Thursday, 5 April 2007

Still not dead still, just dead still

Ah, I can sit on proper filled-in seats again, phew. Didn't know you could lose 5lbs in weight in a day, not without chopping a hand off with a guillotine or lathe anyhow.
Suspect it's not sustainable, you'd probably find it hard using the lathe after.

Interesting few days- a weekend in London with good friends Simon and Polly and their perky little son Arlo, scarily bright and almost certainly about to get mobile, talky and probably entertainingly wilful. Fun times ahead!

Polly has known Sylvester McCoy since her childhood (she's known him so long she calls him Kent, from the shortened version of his real name his friends were using back then) and loves David Tennant (though probably not as much as she loves Simon and Arlo) which makes her simultaneously an old Who hand and new fan, so we sat to watch the new series start on Saturday accompanied by a lot gurgles and yelps, and a few noises from Arlo too.

It was an awful lot better than last year's opener and featured great kid hooks (the cataloguing marker pen and blood drinking straw will no doubt enter the playground games repertoire, sharpish) and I really enjoyed it even if I felt the coda did drag a touch.
We also passed the John Baird pub in Muswell Hill (it's on the way to Ally Pally of course), which rather pleasingly trumpets the availability of "live sport" on its "big screen" to passers-by. Baird would be chuffed, I'm sure- looks like it worked.

Monday saw me in Manchester for a quick meet up with the radio drama producer, which I'll need to follow up with some thoughts medium soonish, and a nostalgic delve through a second-hand book sale in the University Student's Union, Beckett, Bennett and Tinniswood bargains were bagged (along with Andrew Collins' Where Did Everything Go Right?).

I like Collins best of all the nostalgists we seem to have in the media these days, he seems genuinely affable, so he's either a consummate writer and broadcaster or actually nice, and he knows his stuff, unlike the very worst writers in the genre who seem to be over-inflated pub bores, joking about our shared past without any real understanding of it, in a way that reveals more about the poverty of their present life than the wealth of our past ones.

No names, no pack-drill but if you've ever tried to be funny about old kids TV, hilariously suggesting the creators were all on drugs and the shows are all just Trojan Horses for adult innuendo, shame on you, If you've ever done it for money take care when crossing the road near me, won't you?

Tuesday, my belly went funny and we went to see the not entirely satisfying The Alchemist (Coelho not Jonson) at the Sheffield Lyceum. It had moments of pure theatre, alongside moments of pure school play- very frustrating, and slightly confused (for me) by a production that coupled live actor-produced sound effects and visuals with lighting effects and recorded music. I wanted all or nothing really. If you're going to make a furnace out of some actors hissing and rumbling and another one miming I feel you shouldn't be shining a red light on the stage too. This is probably just me, but it seems like cheating.

Wednesday was the day of great not muchness bar visits to the bathroom, and today I've actually got a bit of work done.


Oh and as a consequence I think I now might just be writing a book on TV history- thirteen years of my life not wasted shocker!

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