So it looks like Beth, at 14 (nearly 15) is the youngest regular reader of this blog. At the other end of the scale Suzanne, who ran the public speaking club I was part of at school, easily wins the considerable honour of Senior Watsonian by claiming the impressive age of 70. The race for second oldest is pretty tight, with several people in their fifties. It was interesting to hear from a number of people who never normally comment. I’ve got statistics on the daily readership of the blog and, on average, there are about 25 readers for every one who leaves a comment. Which makes you think. Not sure what it makes you think, but still.
Because of the reassuringly nerdy readership of this site, several people started to think in terms of graphs almost as soon as we began discussing our ages. I think at some point it would be great to compile some official statistics about the readership, but what we really need is a proper, compulsory census, like the one by which Caesar Augustus forced Joseph and Mary to come to Bethelehem. I’m thinking of holding such a census around the 1st anniversary of this blog in February next year. In the meantime, here’s an interesting question (via Carl): are there two people with the same name? Anyone? (Not sure how to discuss this.)
And are there any more mother/son/daughter-type combinations reading? We’ve heard from two already. It’s lovely.
And who’s in the weirdest place, geographically, not mentally? I’ve got stats on ‘hits’ from around the world but it’s more rewarding to actually hear from people. We know Juliet is in Argentina. Anyone beat that? Continue posting your personal trivia, and enquiries, on yesterday’s blog. I guess if I’d known it would end up being a blog we’d go back to, I wouldn’t have called it ‘Breasts!’ quite so readily.
So, before I leave Australia (on Thursday) I’m going to write up my personal successes and failures so far in the TYSIC project, something I’ve been meaning to do for weeks. If you’ve just tuned in, TYSIC is a thing where you take on a challenge – anything about your life you want to improve – and do it for the next ten years, i.e. until 2020. You can find out more at www/markwatsonfans.com/tysic.
Perhaps rashly, today I sent a group email to (I think) everyone who ever signed up for the TYSIC, just to provide some encouragement and to ask for updates on the website. I’m really keen to keep this going as a big project. So, yes, post something on the site. I’ll be doing a roundup in a couple of days.
In other news:
Yet another person, according to Chortle, is mounting a bid for the Longest Show World Record. It’s a bloke called Bob Marley (yes, as in…) and he’s trying to do something like 38 hours to trump a Norwegian who himself broke the record only recently. Quite often, people ask me what I think of this sort of thing, because there was a time when it mostly was just me doing extremely long shows.
What I basically think is that for me, the 24 and 36 hour shows were never about trying to break records; they were about creating a sense of community, and – less wankily – having fun on a grand scale. I wish the best of luck to anyone who sets out to do that. I don’t think you could try to do a marathon stand-up show WITHOUT those aims, because if it’s just one man talking for 3o-odd hours, quite honestly it would be horrible. But yes, I’m all for people attempting these insane running times, if it results in unique entertainment. (By the way, it should go without saying, I don’t lay claim to the idea of doing a 24-hour show. I’m sure loads of people had done it before me. But did they propose marriage at the end? Hmm?)
Lastly – the person who won the right to dictate the subject of a blog said ‘do something about music’ and sometimes other people also ask me for musical recommendations. This suits me nicely because, as you might have gathered, I am a frustrated music reviewer. Not that frustrated, because I prefer my actual life. But I do listen to a lot of music. So I thought I’d begin an occasional feature where I recommend songs for a particular mood. You could download one of them you like the sound of, or all of them, or ignore the recommendations outright, or add your own below. It’s a very relaxed feature.
Since it’s a Monday – though over here, we’re into the early hours of Tuesday – and lots of people on Twitter are complaining of negative Monday thoughts, here is a playlist of Uplifting Monday Songs. I won’t explain what I like about each one. Nor try to offer any logic for the list. They’re all songs that might cheer you up, if you’re in the market for that kind of thing. I call this new feature WatPod. After myself and iPods. You see?
Today’s playlist, then (I’ll be doing this every couple of weeks, on different themes):
Super Furry Animals – Play It Cool
Lambchop – Up With People
Julian Casablancas – 11th Dimension
Ben Folds Five – Uncle Walter
Buzzcocks – I Don’t Mind
Dandy Warhols – Get Off
New Pornographers – Letter From An Occupant
OutKast – Hey Ya!
Sparks – Amateur Hour
and of course Bangles – Manic Monday (where today’s title comes from).
If one or more of those don’t cheer you up, it might be beyond me to help.
I’d better go to bed, I’m on breakfast radio very shortly. In most contexts ‘you’re doing breakfast tomorrow’ has a very positive, bacon-based meaning. In the realm of book-promotion, less so.