Yes I know talking about the weather again, again. The water companies seem strangely quiet, not a peep out of them about water shortages and hosepipe bans, give them time I suppose. Flaming June? I don’t think so, except for the small flurry of sun last weekend, which wasn’t that hot, and the bank holiday weekend when it wasn’t bad either. Being a 6 Saturdays and a Sunday man, it doesn’t bother me over much, but it would still be nice to get some rays on one or two days.
I’ve started to carry on with my proposed novel (see A Budding Author? 2 December 2012), and have found it remarkably easy to write more and more. I’ve only written 5000 words, and the target is 50-60,000 so I’ve a way to go. It’s a wonderfully cathartic experience, and although I have written a lot in this blog (30,000 or so words), most of that is about my own experience or thoughts so it is a lot easier than trying to conjure up a plot, although I think I’m managing it. I’ve read about many authors methods of writing, and the one thing that sticks out is the discipline of regular work, which is where this blog comes in, although it’s self imposed, and is not too regular. I’ll give you updates from time to time. Talking of updates, I spoke to someone I joined up with for the first time in 45 years the other day. Speculation had been rife for many years that he had died in a car accident but like Oscar Wilde, ‘rumours of his death were exaggerated’. He contacted me via email after seeing this blog on the internet, even though he has lived abroad for over 30 years. Via an exchange of emails I found he was visiting the UK for a week or so, so we arranged a phone call, and chatted for over an hour about life in the ‘brats’ (RAF Apprentices) at RAF Halton, what each of had been doing over the last 40+ years etc. He thought I sounded exactly the same as when I was a teenager, I hope not though; perhaps I was squeaky voiced then. After an pleasant exchange we agreed to keep in touch and would get together the next time he is in UK. I felt really good after the call, even though I had to tell him about the passing away of two of our friends from those far off days; one in 2000 and the other three years ago. Those were two out the four he definitely remembers, so it’s sad that he never got to meet them again. Such is the way of the world sometimes, when time passes too quickly and we miss people we should have spoken to, and wanted to but let it slide. Maudlin bit over, back to reality….
Loads of trouble abroad again, Turkey, Syria etc. Funny thing, we went to Egypt just after the uprising there, we were in Turkey the other week, we’re going to Australia later, wonder what will happen there? Have you seen the programme presented by Simon Reeve about Australia on BBC2? He took a completely different view of it, and made it very interesting, not your usual travelogue. He basically travelled around the coast from Adelaide round to Perth, then Darwin, down the Gold Coast to Sydney and Melbourne. If you can get it on catch up, it’s well worth a look. Not that I like talking about tele on this blog, I don’t actually watch a lot of it, and the news is especially badly presented I feel, with the BBC being the most biased. I’m told Sky news is less biased but since it’s owned by Murdoch, I doubt that. When you think about TV companies (and Corporations) they wield an enormous influence on us all. They can spout the most amazing crap and it will be believed by any mouth -breather who watches it. In their own way, they can influence and bring down governments, suggest legislation; have you noticed the way, especially the BBC, frame questions? There is always an element of ‘well we know best, but you can’t answer the right way because we’re omnipotent and you are useless’ type of attitude. The trouble with a lot of journos is that they can cure all the worlds wrongs by stating the bleeding obvious, but are not prepared to put their money where there mouth is and stand for parliament or elected office. Well, some are but most are quite happy to adopt this ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude which means they know, to nearly quote a famous line, The Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing from The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde. A bit like Sale of the Century where that old trouper Nicholas Parsons (still to be heard on the goddam awful Wonga.com adverts) invited contestants to guess the price of a household good of some sort, culminating in a huge prize consisting of a car and caravan or a motorhome etc. Yes it was mind-blowingly simple, and yet addictive. Old Nick is 90 in October and still does Just a Minute, a more cerebral programme on Radio 4, but very funny just the same. Years ago, it starred Clement Freud and Peter Jones, but now includes people like Ross Noble, Graham Norton and Paul Merton. It’s been going since 1967 and Parsons has been it’s host since it started. That’s some record. Some of my other favourite radio programmes were I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue and I’m Sorry I’ll read That again. These are the natural successors to the Goon Show although that was completely anarchic, whereas the aforementioned are panel shows, the former presented by the late Humphrey Littleton for years, and included the unfathomable ‘Mornington Crescent’ game which even now I don’t understand. This is the BBC at it’s best, and in fact BBC radio in my opinion is the best in the country, offering a total mix of genre, music types and the best of the spoken word anywhere in the world. It’s a pity the television people can’t take a leaf out of their book. Give Radio 4 a go, only the comedy and factual programmes, the news is as biased as it is on the TV.
Well, it’s my eldest daughters birthday in a couple of weeks, and she wants to take us to the Wimbledon tennis. We are going to queue early in the morning to get into the grounds and see how we get on. None of us have done it before, so it’s another new experience. I’m not an avid tennis fan, but it’ll be good to see the inside of the place, having only seen it on TV. I’ll let you know what the experience was like. ‘Til then.