14 May 2008
07 May 2008
What do Damien Hirst, legendary cricket umpire Dicky Bird, and poker superstar Dave "The Devilfish" Ulliott have in common?
Answer: they "love their snooker". During the final session of this year's World Championships, the camera picked out the above luminaries, and in those beyond-parody (though Mitchell and Webb have made a very good fist, witness the fact that a spectator was wearing a t-shirt bearing the legend 'Ooh and that's a bad miss') cliche-ridden hushed tones, the commentators informed us, proud as Punch, that the famous umpire/artist/poker player "loves his snooker". Moments later a streaker, er, streaked on to the stage, divesting himself of black tie and dinner dress before dancing around the table bollock naked; I can't begin to do justice to Dennis Taylor's panicked demeanour, resolving to stoicism, as the director cut to him in the commentary box to spare us the delicate pink in the middle.
I shall so miss the whole Crucible thing when the Championships decamp, as they surely will in time, to China. It'll be on the box still, obviously, but will it be so unselfconsciously, gloriously eccentric?
02 May 2008
In memoriam, here are some notes I took, towards some scenes for something I'm not now going to write, having since taken rather a different tack (all that looking out the window you see). But I like the list as a thing in itself (and some of the ideas persist).
James Joyce introduces
Crusoe and Moll
A Garden in Newington
The Queen Goes To The Toilet And Washes Her Hands
The Pillory (Dead Kittens)
Anyone in from Colchester?
A Tempest Off Great Yarmouth
Mary Goes To Nottingham
Bricks and Fire
Sophia and the Lip Reader
The Invention of the Guillotine
Robinson and the Moor
Also in memoriam, eighteen years ago today I took the bus up to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, to be told that the results of my scan were very encouraging and that by the end of my course of chemotherapy I should certainly expect to be free of the disease. Hodgkin's, that is. I remember the feeling very well, as I left the building and looked up at the blue spring sky.