Friday, 27 February 2009


I've been bedridden since yesterday morning after inexplicably contracting some manner of fatal disease (and it really is inexplicable; I was feeling fine on Wednesday night and looking forward to a four-day weekend on account of lecture cancellation only to wake up on Thursday feeling like death).

Nonetheless, I wrapped up warm and, hacking and wheezing all the way, dragged myself out to The Criterion last night to see The 39 Steps, which I'd failed to see when it was at Richmond. The Criterion's a favourite venue of mine- mostly underground with headache-inducing twisty corridors that lead nowhere, I hadn't been there since seeing the Reduced Shakespeare Company years ago. I love the prestigious positioning of a theatre (you step out faced with the neon of Picadilly Circus) juxtaposed with the fact that you sometimes have to strain to hear the dialogue over the rumbling of a passing Tube (reminding me of the good old days at The Camden People's Theatre), a grungy, intimate little venue right in the heart of London that's ornately Victorian and almost a fringe comedy venue.

The show was similarly confused, although not as pleasingly. It was very funny, but seemed preoccupied by the style, so most of the time the joke is that there are only four people, which you've accepted after the first ten minutes. Much like Spamalot I had a nagging feeling throughout that something was wrong, and I'm left wondering *why* I wasn't that keen. Which I can hardly put in an essay. Ah well.

Thursday, 26 February 2009


Every single pancake day, WITHOUT fail, I declare to family, friends and the people around me that "It's pancake day, yes it's pancake day, yes it's p-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-pancake day."

The reason I do this is because of Maid Marian and her Merry Men, one of the greatest children's TV series of all time.

The sad thing is, it dawned on me yesterday that Maid Marian was first shown (and watched by me) in 1989, which means that I've now been singing that song once a year for twenty years. I'm incredibly old.

It's also monstrously sad that whenever I enthusiastically show under-privileged chums who never watched Maid Marian the DVDs of the series, they screw up their faces and refuse to get it.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Where do we go from here?

Ages ago, some bloke posted a video of his two sons on Youtube. A baby bites his older brother's finger. For some reason, something like a hundred million people watch this video worldwide. The bemused family are here interviewed by Richard and Judy.

This isn't so much 'car crash' television as it is a car smashing into the side of a moving train which careens over a runway in the path of a plane full of dying children on holiday which crashes into a bank containing an entire country's gold reserves and which was, on that day, the site of a major peace talk between two nuclear superpower governments on the brink of war. And a kitten sanctuary.

Watch the mother's obviously very impressed face after watching videos of morons on the Internet recreating the 'famous' scene, before Richard shoves his finger in Judy's mouth and rolls about on a sofa.

"Where do we go from here?" he asks, afterwards. To ponder that question is enough to send me strolling into the garage with a length of rubber hose.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Merry Christmas, everyone!

I've had a tremendous weekend, much of it spent with Joe and Mark, which is why it seems somehow appropriate that today feels like a post-apocalyptic world of survival horror. Everywhere is silent and everyone has disappeared. Very exciting and cold.