Wednesday, 29 February 2012


I attended the YouGovStone talk on how and if the American elections will have an impact on the UK. Very interesting it was, and the speakers were excellent, each giving an insight into the American political psych. In short, it won't have much. And further more our special relationship isn't very special and will be even less so now we plan to reduce our defence budget. Obama mentioned 85 other countries in his first six months of presidency (according to the research), mentioning China the most, then India,then a host of other countries leaving UK with only 8 mentions, marginally higher than Kenya. The States look East and South these days, and they are not looking at us. There were many astute insights, but the quote of the evening must be 'you don't have to be human to make a good president." Actually, I think if you weren't human, dependent on what you were, it could actually be an advantage. Aliens (not illegal aliens) would suffer no emotional backlash, guilt, guile, feelings of remorse for any political mistake. There would be no signs or need for emotional depth or intelligence. Thinking about it, I sense we have had a few non human prime ministers this side of the pond as well.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Friday, 17 February 2012


Interesting day yesterday. A roller coaster in a day rather than a year it's turning out to be. I went for a check up to see if the years of blasting my skin to bits in my travels has done me permanent damage. I have a few moles and lots of maturity spots as they call them, but nothing to worry about. But Dr Neil Walker took a look at two marks which I had thought nothing of. "You have skin cancer. these should be treated asap." So I'm having them treated asap and going to write about it. Pale and interesting will be my look from now on. I don't like spray tans. I'm sure they will find out that they at some stage cause cancers too.

To pale and interesting, I took part in the Literary Death Match at Shoreditch House last night. It was packed with the coolest twenty somethings I have seen and I am sure there were thirty somethings and forty somethings but they looked and dressed (and got away with dressing like) twenty somethings. Skinny jeans, VERY skinny people, cravats, hats all over the place, exqusitely underdressed and probably a lot of APP millionaires amongst them. They were a wonderful audience. I was up against three other authors, who were all much more literary and funny than I, but I did my best. I read from the Control Freak Chronicles about a TV development meeting which I now realise is much more true to life than I had thought, although I wrote it as a satire, it seems it's not. Thought I had enough time to recite poem on a midlife crisis (one thing this audience I doubt will ever have) and ran out of time, got knocked by something pink and soft in the head (a ball) and quickly finished off last lines. I got through the first round, so in the second I was up against a great author and journalist Lloyd Shepherd. We did a test, he won, and I came second but he got the medal. IT WAS BRILLIANT!!!!!

Sunday, 12 February 2012


Oh and any one who wants to know or pelt eggs, I am at the Shoreditch House on Thursday taking part in the Literary Death match against three very prestigious authors. If I don't break something on the ski slopes that is. I've got to read from one of the books for under seven minutes so might do something from The Control Freak Chronicles or the latest novel. For those who are members, please come a long (starts 7pm) and those who aren't, join. I know it's on the edge of the City but it's still quite edgy.


All thoughts of Sainsbury's completely messing up my order have long gone. It's not the fact they messed it up that annoyed me, it's the fact that I got annoyed that they messed up. Life is bigger than that. One should never worry about the petty things in life, only worry about when you start to worry about them. I can talk with such clear philosophy, such benevolence, as I'm in the tiny Italian resort of Gressoney, Italy, about 2 1/2 hours from Milan. it's already been an eventful trip (as I will tell those I write for).

Heathrow Terminal Four is rubbish. Not as bad as Luton but really quite rubbish. If there were such a thing as airport rage, it would start here. Or perhaps at that stage I was still in Sainsburys mode. I think the people who work for Sainsbury's online help desk also work for Costa and WH Smith at Heathrow Terminal Four. They should have a death match. The queues I kid you not were 200 strong in WH Smith and all I wanted was a stamp and by the time I got there I had two shampoo and conditioner miniatures, tissues (have stinking cold) and forgot to ask for the stamp. Costa had 85 (Tom counted) but at least they served quicker and the smile was apologetic when they finally served.

And then I arrived at Milan, where Lawrence Delalio was sitting, looking disgruntled as he had been (allegedly) bumped off his flight and thanks to contacts had got a flight to Milan and then was due to fly to Rome to see the game (Italy played well I am told and should have won. Surprisingly the Brits here told me that as well as the Italians), Any way, arrived, expected that dreadful long queue for ski boots, skis, helmet. and dragging the ruddy things for miles to and from the hotel and then to the bus. No queues. No queues for food (all of which is wonderful at the Hotel DuFour (three stars but deserves two more), and thanks to stinking cold spent first day nordic walking (aka walking through deep snow along idyllic valley), past little churches, wonderful bakery owned by Camillo who is like an Italan Yves Montand but he can cook, who gave me a taste of his wares and very nice they are too....

More tomorrow.