Monday, May 31, 2004

The publicity wheels really are in motion. Shit, this is happening. If you don't visit any other links, visit this one!

posted by dave - 9:00 am

Sunday, May 30, 2004
Hey! I'm back! It's been a long day, which actually started at 00.25 Greek time yesterday, when we boarded a bus to the airport to head back home :-(. We got back into Manchester at 6am today. I've not slept, save for a couple of snatched saliva-dripping-from-my-open-mouth moments. We had to wait till 8.30am for our lift, immediately got stuck in a car-park traffic jam nightmare and the rain came down to remind us where we were. We headed back to Hull, where the car was waiting, then had to visit lots of people and pretend to be wide awake before picking Penny the cat up from her holiday home. Well done, Holly, for taking care of the beast. It's 9.15pm now, here in York, and am writing this as I try and rapidly catch up with the horror that is Big Brother (a gay hairdresser from Hull is the early favourite) as my eyes try and force themselves shut. Just like a man with a collection of dull holiday photographs, I'll be posting some entries (in full chronological order!) about this rather nice week-long break, which was great fun. Lots of sun, although Kos is a very windy island on the north side, where it takes a right old battering from howling gusts coming off the Aegean Sea. Otherwise, Tigaki is a great, (so far) unspoilt resort. And I also got to stand in the crater of an earthquake! A reminder of how pleasant this country I am now in can be came in a petrol station tonight, where a 14-year-old bleached blonde highly-sexed strumpet in a Kappa tracksuit burst in and asked, "Do you sell johnnies? Got any johnnies?" Is it that hard to use the word 'condom'? Anyway, 'scuse me while I hit the pillow. Night night.

posted by dave - 9:14 pm

Saturday, May 29, 2004
I've just tried googling to find out which twat once said the common sensicle "All good things must come to an end." I'm not wading through 3million+ sites for conclusive proof. But, whoever it was was right. Today was the day where we knew we would be shipping out. So we made the most of it. Eating, drinking, sunning, chilling, cycling, getting shut of Euros and all the other filthy stuff people do.

I'm not sure I've conveyed our Tigaki stay too well. Suffice to say, we had a blast. It was the best. We should have stayed at least two weeks. As it was, at 00.25 tomorrow we will set off to stand in a queue in the inadequate but simple Kos airport, before boarding a plane where we will have to suffer being seated next to a drunken woman who can't find the toilets and insists that I am scared of flying before slumping over the flip-down table. But worse than this will be enduring Something's Gotta Give, a bunch of fat, common Scousers and a fast-pax breakfast at four in the morning.

Book to close the show: DBC Pierre's Vernon God Little. Same subject matter as the Coupland but a different treatment. Really got inside the head of this lil' Texan.

posted by dave - 11:18 am

Friday, May 28, 2004
Wooaaaah! I'm standing in the crater of a volcano, with the curiously hollow sounding surface beneath my feet bubbling away, spewing sulphur. And they reckon this thing is inactive! Amazing, amazing, amazing. I thought I'd get sun, olives, and enjoy good company. I didn't reckon on this natural beauty, on the island of Nisyros, bowling me over. I dunno how the things work but if you're interested this link will tell you more and has all the geological information and pretty pictures you'll need to write that Nisyros essay, should it ever be needed. Cool place, cool journey through the mountains, cool ferry ride over from Kos. We also sailed past an island made of Pumis, the total of which is being chiseled away so that old women can smooth their callousy feet.

We had to make a swift exit from the Meni restaurant tonight. All that food finally caught up with us. Trying to leave quickly without upsetting the staff, who all think they've poisoned you, is a tricky operation - one that needed to be smoothed by paying additional Euros. How come we ate less but paid more? Guilt's a funny old thing, eh?

posted by dave - 11:18 am

Thursday, May 27, 2004
Some days, you want to just lay in the sun but the Aegean Sea is so god-damned breezy that you can't put up with it any longer. We gave it a shot but caved in and went and sat by the pool, where we observed divorced couples playing with their stepchildren. Jason and his thus-far unidentified step son have a good relationship. Later in the week I would get the inkling that the boy's mother has embraced the self-catering ethic too much and spends a lot of time slaving over the two-ringed cooking facilities. Some of us, thank the Vassilis Taverna, eat out so much we eventually get tired of food.

Book reading progress report: Other half of Kingdom of Fear (a jolly jape that mentions Johnny Depp too much but makes me wish I could do the gonzo thing at the HDM) and Zoe Heller's Notes on a Scandal.

posted by dave - 11:17 am

Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Some days you just lay in the sun, getting a tan, talking to your girlfriend and, generally, feeling great about life, the universe and everything...

posted by dave - 11:17 am

Tuesday, May 25, 2004
In an effort to get some snaps for use as part of The Worst Seat in the House publicity (Jeez, this is beginning to sound like an advertisement feature!) and get away from a couple of hours of hazy weather, we hopped on the bus for the eight mile trip to Kos town. Judging by the amount of people squeezed inside, the bus is owned and operated by First, who do the park and ride transport in York. It was just like hopping on a White Line. Kos town was a good place, full of ruins and signs that it's been inhabited by Egyptians, Romans, Venetians, Ottomans, the Knights of St John and two playwrights from York. We clambered on-board one of those comedy tiny tourist trains where the audio commentary lags behind what you can see by several minutes. A handful of young beggars, who had been fishing in the bay with sticks and may or may not have been Turkish, were gobsmacked by the sight of a German dwarf, whom they touched, stroked and laughed at. An odd sight (though not as odd as this!).

We'd actually started the day with a bike ride, on the lookout for a secluded beach upon which I could do my naked dancing. We found such a place but it was too windy for both frisbee flying and bat and ball, thus scuppering our plans. And the sun disappeared before the naked dancing could commence. As we left this secluded spot (or, as some people would have described it, a rubbish tip - there was a discarded matress that had seen better days smack in the middle of some sand) we heard some tears. Closer inspection in some bushes revealed a scrawny kitten, who M reckoned was crying for its mum. Shucks. A brief discussion about quarantine laws dismissed any plans to stow the kitten, who we christened Jenny (all cats we meet are instantly named with a name that has to rhyme with Penny, the uber-cat), in our baggage. Cue even louder cat cries as we peddled off for a Mythos and a G&T and a more comfortable life where we don't have to worry where our next can of Felix is coming from.

posted by dave - 11:16 am

Monday, May 24, 2004
It's odd, writing this now, obviously retrospetively, based as it is on a few soon-to-be jaded memories and the odd bullet point scribbled in a book that also contains the basis for what will become The Worst Seat in the House. But I'm the kind of blogger that doesn't like holes in his blog entries.

Meanwhile, over in Tigaki, my bed collapsed last night. I stretched out my legs and managed to kick off whatever the oppositie of a head board is, which was swiftly followed by a crash as the bed frame swiftly fell into contact with the marble floor. In a future autobiography, this entry will be rewritten and the bed collapse will be blamed on Uzo-fuelled sexual athleticism. Just to continue playing with the temporal order, last night we ate authentic Greek nosh in the otherwise rather Indian curry-fixated Sagittarius Restaurant.

By now we have both cycled so far that our asses are suffering intense pain. Quite how this will be told in the autobiography is not yet clear. A man that charged us three Euros each for hiring his beach beds used the universal phrase "Manchester United?" as a way of telling us where we might live. Our shake of the head before we mumbled "York City" meant nothing to him. Today we met Mr Frost, a travelling man in an ice cream van that plies its trade up and down the Tigaki sea front. Frost is, of course, a traditional Greek surname. We have decided that we want to adopt Mr Frost. We also bought some donuts from a man that does not, as yet, have a van or go by the name of Mr Donut. Homer, of course, would be better. His donuts, I add in a fit of Kenneth Williamsness, were massive.

Books read thus far on the holiday as a way of avoiding writing any of The Worst Seat in the House: Douglas Coupland's Hey, Nostradamus! and half of Hunter S Thompson's Kingdom of Fear.

posted by dave - 10:39 am

Sunday, May 23, 2004
Howling winds wailed (or is it whaled? Sometimes, I actually understand the need for sub-editors) outside our four-berth, two-balconies-for-the-price-of-one apartment. "Oh shit," I remember thinking, also thinking we might be too far from Tavernas and the beach as we'd been dumped, quickly, in complete darkness by a courier who seemed to be in a rush to get back to his own civilisation (I'd also come without my driving license, cos no man who commutes every day wants to spend his holiday driving). When we finally woke up, the winds still howled around and it seemed unlikely that there was any sunshine on the outside. Until, that is, I threw open one set of balcony doors and realised that we were in a corner of Greek-style heaven. The sun did indeed shine; yes, we were away from all the noise of the town; cattle grazed in a field; a glance to the right revealed a blue ocean; a glance to the left revealed that we were located at the foot of some photogenic mountains. Bliss. We'd got lucky in a way that seemed unlikely when we got involved in a low-budget package holiday bidding war on Going Places.

Against the grain we went to a welcome meeting. Like a lamb to the slaughter, a representative from Air Tours stuttered and stumbled his way through a badly-rehearsed intro-speech. Stefan, for that was the bumbling, nervous fool's name, had so obviously been in Spain last year. "So, ladies, are you planning on doing a bit of shopping while you're here in Spa....Greece?" In a boring speech with few highlights (he was struggling from the outset, just offering variations on his 'ladies go shopping' line - "so, ladies, will you be going to the market?" "So, ladies, will you be using his credit card?" "So, ladies, bla bla bla") it quickly became clear that the only reason this man did this job was because he would be otherwise totally unemployable. His only good advice was to hire a bicycle, which we promptly did.

It's like cross-dressing, isn't it? Hiring a yellow bike with a shopping basket when sexy mountain bike numbers and quad bikes were available. But, heck, I'm the practical sort keen to fill a basket up with appetite-busting super noodles, hot dogs and bottles of Mythos.

An American woman, Amanda of the Hotel Amanda no less, entertained her few customers by playing Meatloaf. Is there any wonder she ain't attracting many punters? Actually, this place is very, very quiet. We would ask our waiter in the Christian Restaurant in a couple of nights what gived with the quietness. "Ah," he pondered, "global terrorism, and the Olympics are keeping people away from us." "We'll tell our friends to come," we told him, just in case he was considering breaking down in tears before he delivered our complimentary Uzos. Comment (0)

posted by dave - 10:10 am

Saturday, May 22, 2004
Jack Black joined us on the flight from Manchester to Kos, where an as yet unknown, revealed on arrival apartment awaited. The total AC/DCness of School of Rock made a smoooooooth four-hour flight flyyyyy even faster (Living easy, living free, season ticket on a one-way ride (if only!) / Asking nothing, leave me be, taking everything in my stride / Don’t need reason, don’t need rhyme, ain’t nothing I would rather do / Going down, party time, my friends are gonna be there too!). A fat man sitting next to me opted to avoid buying a pair of in-flight headphones by reading an 800-page Tom Clancy novel. According to the New York Daily News, Clancy's "fat techno-thrillers satisfy many men like a ballgame and a beer". Yawn. I'd rather the plane ditched than have to endure such a holiday read horror. Why does flying strike so much fear into people? Why was a full-grown woman curled up, crying into her friends lap, while five-year-olds simply took take off in their stride? And why do small children, their ears popping back to normality on touchdown, like to clamber onto baggage carousels?

We got lucky. M, who had done her research into Kos, knew that Kardemena was a noisy, Brits-on-the-piss, vomit in the street resort to avoid. But, ha-ha, we ended up heading to Tigaki. It was pitch-black when we arrived and we got the sense that our Fili apartments were in the middle of nowhere. And, as tomorrow would reveal, we were!

posted by dave - 9:31 am

Friday, May 21, 2004
Thanks for dropping by. I'm sunning myself on a Greek island at the mo but promise to let you know all the dirty bits when I return. So, call back on June 1. In the meantime, please use the comments box to tell me how much you love me. x

posted by dave - 11:39 pm

I was served at the bank today by somebody called Janet Jackson. Janet, down on her uppers since the Timberlake revelation, now works reception at Nat West and is rather good at cancelling Standing Orders (but, sadly, a bit sarcastic). I had my credit card refused down the hairdressers, where the stylist ended her performance with "And now, I show you how to make it spiky!". While waiting nervously for the credit card company to reject my plastic, I diffused and defused the tension by announcing I worked for a newspaper by wafting my security pass around in a "do you know who I am?" fashion. The things we do when the conversation stops. Any, nevermind that, this time tomorrow I'll be heading to Manchester Airport and then to the island of Kos, where sunshine and funshine awaits.

There's nothing quite like spilling a sausage and tomato sandwich down your shirt to leave a nasty stain. Not an ideal start to the day but, heck, I've looked worse.

posted by dave - 3:03 pm

Thursday, May 20, 2004
A penguin update: There is no perverted penguin rustler working the streets of North Yorkshire. The penguin made a break for it all by itself. Maybe the relationship it had with its life partner had hit a rocky patch? I hope security at The Deep is better. Noone wants a shark leaping into the River Hull.

Cher managed 41 years without me. Last night, at the Sheffield Arena, she got me. And now she's gone. Farewell, old woman.

posted by dave - 9:29 pm

Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Temperature in Kos: 24c Temperature in Hull: 17c. This is the first time I've checked out the weather to see what's in store but, ooh, it's lookin' good and skimpy shorts will be de rigeur. Can't wait to get there now but the caffeine-fuelled days here are getting longer 'n' longer and Saturday seems to be getting further away, not closer. Reading for the trip is Hunter Thompson's Kingdom of Fear but might be having too much fun and be doing too much writing of The Worst Seat in the House for that. Have just realised that the title of the one man show could be read as a piece about an Spanish car being driven inside someone's gaff. Maybe Seat will sue me? Maybe the Humber Mouth will want their money back if I don't get round to writing it? Maybe I'll stay in Kos until post-June 25?

Watched Neil Simon's I Ought To Be In Pictures last night. A good play and not a sign of a Walter Matthau-a-like or Sgt Bilko-style gag anywhere. It was one of those plays that triggers off all kinds of memories and thoughts - which sounds like I was bored sitting amongst the blue rinsers but I wasn't. Very interesting. On the drive back, feeling inspired, was running ideas past myself about my own work and jotted a (very) basic outline down for a new thing when I got in, in between eating toast smeared with Quorn pate, slurping down tea and racing through the final parts of Andrew Oldham's 2Stoned before collapsing, exhausted, in a heap with thoughts of the 1960s merging with plays from the 1980s and me up on stage thanking three people for turning up to watch me on the same night that England played their Euro quarter final all swimming around my muddled head. Used the words 'mental illness' in a review yesterday and am still wondering if it's unPC. No one else has brought it to my attention so I guess not.

Met a man from Yorkshire Coast Radio (or something like that) last night who told me that a penguin had been stolen from the Sea Life Centre in Scarborough yesterday and was found, dumped, dehydrated and hours later, in someone's garden. It is now in intensive care. Its life partner, back at the Sea Life Centre, will die of a broken heart if its mate doesn't make it. How sad. Poor penguins.

posted by dave - 12:22 pm

Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Instant karma... Yesterday's shoe fiasco has come back to haunt me. Today I wear the appropriately restrictive office clothing that my boss likes me tethered inside but was looking forward to slipping into somethin' a whole lot more conducive to life and living later, when I head to the theatre in Scarborough. I have my Fubus, my fine khaki t-shirt, but I have no suitable footwear. Yes, folks, I have again left a pair of shoes back in York. Just as Duffs fail to look the part alongside a drab pair of pinstripe pants, a pair of cheap-as-chips work shoes fail to do it at the foot of dazzling jeans. So I will have to enjoy my leisure time wearing dreadful threads, overheating in a long-sleeved shirt that has already suffered the rigours of a sweaty eight hour day. It's just as well there will be a vacant seat next to me (all theatre critics have to demand an extra seat that will then not be taken up and, at the late stage critics are prone to run in to venues, for reasons best known to themselves usually breathless, the spare seat can't be resold).

posted by dave - 10:56 am

Monday, May 17, 2004
Show me the shoes and I'll give you the man. The importance of shoes, those that match the rest of your attire, just can't be overstated. Shoes, shoes, shoes are so very, very important. Today, I am sat at work in my fine casual clothing. A pair of Duffs trainers, some great Phat Farm jeans and a rather scary, hair-covered black tee. I wear these not because I am an office rebel - although I am - but because I forgot to take my shoes along with the rest of my trouser-shirt-tie apparel yesterday. Duffs and a tight, ass-hugging pair of office pantaloons just don't go together. Have had lots of "ooh, dirty stop out" comments from the kind of people that say "do mine next!" whenever they see someone washing a car in the street. Odd how much more relaxed I feel in my own clothing. Not that the shirt-tie-pants combine aren't my own, but whenever I dress like that it feels like I'm part way to selling my soul to the boss man and am wearing his clothes. And such an hilarious boss. "You'll still have to wear your tie," he quipped. Yes, yes, and you'll still be a wanker with an unoriginal line in repartee. Hello, if you're reading this, boss man.

Ate lunch with Sam at a pub that looks out over the River Humber. My, what a depressing, dank waterway it is. Not helped by a look over the fence that stops people falling into this muddy mess, which revealed at least 20 B&Q shopping trolleys wedged into the river bank. Such a magnet for tourists, that River Humber. And dumb fucks that like hurling metal into rivers. A sign, perhaps, that Hull will never be a top ten city came today in the form of a house price announcement. Hull is the only place in the country where house prices are falling - by 2.5 per cent. Which is, perhaps, a sign that this is a dump (and not just for shopping trolleys) now and always will be. It's already one of the cheapest places to live in the country but, hey, just as it looks like the prices will rise to realistic levels it rears its trend-bucking head. Why pay an average of £180,000 to live elsewhere when you can buy a street full of terraced housing here for tuppence (and falling). But will people take advantage of these great bargains? Shouldn't think so, Hull is a racist hell hole!

posted by dave - 1:09 pm

Sunday, May 16, 2004
This time next week I'll be in Kos, chilled and necking bottles of Mythos. This time this week I'm in York, chilled and necking Austrian lager in The Ebor, as children run free in the playground-cum-garden and the football team's barbecue gets out of hand, ensuring that everyone will return to their 250+k houses stinking of smoke. Today's lesson was that Rowntree Park is lovely, even on a second visit, but the b-ball courts are always occupied by fully-formed adults keen to impress very small children. Summer has arrived! This is perfectly illustrated by M's bright red clown-like sunburnt nose. My, how I laughed as M explained that this is an unusual phenomenon for one so dark skinned.

posted by dave - 6:37 pm

Saturday, May 15, 2004
This evening's lessons were that plays about cellists starring ex-Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?' actors don't really work and that the Museums Gardens in York are a really nice place to stroll with a good lookin' female playwright on a hot 'n' sticky summer night.

posted by dave - 10:45 pm

Friday, May 14, 2004
How is it that Humberside Police can lose a whole array of life-saving files on Ian Huntley but can never misplace a parking fine? Where's ineptness and stupidity when you need it? There goes another 30 quid.

posted by dave - 11:54 am

Thursday, May 13, 2004
We've got a date for the performance of our plays. Tuesday, May 22, Hull Truck. Be there. And also be there on Friday, May 25 for The Worst Seat in the House. The publicity wheels are about to be rolled into motion - I'm writing a firing line piece for Artscene to start with about how critics are thwarted playwrights. Jeez, I hope I can prove that one wrong! It's at this time every week that I wonder what the hell I'm going to fill my column for Saturday's paper with. Being allowed to write about anything can sometimes be the hardest brief. Pondering on doing something about console action/virtual realities.

My preparations for heading to Kos have so far been few. Managed to buy three books to take yesterday (and a box set of Citizen Smith series one and two, which won't be joining us) and have got a few bits and pieces of research about theatre criticism upon which The Worst Seat in the House will be loosely pinned. That's it. I do hope the shorts fit. Think there'll be some crazy T-shirt purchasing next week amid the other headless chicken action. Really, really ready for some sun and fun.

Some bloggers across the Atlantic have been given press accreditation to attend the upcoming Democrat's convention. As a geezer who earns a living working as a journalist, something tells me I should be opposed to this. But, hey, what a brave new world we're living in. Let's get some bloggers down to the next Labour party shindig and see if we can talk some socialist, anti-war, let's distance ourselves from US politics-sense into them.

posted by dave - 11:06 am

Wednesday, May 12, 2004
I've noticed that if a blog entry includes a comment such as Jordan's extremely large breasts the hit count increases. There'll be more of this tomorrow. Someone found the blog searching for info on Toyota Yaris clutch problems, which makes me want to scream BMW, Volvo, Ford, Vauxhall, Mitsubishi, Renault, Audi, Citroen, Daewoo, Ferrari, Fiat, Hyundai, Honda, Lexus, Nissan, Porsche, Saab, lip smackin', thirst quenching, ace tasting Suzuki...

posted by dave - 3:41 pm

Tickets for Cher: The Farewell Tour arrived today courtesy of my new friends at the MBC PR company. Oh, the joys of arranging free things, although I will be writing a review of the gig so the tix aren't strictly free. I'm no great fan of the woman but I am certain that she'll put on a damn good show. M is very excited. A glance at the seating plan revealed that we will have a good view of all that happens. I have seven days to brush up on my campness and buy a sparkly shirt. I shall go to the ball. Too many italics?

Mothers are something else, eh? My mum tells me that she's off to get some test results re her health from the doctor. She's a trooper, she's got through breast cancer and has to live with arthritis, angina and diabetes. Told that my presence wasn't needed I asked her to phone me as soon as she got out. Hours went by and, the more the clock ticked, the more I panicked. Finally caved in and had to ring her. "Oh, hello. It was fine. Just been too busy to call you." Active old people! Grrrrr! They're upping her diabetes-related medication, which is bad enough in itself but not that bad in the grand scheme of things.

posted by dave - 3:28 pm

Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Who wrote yesterday's entry? What a horrible man.

posted by dave - 4:20 pm

Monday, May 10, 2004
So, just what qualifies me to be able to criticise the work of other people? What makes me think that I am allowed to comment on a performers ability to play a part? What right do I have to be able to say "actor X is crap", "Y's designs are substandard", "Z's direction is non-existent"? Nothing qualifies me. Nothing gives me the right. But....are nine years in the building trade the perfect grounding for arts journalism? Might be. Does delivering milk provide the critic of the future a necessary working of knowledge of drama? It just might, yes. There are career journalists, there are career critics (Billington, Spencer, Mark bloody Lawson). Then there's me. Lil old me. 13 years of good, honest, working class graft. I'm sure I'm not alone, there'll be others. Others that simply want to tell the truth, that know how it works, that want to understand even more about how it works, that want to really scratch behind the shiny surface and find out what the writer/director and those poncy bleedin' oh-so-sensitive actors actually intended to do. But we're not always allowed the space and time to do that. Oh for a double page spread in the Review or the TLS. But that's not how it works. In the next blog entry, I shall tell you how many actual qualifications I have. Make no mistake, I am fucking brilliant.

posted by dave - 8:08 pm

Sunday, May 9, 2004
Having spent some time pouring over the Euro 2004 fixtures in Sam's new sticker album, have realised that, should England top group C, they will play their quarter final against the table A runners up on the same evening as The Worst Seat in the House (June 25, tickets just £3 - for my show, that is, not the Euro 2004 quarter finals). Bastard. Double bastard is that, if our plays are scheduled in on the night before and England have done me proud by failing to top the group, England could well be playing a quarter final as runners up of group C against the winner of group A. All of which leads me into the nice unpatriotic chant of Come on France! as I sit here with fingers crossed that my play will be performed on Wednesday, June 23. Those that suggest that people that like the arts have no time for football obviously weren't sitting in David Bown's play Stand two Euro championships ago. Ooh, around 75 people turned up and looked lost in a 400 seat audtiorium. Anyway, UEFA have started panicking, as you can read here.

There have been a lot of vicars (or, perhaps, priests, who are not such a different bunch, except they like to be called Father) in York these past two days. There must have either been some kind of religious conference or, if not, a mass exorcism of all those people that organise ghost walks.

posted by dave - 8:17 pm

Saturday, May 8, 2004
Regained possession of my mobile phone. I'm all talk, me. Within seconds I was txting and talking. I can't live without it.

Our quiet British cul-de-sac has been wrecked on more than one occasion by the gang of teens that all seem to live, parentless, in the house opposite. The eldest boy likes nothing better than dragging a hoop into the middle of the street and playing b-ball, rebounding the ball and himself off various cars before slam-dunking NBA-stylee and, generally, making a godawful racket. Not content with the thud-thud-thud-clatter of a b-ball slapping against tarmac, they shipped in two mopeds today, which they promptly revved for several hours. Now, I know this sounds like the complaint of a grumpy old man but...I just don't expect this down an otherwise quiet street in York. This ain't Hull, y'know! It's only a matter of time before I have to vent my spleen on this one and call them all c**ts before ramming their heads up their exhaust pipes.

Repeat play: Public Enemy's Don't Believe The Hype

posted by dave - 11:05 pm

Friday, May 7, 2004
Lost possession of my mobile phone early in this afternoon. I'd just had lunch - a rather splendid Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pud combo in a pub in Walkington - and, waving my goodbyes in the car park to the man who'd paid the bill, who quickly sped off, it suddenly dawned on me that my mobile was in his car. I thought, oh, I'll give him a bell. But then, ho hum, realised his numbers live on the phone that was in the car trundling down the road. So that was that. I felt quite liberated. It took me back to those innocent pre-mobile communication days, when you were free to roam without the fear that, at any minute, some bastard would ring you up and interfere with your plans for the day. I might not bother getting it back. Imagine that. No more txting, no more radiation fears, no more unwelcome contact when you're on the move. It wd b hvn.

Music: The Buzzcock's Everybody's Happy Nowadays. Book: Andrew Loog Oldham's 2Stoned. Cat: Penny. XBox action: Fifa. Island destination: Kos. Sock colour: Black & Blue (not as a homage to a Rolling Stones' album). Cheap beer: Tesco's Biere Blonde. Phone bill: Still unpaid.

posted by dave - 6:42 pm

Thursday, May 6, 2004
The shaky start to proceedings was forgotten when I visited a friend's blog and discovered he has done me the honours of linking from the east to the west. It's made my day as doom and gloom threatened to overshadow my every movement. I have returned the compliment.

posted by dave - 11:27 am

People can't help themselves sometimes, can they? They dig a hole and just keep digging it deeper and deeper. They don't realise what a lucky position they're in. Now I'm wondering if I've been the catalyst to spark a disaster. Just a couple of hours in but, so far, it's been one hell of a day.

posted by dave - 10:18 am

Wednesday, May 5, 2004
Today I saw a different side to my solicitor. For 12 months she has been a clinical, robotic creature. Today, at possibly our last ever encounter, she was a human. She seemed interested in hearing what I had to say. She told me stuff about her life. We laughed. My, how we laughed. I felt quite emotional when she bade me farewell. Doubly so when she informed me that a bill is on its way. I began to think that this chapter of my life would never draw to a close. But it's almost over. I can move on.

posted by dave - 11:59 pm

Tuesday, May 4, 2004
You know what it's like. Deadline looms, you're stressed out, you think you might not make it, you might not bag that interview unless you put in dozens of calls, you might not be able to make sense of the shorthand. And while all that's going on you're also subbing two pages of a newspaper. And then IT turn up and decide it's a good time to clamber on your desk and replace everyone's computers. Strange, strange people, although I'm rather happy to now have a keyboard that's not jammed up with toast and remnants of sausage and tomato sandwiches.

Home IT update: One million computer users were hit by the Sasser virus at the weekend. And don't I bloody know it. I was one of 'em.

posted by dave - 3:45 pm

Monday, May 3, 2004
Somehow, while trying to avoid all that nasty bank holiday Monday traffic and via an aborted trip to the expensive ruins of Kirkham Abbey (£2.50 admission to see some barely remaining heritage!) we strayed on to the North Yorkshire Moors, where the sheep and the heather roam free and people driving 4x4s refuse to give an inch on the narrow tarmaccadam excuse for a road. For a while we were the Brontes, albeit Brontes travelling in a Toyota Yaris that struggled to clamber up steep gradients. Then, when we had had our fill of our inspiring surroundings, we ended up in Whitby where we mocked the Geordies queueing up for a piece of the fish and chip action in the Magpie Fish Restaurant as we wandered past them with our bags of greasy chips. The British seaside, I declared, is past its sell-by date and the coast should be closed down. M, disagreeing, indulged in her working-class passion for the 'grab' machines but failed to snare herself a stuffed Looney Tunes toy before we mixed it with the angry drivers on the A64 for two hours. Highlight of the trip was M's communication with the aforementioned wild roamin' sheep. She 'clacked' her tongue as you would to a cat and the sheep baaaaaahed back. A miracle.

And now, here I am, dreading work, dreading another week, dreading a trip to Scarborough to see a new Alan Ayckbourn play (dreading filing the review overnight when I'll really want to clamber into bed, more than anything), dreading another wasted writer's group meeting where nothing is decided, dreading...oh, just everything.

posted by dave - 9:24 pm

Sunday, May 2, 2004
We wandered down by the River Ouse today, near Fulford, where a lucky few boho types live on houseboats. Once again we appreciated and felt humbled by our lovely York surroundings as we dribbled ice cream down ourselves (but, sadly, not each other, as York-folk don't react favourably to such gastro-inspired public displays of affection) in the glorious hot sunshine. Today we discovered that gardening, from which we were taking a well-deserved break, sucks! Which was slightly less of a shock than yesterday's discovery in the garden; a fully-formed, all-quacking duck. Unfortunately, it found a friend and waddled off before we could welcome it into the fold, where a playful cat would have ridden it around the house.

Preparations for The Worst Seat in the House are picking up pace. I have purchased a swanky pair of shoes fit for a public performance. Now all I need to do is work out what I'll be jabbering on about for an hour and, hey presto, I'll have a theatrical-themed hit on my hands. Yes, it really is this easy. I can't actually wait to stand up there and, just thinking about it, I can already feel the adrenaline starting to pump. Am finding Andrew Loog Oldham's biography Stoned very inspiring and wish to replicate his swagger in all my future dealings en route to the success I undeniably deserve.

posted by dave - 7:26 pm

Saturday, May 1, 2004
I am now confident that I will get The Worst Seat in the House written in advance of the night before my appearance on the stage at Hull Truck. I am off to the spiritual home of theatre, Greece, to write it, where I will be inspired by ampitheatres, kebabs, Mythos beer and, hopefully, not too many Brits on the piss.

Special delivery: A review copy of The Day Today on DVD. Wey hey!

posted by dave - 12:07 pm