Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A little bit of politics...

Slashdot have highlighted this news item which beggars belief.

In many ways the Chinese government banning reincarnation is a logical progression of their approach to human rights but it still managed to surprise me.

For further information about China's treatment of Tibet and rights issues in general click here.

Normal service will now be resumed...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Not known at this address...

The relocation fiasco continues apace. The Postie delivered the contract for the new house in Worcester on Friday - great news. Just a few hours later we were informed that the whole thing was off as the current tenant's aren't inclined to move out just yet. They're in the process of buying a house and there has been a delay.

As a result despite the landlady wanting us in, us wanting to move in and the contract being in front of me right fricking now we are unable to proceed. It's been a bit of a nightmare finding a house to move into in Worcester and now this one has fallen through.

This is bone.

Regardless of this bad news my wife and I are spending the bank holiday weekend packing up all of our belongings ready for a brief stay with the in-laws. Emma has now finished her work and will at least be free to house hunt from Sedgley.

Perhaps it will turn out for the best. Parking would have a nightmare and my Mum says everything happens for a reason.


Two weeks into the new job and it's going well. I'm in Solihull now where the office is based and though we've yet to 'go live' I feel very good about the change of career. Everyone in the office is very friendly and there are certainly worse places than Solihull to work (yes, I am looking at you Cwmbran).

I think I experienced my first ever 'Friday feeling' driving back to Cardiff the other night.


Not as many blog entries as I might have hoped recently but internet access hasn't always been readily available and dealing with moving house and changing career has tied me up quite a lot. Writing wise I've not found a lot of time to work but am confident that my Red Planet entry will go in on time. I wish I'd been able to concentrate on it more as I believe it's a brilliant competition and a fantastic opportunity but at least I'll have a ready made excuse for not being the winner (if indeed I am not)!


Some months ago I sent Rik's Records, my sitcom pilot, to the Scottish company The Comedy Unit (responsible for Still Game, Rab C Nesbitt & Chewin' The Fat amongst many other successful shows). I had encouraging feedback from the BBC about the script last year and sent it out again to garner further opinions as much as anything else.

Whilst I was in London I had word back from the nice folk in Scotland and was pleased to see that it pretty much chimed with what Writersroom had said. They thought the script 'started extremely well' but in the final analysis it wasn't really for them. Fair enough and still one to put on the Encouraging Feedback pile! At least no one has told me I have to stop writing RIGHT NOW, yet.

Although it's been a disappointing year on the writing front, having completed only one draft script in the year since I heard back from Writersroom, so much work has been done in changing my lifestyle and work patterns that I hope for greater success when we are settled in our new home.


Whilst in London I was lucky enough to have the opportunity for a quick pint with a selection of writers thanks to a certain Mr Anopp. Although I only made it for the last twenty minutes or so due to my hopeless orienteering skills it was really motivating to talk to writers about writing and has encouraged me to make more use of future opportunities.

It may not surprise those who know me to hear that meeting a group of writers and presenting myself as a writer left me feeling like I might be exposed as 'not proper' at any moment. Instead I had a very good chat about Red Planet, John Wyndham and, strangely, tills and left feeling buoyed by the experience. I also got to meet the slightly terrifying Piers Beckley, whose blog is a wealth of tips and info for writers. Thanks again Jason, next time it's my round.


I would love to witter on all night but I've got to go and wrap an awful lot of five-inch Doctor Who figures in newspaper (after sealing their little sonic screwdrivers and so on into an envelope, of course) so it's good night from me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Room 133

Quick update as I'm wantonly hemorrhaging money via BTOpenworld's Wireless Broadband scheme (which apparently offer "great flexibility with low-cost vouchers" - unfortunately I could only find the £6 an hour ones!).

The week is going well. Yesterday was a bit hectic and got off to a bad start thanks to my nervous energy. Today the new job was starting to make some sense and I feel less like I'm about to be rumbled and led back to my old job due to some administration error.

The hotel is very pucker. Just enjoyed Mushroom Risotto for dinner - followed up by two for £2 cookies from M&S (Stem Ginger and Fruity Flapjack fact fans). Had a Mushroom & Cheese burger at The Marlborough Head last night - top pub incidentally - so stopped at the hotel this evening.

Absolutely no writey work done so far. My brain is absorbing so much new information it's busting at it's seems by the time evening comes. This is becoming a source of stress in itself.

Meeting with friends for a drink in Soho tomorrow night so that should offer an opportunity to recharge and let my hair down a little. Despite missing Emma terribly it is nice to be in London, even for dull work type reasons.

Right, must dash - I think I hear BT emptying my wallet out of the window.

Friday, August 10, 2007

end of.

Tomorrow is my last day in my current job. It's also my last day in the busy high street entertainment retail game. In fact, it's also my last day of serving the public, handling cash and (hopefully) unpaid overtime. It's a really strange feeling but also one of those occasions when you suspect you should be more affected than you are by what's happening to you. Or is that just me and my slightly muffled, anaesthetised approach to life-living?

Anyway, next week I'm 'training' in London (by which I mean realising I actually know nothing about computers, probably). A massive opportunity to put some hours in on any of the legion writing projects I should currently be working on. I should also be able to blog regularly as we live in the future so I'll likely be able to connect to the inertweb via wifi magik.

On the other hand if you hear nothing from me it's because the bit of London I'm staying in (Soho-ish) isn't in the future after all.


Got back into listening to Big Finish since I've been driving to work and back. The quality has improved markedly since they started sticking to the 25 minute episode length. I must say how much I enjoyed Exotron; really excellent (and not just because John Duttine's in it). The emotional undercurrent of Paul Sutton's script reminded me strongly why the new TV series is so successful. Picking up tips like these from the current television production will surely guarantee the continued quality of Big Finish plays.

I've not been bothering with the 'extra features' until today but the radio wouldn't pick up Chris Evans on the way home so I enjoyed Nick Briggs audio tour of London instead. Very entertaining. Keep up the good work gang.


Finally, we decided on the house in the city. We've expressed our interest and now have to 'apply'. The property isn't going to be ready for us to move in before our current lease expires so Emma's parents have kindly offered us a roof while we wait to inhabit our new home. It's not ideal, especially with Emma needing to commute to Worcester, but hopefully will all turn out okay just in the nick of time as usually happens. After this year I'll never complain about my luck again (this is blatantly not true).

If you're wondering, apparently the flooding only reached halfway up the street.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

No real than you are...

So there's a house in St Peters and a house in the city. The house in the city is old and charming and full of character but the house in St Peter's has a drive and is good for the M5. The house in the city is literally ten minutes walk from The Swan with Two Nicks but the house in St Peters is cheaper.

Had a fun day really. I drove up to Worcester, then Emma drove us round and back. Had a gander at a couple of areas we've been keeping an eye on, get a lot of 'Community Support Officers' in Warndon, don't they?

It's decision time folks. Just a shame we can't decide.


Giant Lego Man arrives in Zandvoort. Best news story ever? It's definitely in with a shot.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Who's bad?

Things have been a bit hectic in the real life recently and are likely to remain so until the start of next month.

At the moment we're looking for a place to live in Worcester (-on-sea), which is proving trickier than Emma or I had anticipated (and we're not exactly famed for our optimism). Still we're off to view a couple of houses this afternoon so fingers crossed.

I finish my job of eight years this week to move into a totally new area of the company and off of the front lines of entertainment retail. Yes, from next week when people ask what I do I'll be able to tell them I work in IT. This is initially going to involve some stays in London Village which is exciting, though I'm not a big fan of being away from home. In fact much of the next month will involve me rocketing between London, Solihull, Worcester and Cardiff. What a glamorous jet setter, eh? It'll be like The Persuaders. I'll be Danny Wilde.

With less than a week till I start my new role I'm getting a little nervous. In a good way, I guess.


My real-life preoccupations only partway explain why this is the first blog post for three weeks. I've also been having a bit of a crisis of confidence. Everything I've tried to write has felt dull and lifeless, which has further sapped my confidence. Of course, as Daniel Peak (Two Pints of Lager..., My Hero, I'm With Stupid) says, 'Give yourself the freedom to be crap and put some words on the page, even if they don't make sense, even if it's just rubbing your face against the keyboard'. Perhaps that's where I've been going wrong.

At it's conclusion I wrote a review of Jekyll which I though was so boring and listless I hid it again. I'm going to put it back up unaltered because sometimes we don't write well but it doesn't mean we have the luxury of hiding it, or not writing at all.


I know now which script I'm going to enter into the Red Planet Competition. It's not a new one as my new ideas need more development and research than I have time to give them now - but it's still one I like a lot. The new ideas will sit on the back burner growing and demanding more attention. One in particular is a wicked idea for a returning drama that I really believe has potential and deserves to be clearly developed ready for me to brandish in some desperate exec's face at just the right moment to ensure my eternal fame as the new Glen A. Larson or Stephen J. Cannell.


I'll try to post a bit more regularly over the next few weeks and not be such a wet fop about it. As always please drop in and say hello, even if it's just to mock my Jekyll review or tell me to get back to work.