first thing that comes to mind and see where it takes me. I probably shouldn't expect an arthritic donkey to take me anywhere, though, should I? Except to court on animal cruelty charges. Which would be kind of paradoxically efficient, now I think about it - I'd be delivered to justice, generally held to be a "good thing", yet that would itself actually be the crime. Hmm, an act that is in itself both right and wrong. Almost seems worth doing...

No, that would be completely out of character. The efficiency, more than the cruelty, probably, but still.

So what now - now that my narrative vehicle has been retired to a nice little sanctuary in Devon to live out the rest of its days nibbling on grass, carrots, and the fingers of unwary visiting children? I suppose I could see what comes to mind next. But I'm thinking about vehicles now, so it'll be something like a Volvo, a Citroen 2CV, or a broken roller-skate. In fact, they were exactly what came to mind. Pretty dull. Unless you like cars, perhaps. Or broken roller-skates. But I don't. So... erm...

OK, let's try an opening line:

"Millions will perish," Smith mused, absently. His assistant shrugged.

"What does it matter?"

"Oh, I don't know," he sighed. Lately Smith had been reassessing his career, looking back over the long years, wondering if it had all been worth it.

"Millions have already perished. You never seemed bothered about it before."

"Hmm? Well, I know, I know. But... I mean, I just can't help wondering. Perhaps this wasn't the best way to spend a life."


"I... I look back on it all and feel... empty, I suppose. Do you know what I mean, Simmons?"

"Not really, sir. "

"No?" Smith sighed again. "Do you remember the moon landing, Simmons? No, I don't suppose you would. For years I wanted to be an astronaut. All us boys did, back then. Then it was footballers, or rock stars. My hero was Jim Morrison. I never once thought about doing this. Not once."

"But you're the best in the field."

"I know, but it's all so pointless. I mean it's hardly rivetting, is it?"

"I've told you, you shouldn't listen to de Wolf, sir."

"He's right, though. It was always rivetting for me, Simmons; that's what I wanted out of life."

"Sir, it's..."


"Sir, manufacturing rubber washers is nothing to be ashamed of."

"Simmons, we both know that's not true. Don't make my mistake. Get into rivets, son. Get into rivets." Smith sat back down behind his desk and slowly swivelled the high backed office chair to face the window, the window that allowed him to look out over the factory. "That's all Simmons," he said, wearily.

Smith sat just staring. Sighing, he repeated, quietly, to the now empty office, "That's all." Then continued to stare.


Looks like I still have writer's block, then.