Thanks for indulging me over a weekend of very shabby blogging. The combined pressures of getting-ready-for-Edinburgh, getting-ready-to-have-a-new-kitchen-put-in, having-an-ill-baby and so on have compromised the blog almost to breaking point. But not quite. Still, it’s been harrowing stuff. I’m in the process of putting a ‘safety officer’ in place so that, as well as all the other precautions, I have someone to turn to in the event of future emergencies. Let’s hope, though, that once I get up to Scotland (tomorrow), things will settle down.
Following on from Rick Procter’s enigmatic Comment yesterday, I would just like to say that if you REALLY want to hear someone say ‘frisbee’ the way it’s meant to be said, check out the Super Furry Animals song of that title from their wondrous first album, ‘Fuzzy Logic’. It was Gruff, the lead singer of SFA, who provided the main inspiration for the peculiar hilly Welsh accent that propped up my early career.
Nuala, quite reasonably, asked why I don’t write the blog first thing, giving myself a margin for error. The answer is that most days, ‘first thing’ doesn’t exist, once you have a baby. He starts to wake up around 6am and then I bundle him into his pram and take him out for a walk at 7. On occasion, I’m up even before these frightful hours, and then I do sometimes get something posted. But normally, the blog fits into the space at the end of the day – a space which unfortunately often shrinks to virtually nothing.
I’ll tell you about the thing I was recording yesterday in the back of the cab. Basically, remember at the Edinburgh Fringe last year I did that thing called The Hotel. The people behind that odd venture (The Invisible Dot) are this year mounting another bonkers and clever endeavour during the festival. They have bought several phone boxes from a bloke in Essex. As you walk around Edinburgh, you can go into these phone boxes and put money in, like you used to do to make a phone call in the old days, before everyone had a mobile and BT were reduced to doing rather pleasing ads saying things like ‘if you really want to show you care, use a landline, for some reason we haven’t entirely thought of yet!’ When you insert your coin, you’ll listen to a menu of people like Tim Key, DBC Pierre, Stewart Lee, Paul Muldoon – writers, poets and comedians – who have all recorded a story or sketch or poem or something. You choose one and listen to it. For a quid. Then you leave the phone box. It’s brilliant.
So, I’ve done an improvised monologue about a man who’s one of these 999 hoaxers that get off on sending fire-engines on a wild-goose chase. It’s ten minutes long and I had to record it in the back of this cab, saying things like ‘I remember the first time I wasted police time…’ and hoping the cabbie couldn’t hear me through that screen. If you are up in Edinburgh, I recommend finding one of these phone boxes – they’re all quite central – and taking part in this quintessential Fringe idea. Mine probably won’t be one of the better ones, as it was a rush job, but some will be amazing I’m sure.
There are three Amazon reviews of my tiny little novel now. All favourable, not surprisingly as they’re by people like you. Thank you enormously for doing this. As I’ve said before, I don’t have any compunction about trying to ‘fix’ Amazon like this because (a) some people will always write horrible stuff and counterbalance it; (b) I do actually believe the book is quite good, and wouldn’t want it to sink completely without trace. And thanks to everyone who’s bought and/or read the thing so far. I have banged on about it a fair bit, but writing books is so important to me.
Now I’d better get on with another one.
This is going to be posted a clear six hours before the deadline. Ace. No tension tonight. I’m going to celebrate by running 10km (I’m doing a half-marathon soon, more of that in the coming days). Next time I address you, my friends, it will be from damp, exciting Edinburgh. Can’t wait.