Oct
2014

Away, To Me.

It’s National Poetry Day, for once it’s the actual day for this country so I’m not just using another nation’s day as an excuse. I wasn’t intending to write a poem, but this almost came out spontaneously as a response to an email, so I thought I’d better scrub it, put it here and reply more sensibly. I’m not saying this is the definitive guide to child-rearing, incidentally. Just a facet of how I see it.
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Oct
2011

Unjustified

 

Not pictured: Super-ego

Help me. Help me. Help me.

Justin’s House has started on CBeebies and it is proper mental. First of all, it’s clear that the BBC, quite rightly, view Justin Fletcher as a valuable asset and are prepared to give him whatever he wants. More singing in Something Special? Sure. Sketch show with lotsa cross-dressing opportunities? Tranny it up! We love you, Justin. Something Special showed that clowns don’t have to be creepy (though you’re phoning it in for series seven, a bit), you have a facility for voices and vocal FX which mean you’re a natural for work on the wordless animated masterpieces Shaun the Sheep and Timmy Time, Gigglebiz is properly weird and hilarious, you clearly love the work. What do you want to do?
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Jun
2011

Fathering Sunday

It’s Fathers’ Day. I know this because I got coffee & biscuits in bed, a hand-painted card, a cry of “Happy Daddy Day!” and because the air is suffused with the fragrance of a million fried breakfasts.

Later, Britain’s skies will darken with barbecue smoke.

May
2011

Well, that’s just odd.

Where did the cherries go? I haven’t seen any since. It’s strange that they were in the supermarket one day and one day only, long enough for me to feed them to my daughter.

Who is, I should tell you now, two this month. The end of this month, but still. This month. Two years old.

Better get on with this book then, eh? What a ridiculous amount of time it is taking. It’s all done. The sticking point? The spine. Maybe I should just DO IT and get it over with.

Anyway, gosh. What a long weekend we’ve just had. Royal wedding – don’t get them very often. We watched it… in fact, we watched it twice, the second time with E!’s awesome commentary team of Angela Rippon, Dermot O’Leary, some shiny American woman and someone else. But, yeah, I mean, I would have the royals in a council flat quicker than you can picture it, but I watched the wedding. Of course I did. It’s history, innit? Plus my daughter likes watching soldiers marching.

And if that wasn’t enough, someone only went and killed Osama bin Laden. Killed him! Conspiracy theories are gathering and swirling already, but I really honestly believe that he was killed this weekend. Why not? Odd thing to claim, if he wasn’t. Why not claim it earlier if you’re going to fake it? Why didn’t W do it? No, I think it’s legit, despite the obviously problematic burial at sea.

Well, that’s it. I blogged 9/11, now I’ve blogged the death of its progenitor. Different blog, different host, different blog platform… but still me, still me writing guff on the interspazz.

Apr
2011

A hive of activity

Sorry. Been busy.

Really have, too. Guardian Film Talk have banded and bonded and we’ve made something new, and GOOD, damn it, from the disaster which befell us. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it? I’m impressed, anyway. At the time of writing, my first post on the new blog is ready to go. By the time anyone reads this, it’ll be up. God, I hope it’s ok. But don’t tell me what you think here, tell me over there. We need the readers. We need the love.

Elsewhere in life; usual ups and downs, sickness, tiredness, beautiful baby, it’s all good really. She’ll be two in May. Two! I can hardly believe that. Can you believe that? No, I didn’t think so. But there it is, it’s true. Soon she’ll have her own investment portfolio.

Mar
2011

Juice

I’ve just cut the stones out of a load of cherries, for my daughter.  She’s sitting eating them, her chin stained the same blackish-red as my fingers.  She is chatting away through the cherries, happy, making patterns in the juice on her tray.  I’m wondering if this is one of those memories I’m supposed to keep.  In doing so, I’m writing it down here.

I won’t remember this properly.  I’ll try to recall it – the juice on the knife, the feeling of doing something for her, the unabashed way she attacks the fruit – but I think it’ll just be a film memory, a work of fiction pieced together from real life and a thousand images in the media.

Shame. It was fun. And, in doing this, I’ve made it less fun. Object lesson: Don’t do this.

Jan
2011

Publishing

I’m self-publishing, not because it’s a vanity project but because I want a copy for my daughter and don’t care to hawk it round publishers in the forlorn hope of getting it one day, maybe, printed.

It’s a book of rhymes, called “Eleanor Kisses Crocodiles”.  I wrote the rhymes (with able assistance from my wife, especially on the “snake” page) about my daughter, and my Dad has drawn and painted the accompanying pictures.  I got the cover pic from him today.  It is amazing, it’s just beautiful.  I’m uploading the text as I type this, up to lulu.com, and soon I’ll put together a proper cover, with words and stuff.

I’m actually doing this.  It’s a thing.  It’s going to happen.   I’m going to be published.  YES, BY ME.   I know.  But still.  It’s exciting, however it happens.

Jan
2011

New year

A BIT LATE.

So what’s been happening?  Well, I’ve got older (thirty-four now, slowly-increasing-numbers fans), and for my birthday we went to the ZOO!  Yay!  Okay, it was a bit gloomy and a bit cold and there’s nowhere to eat a picnic when it’s winter, but we saw lions (“rarr! rarr!”) walking around, growling, and tigers (“rarrr! rarrr!”) walking around, growling, and gorillas, climbing (not growling), and bugs (just bugs).

Anything else? Jesus had his birthday, too, which is nice for him.  Didn’t get him a card, but he never gets me one, so fuck him.

Almost finished my book – SOON TO BE AVAILABLE ONLINE.  I’m not actually expecting you to BUY A COPY. No-one should have to BUY A COPY, I’m doing it purely to have something to give to E in the future, to say “Look, this was made for you by Dad and Granddad”.

Oct
2010

Something of the Night Garden

This is an homage to the awesome Lore Sjoberg’s ratings.

Iggle Piggle

I can’t quite feel anything for Iggle Piggle, much.  I don’t dislike him, but I don’t like him either.  He’s a bit of a blank, isn’t he?  Oh, sure, he likes bridges and dislikes mucky patches, but don’t we all?  He likes Upsy-Daisy, but we never get a sense of how that relationship evolved.  Iggle Piggle lacks depth.  He carries that blanket around as a substitute for a personality, but I’m not fooled. Also his song is a bit of a half-arsed riff on the theme tune. C

Upsy-Daisy

I confess, I wasn’t much of a fan of Upsy-Daisy to begin with.  Too much singing and skirt-inflation, not enough… well, anything else.  But a few episodes recently have changed my mind.  She couldn’t decide if she wanted to sing or play with the ball, to ride the Pinky-Ponk or the Ninky-Nonk!  It was a masterful performance, and totally switched me round.  Her song is a pretty solid composition, too, and I frequently find myself singing it to my daughter.  B

The Pontipines/Wottingers

Oh, I really don’t get on with the Pontipines.  They’re kind of difficult.  Wooden, for a start, and so simply animated that it is hard to get any personality from them.  What do we have to go on?  They’re terrible parents and make odd millinery choices.  Mr Pontipine has a large moustache, like a retired colonel, and one can’t help but think the Pontipine children keep running away because he is a terrible authoritarian.  You don’t get that feeling from the Wottingers, who are definitely the happier family.  No moustache clinches it, also Mr Wottinger doesn’t have a hat which looks like a clothes peg.  But you see them about once every fifteen episodes, and those bloody Pontipines turn up all the time C-

The Tombliboos

Now you’re talking.  The Tombliboos live in a hedge, but not in a tramp way.  Their platform-filled, black-as-night house will no doubt be the setting for many a childhood dream, leading some people to wonder if they only dreamed it, did it ever exist?  But, you know, also they lose their trousers.  A lot.  The episode where they kept putting on each other’s trousers, then losing them on the Ninky-Nonk, then having to change behind a rock… I was in tears of laughter.  Genuine comic genius.  Trousers.  And Derek Jacobi’s delivery is perfect – “Tombliboos, are you wearing the right trousers?”  They are also excellent toothbrush advocates/propogandists, with some cracking rhymes (Tombliboos, form a line/Brush your teeth and make them shine)  Okay, not quite a full A because their Pinky-Ponk Juice antics are a bit dull. A-

Makka Pakka

Makka Pakka,
Akka Wakka,
Mikka Makka moo!

Makka Pakka,
Appa yakka,
Ikka akka, ooo

Hum dum,
Agga pang,
Ing, ang, ooo

Makka Pakka,
Akka wakka,
Mikka Makka moo
A+

The Ninky-Nonk/Pinky-Ponk

Clearly, the Ninky-Nonk rules.  The Pinky Ponk is just so slow and ponderous, it takes forever for anything to happen and if the Tombliboos get on they’re just going to arse about with Pinky-Ponk Juice.  I do like the Ponk Alarm, though.  Good to have a safety device that goes parp.  The Ninky-Nonk is anarchic, has a lot of attitude for what is basically a bus shaped like a TARDIS being towed by a banana, and can climb trees.  What’s not to love?  Especially the trippy scale-factors.  Is it knee-high?  Is it truck-sized?  Is it small enough to go along a little branch?  It’s all of this!  Okay, Derek is a bit wary of it (“Oh no!  It’s the Ninky-Nonk!”), but he’s an old man, he’s probably worried about whether it’ll accept his Freedom Pass Oyster. Ninky-Nonk B+/Pinky-Ponk C+