Thursday 28 October 2010

Great Rhyming Journeys of the World.

Can you a) identify them? (for answers, look at the file name, or simply click to make big enough to read) ; and b) suggest any more? Be warned - I may nick the best ones, and put them on the radio. 

I have actually done of one of these, by the way. The most boring one. 

Monday 25 October 2010

Also, I'd like to build a giant village. On a 10/1 scale.

On a recent trip back to Dorset, I passed in the same day a board advertising the model village in Wimborne, with the slogan 'Not Just a Model Village!' and a banner advertising the model village in Corfe Castle, with the slogan 'More Than Just a Model Village!'

I have a strange compulsion to give up my job and go and set up a model village in, say, Wareham; roughly half way between the two, simply so that I can advertise it with the slogan 'Just a Model Village!'

Thursday 21 October 2010

Hold the snide.

I feel this blog has got a little sneery lately, so here's something I saw in Edinburgh that I really liked. It made me both smile and admire everyone involved - the person who wrote it, and the people who did what they did when they read it. Click for a bigger version, if it's too small to read. 

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Man Irritated By Estate Agent Shock

I'm looking for a flat to rent at the moment. One of my least favourite things to do in the world, because of exchanges like this one:

Me: Thanks, but it's not quite what I'm looking for.
Estate Agent: It's been on the market a while now, I think they'd be prepared to take an offer.
Me: Well I'll think about it and let you know.
Estate Agent: Ok, but places like this tend to get snapped up pretty fast.

...But... you... just said...

I'm resigned to estate agents lying to me, but it would be nice if they at least listened to their own lies. Instead, they're like goldfish who think the conversation only began six seconds ago. Sure enough later on, when I asked him if he had any of such-and-such a type of flat on his books, he said no; and there was no point me waiting for one, because this was the slowest time of the year. Evidently the jostling crowd of eager flat-snapper-uppers had already vanished back into the mists from which he had conjured them.

Monday 18 October 2010

Coming soon: the Rubik's Tesseract.

Meanwhile, exciting news from the twin worlds of toys and theoretical mathematics:

A 4D puzzle! Because after all, 3D is really in right now, and 4D - well, that must be one better! I wonder what the fourth dimension in which this eighteen piece plastic model of a clownfish exists is? Hopefully, the makers mean that they have discovered a method of imbuing this plastic fish with an extra coordinate axis, orthogonal to the other three, allowing it to inhabit a  previously purely abstract geometric reality, all whilst maintaining its famously Highy Detailed Finish. On the other hand I'll be a bit disappointed if it just means that the fish exists in time. Like the Archers.

Friday 15 October 2010

Just wait till he sees the escalator at Angel.

Have just shared a lift at St Pancras station with two teenage boys from Yorkshire, who were apparently scripted for the occasion by Alan Bennett. My favourite exchange was:

First Boy: I tell you what: I've never seen a lift as big as this.

Second Boy: (scornfully) Well you won't have, in Bradford.

Obviously I have no way of knowing their relationship or circumstances, but I dearly hope the first boy left Bradford a couple of years ago, made good, and has now invited the other to visit and be introduced to his glamorous new life of London sophistication and massive lifts.

(Since you ask: It was a fairly big lift. I have, however, seen bigger.)

Thursday 14 October 2010

Still better than the film, though.

Here's an extraordinary thing I drove past in France:

Now then. I suppose you could argue that that's not a specific sinking ship, it's just a generalised, fictional sinking ship; a ship from which all the passengers definitely escaped on the plentiful lifeboats, and actually found the whole experience rather fun and invigorating. But I'm not convinced - the black and white design, the funnels, the rounded stern - I'm pretty sure that what we have here is a jolly inflatable representation of the violent deaths of one and a half thousand people. 

So, if les enfants have been especially good recently, why not treat them to a fun-filled afternoon on a bouncy disaster? Shriek with glee as you slide all the way from the deck to the sea, just like hundreds of passengers who slid to their deaths in the freezing ocean as the ship's stern rose into the air! Children of all ages love it, apart from 53 children in 1912, who didn't love it so much. And don't miss our forth-coming attractions: the Challenger shuttle firework display, and the Twin Towers helter-skelter.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Cabin Presents

Hello. Sorry it went a bit quiet, I've been a little busy. And here's news of one of the things I've been busy with: 

My Radio 4 sitcom Cabin Pressure is having a Christmas special this year; a one-off episode which will go out, we've just been told, at 8:30 on Christmas morning! And then repeated at a more civilised time on December 29th, but I'm very chuffed to get a Christmas Day transmission. It will be recorded at the Drill Hall in London on November 7th, and if you'd like to come, the way to do so is to keep checking here:

...for the (free) tickets to become available, which they will do, I am told, within the next 24 hours. They will then, if past experience is anything to go by, sell out very quickly, which is why I've asked to be allowed to give you advance notice here.

There will also be a third series of Cabin Pressure, though I'm aware that I've been saying this for so long now some people are beginning to disbelieve me. Nonetheless, there will be; it will be recorded early in the new year; and I'll try and give you a similar heads-up when the tickets for it are about to come online.

Oh, and in other cheerful Cabin Pressure news, I'm happy to say we've once again been nominated for a Writers' Guild Award. Hooray!