Wednesday, June 27, 2007

In which a cup of tea seems impossibly sophisticated

This morning has been a mixed success, I decided to have a cup of tea, mentally adjusting for camomile because it doesn't require any milk. We have one mug (it has a Springer Spaniel on it and tells you about the breeds history which was a Christmas present from the gun-dog Buster) so that part should be okay and T.P. said she packed a travel kettle so warm water shouldn't be a problem.

Sadly the travel kettle has a plug configuration I don't recognise so I'm not entirely sure where to plug it in. So my breakfast drink options are champagne, rum or gin. Not your classic starters.

If we had any pots or pans we could boil some water in one of those but all we have is a bread making tin so that is going to make things, tricky.

We do have a toaster, but no bread, jam or means of spreading jam.

This flat doesn't feel much like civilisation when you can't have a refreshing cup of Earl Grey and some marmalade on toast.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Today is the big day of the move, I say day optimistically because I don't want to do two days of moving, I hate moving house.

So far I've managed to pack 12 bags of clothes, giant bags and I'm only just starting on other things. It took me only moments to move my things out of the bathroom which I suppose is an indication of how little I really moved into this place. I think because my flatmate has lived here for 10 years he thinks the place is his (it is a very long time to be renting) so I never really shared anything. The only place that was mine was my bedroom and even then he would pop into there on occasion when I wasn't about...

I had a bit of a think as I walked down to the shops to get more moving supplies, it's been an interesting period in this flat. I've learned a lot about real relationships and troubled young ladies, I left my job and found a new one. I even started wearing waistcoats again. I think this flat has been a catalyst, I will miss it but then I can't wait to move into the new place, I just hope there is enough room for all my cravats.

*** Time passes ***

Well I have moved, it was tough but it's over mostly. T.P. is currently taking a bath while we wait for a pizza to turn up, we had to order a pizza because we have no plates, or forks or spoons or anything like that. We do have a few bottles of champagne and four large martini glasses so at least we will be fine on that respect.

The new flat is wonderful, it's on an adorable street in a lovely part of London dappled with trees and interesting looking shops. Just looking around I expect chimney sweeps will burst into song and girls with roses will sing asking if anyone will buy this wonderful morning.

Oh yes it's going to be marvellous.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Flying shoes and relationships

This weekend was a strange limbo, I was supposed to be moving flat but that has been put on hold due to woes with the bank, so many woes.

I cleaned my room, read the serious papers over the weekend (A friend knows someone on them so I'm furiously trying to think of things to write about) and went to see a film with T.P.

Just before the film started I asked T.P. a hypothetical question.

"What would happen, hypthetically speaking if your shoe fell off and flew to the back of the cinema?"

Her expression after I asked this made me laugh more than the film.

It also made me think about what relationships are about, you know really about. People say things like companionship and the such. I think it's about having someone to mildly annoy and buy flowers.

On Sunday evening T.P. wanted to have a go on my laptop but I said she had to sing the Louch National Atheme before she could, she ended up having to sing it three times as she wasn't singing with much conviction the first time and the second time she wasn't standing to attention. Girls eh?

We will fight them in the branches

I've just recruited my forth person to my campaign to get people to leave Lloyds TSB. It's amazing how many customers who bank with Lloyds TSB hate them, everyone has a story to tell about incomepetence or struggling with the sea of call centres when you just want to talk to your bank manager.

The person who has just joined the campaign was talking to someone today asking how long it would take to get some information back. The reply?

'How long is a piece of string?'

How is that helpful to anyone? I wonder if that call will be played back as part of their customer services training?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I hate Lloyds TSB

I hate banks, my bank has had massive negative effect on my life for the second time in 12 months. Which bank may you ask? Lloyds TSB. I'm going to mention that a few times so that if anyone searches for 'Are Lloyds TSB a good bank?' They will come to this blog and find out that they are not, Lloyds TSB are terrible.

Today involved missing faxes (sending a fax from a faceless call centre to one of their own branches was beyond them), delays which included treating me like an fool ('Well we don't have a fax, are you sure the were sending it here?') and just being bad. Their tomfoolery today may cause me to miss out on a flat I want to rent, making me homeless, thanks Lloyds TSB.

The incident before involved a missing credit card which they were unable to 'find' for 28 days, nearly stopping me going on a trip to raise money for charity. I spent a total of 2 days in one branch trying to track down that card.

Lloyds TSB branches are extremely ugly too, instead of having a 'help desk' Lloyds TSB have a sort of space where you are supposed to hang around vaguely and hope that someone comes to your aid. This someone will probably tell you to queue somewhere else and then after half an hour finally deign to help you. I mean help in the loosest possible sense.

For something that gets so much money out of me they have a remarkably poor level of customer service. A club which I am member of gets far, far less money per year and I'm greeted by my name when I call and they remember exactly what I like, plus they don't treat me like I'm trying to eat the desk pens while making hooting noises.

So here it is Lloyds TSB, the gauntlet has been thrown down. I'm leaving you as soon as I can (which sadly may take a couple of months while I shift things about) but it's not going to stop there. I'm going to speak ill of you Lloyds TSB when-ever the moment comes up. I think if I can make one person leave your horrible company every few months then I've done my part.

Just so you know, the first one is my little brother, I'm going to give him £50 if he switches his savings account to a different bank.

Oh and my girlfriend is changing banks too so that's three people (including me) and I've only just started.

I swear on my very best gloves I'm going to reduce your share price Lloyds TSB.

Don't cross a fop.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I'm waiting for some news, some big news that could be extremely good, extremely good. Waiting is lame.

Actually thinking about it I'm waiting for a few things but this one thing is exciting and I should get an answer today. I'm crossing everything I can for a yes.

One of the less exciting things I'm waiting for is a reference from my bank to get a new flat. I requested it over two weeks ago, at first the sent back a note saying they didn't believe I was me and so I had to go into a branch and re-do my signature so that they would believe I was me again. This is in the hope that some faceless drone in a processing centre somewhere relent and acknowledge that I am me and give me my blooming reference.

I don't like banks, for a start my one has really ugly branches. If I'm going to invest my money with a company I want a bit of old world splendor, a dash of gold leaf and some marble, not green and blue signs and beige carpets.

Would it be too much to ask for a man in a nice hat to open the door? If they are going to make millions from my bank charges I'd like to see a little bit of ostentatious wealth in return.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mime, wine and plagiarism

Last night was very good fun it was an extremely hard music quiz, I was of almost no use to the team until a section on Quincy Jones came up and I trumped home thanks to my extensive knowledge of his involvement in the Italian Job sound track.

We drank a lot of free wine and threw biscuits at the other teams, just like a proper pub quiz.

After the quiz had finished we went to a late-night drinking den in Soho to talk about nonsense. I ended up doing some complicated Mime with an old friend, why is drunken mime so entertaining?

The next morning I opened a fresh copy of a magazine that I have a big piece in (v. good) but also noticed that later in the magazine one of my ideas has been plagiarised by someone else. This is a tricky issue because I like writing for the magazine but I can't have my ideas given out to other people.

Oh and everyone liked the waistcoat, apart from Henry who said I looked like a snooker player on the way to a wedding. Cheers Henry.

Monday, June 18, 2007


I managed to get a new waistcoat this morning, it's a feisty little gold number. It might have a touch of 'wedding usher' about it but I think I can tone that down with the right tie, something subversive with guns on it.

Waistcoats have had a bit of a revival of late, before then there weren't that many inspirational waistcoat wearers apart from Jeremy Fisher and that British Bulldog that you see on stickers. I'm glad that waistcoats are no-longer strictly the preserve of second rate magicians and zany uncles.

A weekend round up.

Quite a lot has happened in the last few days so I've not had time to blog, well I have but I was too hungover to do anything productive.

1) I went for a meeting with someone (in a pub of course) to talk about a photograph, by the time the meeting had ended I had sold some art (don't ask) and accidentally pitched an idea for a T.V. show that Watch With Mothers would hate.

2) I borrowed a friends brolly, it's a proper stout brolly with a point and everything. I'm in love, I carry it everywhere like a Samurai, warm in the knowledge that if I was attacked by ruffians I could have at them with my brolly, it even keeps the rain off.

3) On Saturday T.P's aunt had a birthday party, we arrived separately. Her an hour late so I spent an hour at the birthday party of people I had only met once before, most of whom don't have English as a first language. They were terribly nice and I even made my first joke in Spanish. We stayed till 1am dancing and drinking and yet again I was hung-over the next day.

4) My new job starts today, I've got a desk and everything. I really want a new waistcoat for my first official duties but I don't know if I will have time to find one.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Gordon Ramsey Vs The Buffalo

I heard about Gordon Ramsay's buffalo-herding car crash I lost all respect for him. What kind of man uses a 4x4 to herd animals? Back in my day we never had the luxury

I grew up in a small farm in Devon so our traditional method of rounding up cows was the bleary eyed 3am dash in pyjamas. Cows are escape artists second only to goats; they wait till everyone is fast asleep before crashing through hedges and trumpeting for joy as they dash for freedom or at least someone else’s garden.

There are three stages to a cow hunt, stage one is finding the cows. This is normally fairly easy as they leave a trail like a crashed spaceship through hedges and they fart when they are excited so you can hear them from miles away.

Stage two is to get behind the cows, so you can try and scare them towards the farm. This is probably the bit that Gordon had problems with. Heady with freedom the cows are strutting around like troubadours and so take any attempts to get around them as inspiration for more jumping and hooting.

The third stage is the actual herding; this is the point where you wish you were in a 4x4. Cows are bigger than humans, much bigger, so they really aren’t that scared of slightly unfit 8 year old boys in stripy pyjamas who would much rather be in bed. If you walk towards them they jump about a bit for effect and then charge.

If a cow charges at you the best thing to do is to not be there, the second best is to stand your ground. Cows, unlike Bulls tend to break off the charge at the last minute and pretend they didn’t mean to charge you anyway. If you run away the cows take this as encouragement and chase after you, mooing frantically to get other nearby bovines to join in.

Either way your father will tell you off for not grabbing the cows horns and wrestling it to the ground like a hero from a Greek legend. Farmer’s sons are the lowest of the low on the farm, somewhere under naughty sheepdogs and hens that don’t produce eggs. After all a cow can be worth a lot at market.

We tried rounding up cows on horseback using the overweight carthorses that were in the next field but they had got all excited by hearing how much fun the cows were having so they were impossible to catch. Motorbikes were used next but they ran out of petrol long before the cows had even finished doing their warm up excises.

Eventually we managed to get the cows back in through boredom more than anything else, they haughtily stepped back into the shed as if a early morning run was just part of their routine and the hedge was patched up using part of an old gate and my bicycle.

When ever someone tells me that eating a steak is bad I think back to the shivering 8 year old in his pyjamas chasing after cows, the meat always tastes better after that.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Respect the family

Today I learned an important lesson about the power of bloggers. Ask and you shall get.

I'm only slightly worried that at some point the people on the internet may ask for a favour, I bet they don't ask twice and wear snappy suits. No-one will mess me with now, because if they do I'll set the bloggers on them.

The Beagle and I parted ways today, he got all upset and howled, I told him to sit down and be quiet, he did as I walked off into the sunset. It was a good fairwell.

I had other dogs to train and adventures to have, probably in a 45 minute format with a commercial break.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Affable Nonsense

I need a new job, writing affable nonsense for a few magazines is good but I think it's time to get into newspapers. Not reporting or anything like that, but writing about trousers and beagles. Stick to your strengths, that's what I say.

As far as I can tell you have to become a superhero and then you instantly get a job, failing that I'm not entirely sure. I got work in magazines by getting drunk at the right parties so I could try that again. I've emailed my friends asking them most of whom have replied.

'If I knew I would be doing it'

Oh well, boozing it is.

Why I hate farming

I have been thinking about Farming recently, I grew up on a farm. It was a little one in Devon that was run in an organic way before organics had been discovered. It only had one aged tractor that was addicted to Quick start (Which is like smack for tractors) and most of the work was done with horses.

Ooh, that sounds lovely I bet you are thinking. Well you are wrong, real small-scale organic farming isn't all Mills and Boon covers.

I'm trying to think of the best place to begin, so lets start with the with New Year's Eve. While everyone is nursing a hangover you will have to get up first thing in the morning to chase some cows who have escaped into a neighbour's field. These naughty cows will have been doing it all winter so you will already have had to chase them about while wearing your new pajamas on Christmas day. Cows don't observe religious holidays.

After the cow catching starts to calm down a bit you get into the lambing season. Sheep are crap at giving birth, really crap. Some of the wilder breeds are pretty hardy so you can leave them to it but the normal ones are terrible. This means that 'Spring' (although really winter) is spent surrounded by the smell of afterbirths and the kitchen floor is covered in cardboard boxes full of lambs at various stages of death. You get to nurse them, hand feed them warm milk on your lap and then most of the time they just die for no reason at all. If by a miracle they do survive then you let them outside to join the other sheep and some neighbour's dog will come and savage them in the night.

Late spring is a slightly calm time as most of the things that will die have already gone, ideally in your arms for maximum effect so you are left with fields of moderately healthy animals and at least it is warm. With sheep you have to cut their coats which causes them complete terror and means you have to try not to snip off anything vital while this hot snorting body flails against you as if it's life depends on it. Oh and after you give them a hair cut some of them die because it is too much of a shock for them. Think about that when you next get a bad 'do'.

As summer approaches the hell of hay making draws closer. The weather reports become of vital importance and there is a lot of fretting over the right time to do it. Then you cut the hay, with aged machinery that was last used in the dark ages of course. After the hay has been cut you have to get it to dry out, so it has to be turned twice a day, partly by machine (The old crack-addict tractor mentioned earlier) and then by hand for the bits the machine misses. This is of course done in the blistering heat.

While this is going on if it rains the crop will be ruined, completely ruined. At the first hint of rain the bailing must begin even if the hay isn't completely dry yet. For the bailing you need to get the crop into nice rows for the even more temperamental baler to turn into small scratchy bales full of thistles. This machine some how manages to break down even more than the tractor and occasionally explodes as a bit of baler twine gets caught in something it shouldn't. The first sign of this happening is when it starts to give birth to deformed bales that warp when they hit the ground and then explode in a shower of thistles.

Provided you get through this stage the bales need a bit more drying out and then you need to get them into the barn. The horses trundle around the field as you sling bales onto a trailer (Which is like repeatedly chucking a full suitcase over your shoulder), one person receives the bales and stacks them. Once the trailer is loaded the horses normally try and shake a few bales off and then when they have been replaced you go over to the barn where you load them in. The barn stage is the hardest because you are starting to get tired by now and you are doing this heavy lifting inside surrounded by dust. It's worth mentioning at this point you should be wearing gloves, good strong gloves that cover your arms otherwise your skin will be flayed off after about five minutes of handling bales, sadly this isn't an acceptable excuse to get out of bailing, nothing ever is.

This continues until the bales have gone, if it starts raining it happens faster and with more shuoting, by the end of it you just want to lie down and die. I think only people who have never been bailing day-dream of having a tryst in hay, for anyone who has being around something you hate that much would be a distraction.

The rest of the year is spent repairing fences, and taking very reluctant animals to market. Occasionally you get to sleep for a full night but usually only because the sheep/cows/chickens have all been murdered by something. This something is usually the star of a Disney film so when you tell people you hate foxes they go on about how they are really nice citing the cartoon version of Robin Hood as an example.

And you wonder why I became a fop?

Monday, June 11, 2007

What have I learned?

Well it's my final morning with the beast, so lets have a round up of what I have learned.

1)Beagles are hunting dogs so they shouldn't really live in swish studio apartments, they need places to run around that don't have precious art on the walls. It ran into something worth £80k yesterday while chasing a rubber bone and I aged a year.

2)Walking a dog isn't that relaxing as you have to always keep an eye out for nasty things on the floor for the dog to eat and keep a constant monologue of 'good boy, heel, good boy, sit, good boy'. Even worse you find yourself doing this with friends who don't enjoy being told they are a 'good girl' for stopping at a road even if it is a compliment.

3)Alpha dogs eat food first, go through doors first and just do what ever they like. Being an alpha dog is cool but you always have to watch out for the next dog to see if it is going to challenge you. When pretending to eat dog food you do sometimes accidentally eat some. It doesn't taste nice so don't try it even if it gives you a shiny coat.

4)Owning a dog means you have to think about poo a lot, the poo of something else, your social life will have to work around when the dog needs to do a poo. You will have to learn never to go out with out a plastic bag for poo. For some reason you have to say 'good boy' when it does a poo.

5)Dogs smell, but you quickly stop noticing.

6)Once you get a dog to behave on walks you start spotting other people with naughty dogs who are struggling. You can't help them though, only have a bonding conversation about how their dog was being very good a moment ago but now it is distracted.

7)Everyone in London talks to you if you have a nice looking dog, everyone it can take ages to get anywhere because of this.

Which isn't to say I haven't learned anything useful. I've learnt a lot about subtle power struggles thanks to this dog. I used to work with a chap who would steal my food from the fridge, I never found a way to deal with that but now I think I could counter it.

I've also learned that I'm not ready for a dog, let alone children. Dry clean only clothes and plastic plants are as far as much as I can handle now.

101 Rabbits

In Peru when you click your fingers and other bones it's called releasing rabbits. I don't think rabbits in Peru click. I mention it because the creature and I are starting to work out the final kinks in our relationship.

Yesterday some neighbours came over for the afternoon. It was someone I used to work with and her boyfriend. We ate food, boozed about and it was very nice. The little monster skipped about sniffing all the new people and spent a lot of time trying to steal food from the low table.

hundreds of years of selective breeding to make the beagle a fantastic game hunting animal and it spends most of it's spare time trying to run off with pastries from the coffee table.

This is our final full day together, I'm only going to have one more night with it fighting to get into the bed and barking like loon the moment he sees a dog in the distance. At nights he likes to go on to the balcony and yap at other dogs across London, it's like that bit in the cartoon version of 101 Dalmatians where they send out a message dog to dog that the puppies are missing, but with out the charm.

I really hope I don't miss him when this flat sitting is over. That would be a terrible thing to happen, even worse than his doggy breath.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Alpha dogging

My adventures with the beagle are progressing. We had very long walk today and he was good, very good. He was responding to commands, staying by my side, not being distracted by food on the pavement and it was even a little bit fun.

He still goes bananas if I try to go to bed before bedtime for any reason (I think this is mostly because he isn't allowed on the bed), but on the plus side he does know that barking at me will not get him what he wants and that I am in charge.

There was an ace bit at lunch time where he just tested the water to see if it was possible to steal my lunch, I bared my teeth at him and he immediately slunk off and then rolled on his back to show he wasn't a threat. I've never hit him or anything, this is all from pretending to eat his food and dominating with eye contact.

Sometimes being an Alpha dog is cool, but I'd love to be able to take an afternoon nap every now and then.

Herding Peacocks

Well the visit to my father went okay, he is a bit wobbly but he is having a whale of a time of morphine. While I was there the test results came back (again) and they showed that nothing new was up with his legs. This is good news, as it means the pain is something else less sinister.

My Dad got on with the T.P. very well and she seemed to enjoy herself watching goats and stroking horses.

On the Sunday one of the neighbours pet peacocks decided to come over to say hello, this was fine until it got into the field with the horse and the mule. The Mule, Thelma is rather naughty and was chasing it around the field trying to stamp on it's tail. I had to run into the field to save the peacock at which point Thelma and the big horse, Lisa (who is an Ardenne horse, a large working breed for eating and riding into war) decided to charge me.

I faced down two charging beasts and they swung aside at the last moment, farting loudly to emphasize their rage, it was like something from Dances with Wolves, but with mules and parping noises.

After that I engaged in some high-speed peacock herding as I tried to get the naughty chap to go back home rather than get stomped on by the mule. Peacocks are surprisingly fast when they have their tails down, so I had to weave about to get him to go in the right place while a mule menaced me from behind. After about half an hour of running about the peacock finally jumped over the fence and scampered off home. Only a fop would end up herding a peacock

I'm back in London looking after the naughty dog, who is being quite good and quietly destroying one of his toys and someone else's shoe.

I've also learned that if you eat coleslaw after it's sell-by date it goes fizzy in your mouth and have to fight not to be sick on a beagle.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Boris Johnson!

I went out last night, I had a book launch to go to and I wasn't going to drive till the next day so it seemed like a good idea. Sadly bad news and a free bar are not a terribly good combination.

From what I can remember from last night I made a quip about gym lessons and camel dung to the editor of Timeout, spotted Boris Johnson and shook his hand at the traffic lights, blocked the loo with a newspaper (Who knows why?) and locked T.P. out of the flat for a bit.

I now feel like death warmed up and I'm pondering if I should write the Shadow Minister for Arts an email to apologise for my unruly behaviour.

Either way I've got a five hour drive to Wales to look forward too.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

'I'm on lovely morphine'

I've just heard from my Dad, something is wrong with his legs. Very wrong, he is in constant pain. They were given an X-ray by the NHS but in a typical NHS bungle the tape that the specialist dictated his/her findings onto was broken so the message was impossible to hear.

He said it's not that bad as he is on some lovely morphine but I think I should visit him anyway. Terminal illnesses are like that, it's not like a book where you can see how many pages are remaining and have a guess at how much longer it will last.

He mentioned the phrase amputation as a joke, I think. While I admire the stiff upper lip of that generation I do think that amputation humour should be off limits when talking to children.

Anyway, I've managed to arrange for the devil-dog to be looked after by some other people while I go to Wales for a few days to see him, which goes to prove that every cloud does have a silver lining.

I hate this dog as much as I love the moka pot

The mental war between man and dog hasn't ended yet.

The beast behaves itself in the flat and if I alone take it on a walk but it is still naughty at other times. When I tried to accompany T.P. to the shops this morning it was very, very bad.

First it was pulling on the lead if T. P. got ahead of us, then when T.P. went into the shop to get some things and the creature went bananas. It was barking, jumping about and bucking on the lead. It continued to play up until T.P. was well out of sight and even then it only moved off with great reluctance.

Once T.P. was gone again the thing started to behave itself again, so the battle of wills isn't quite over yet.

Are all city dogs this much trouble? I've looked after dogs before and nothing has been this awful. I wonder if I can get away with putting it in a kennel for the rest of the time it's owners are away or maybe just in a big hole?

I'm not sure what I'm going to do otherwise, is it possible to die from dog sitting?

In more positive news this flat has a moka pot. I used it for the first time today, my word that's some strong coffee, it was like a pure hit of velvety caffeine.

I want to use it again but I'm not sure my heart could take it. Saying that if I did die from a coffee overdose I wouldn't have to see that beastly creature again...

Monday, June 04, 2007

The miracle of television

I don't know if you have seen a program called It's me or the dog; for those who haven't it's a show where a lady with a slightly posh voice and a nice line in more than mildly. S&M clothes goes to houses and sorts out problem dogs.

It's fun to watch as at the start of the show the dogs are awful monsters who think they are in charge of the pack and exhibit very naughty behaviour then over the course of an hour with three advert breaks these dogs are transformed into paragons of canine manners. The methods she uses to do this are all subtle and don't involve any hitting or sticks and I must admit until today if someone had mentioned them in the pub I would have said

"That's a load of bollocks, it's all cut for television that would never work."

And I would have been wrong. I took the thing (it won't get a name-check until it has been good) out when I walked T.P. to work, after about 10 metres he went mental; possibly because he had seen a dog.

'Ha!' I thought it my head 'It's time to use the power of knowledge to tame this foul beast'

So I calmly walked in the opposite direction. This confused the devil-dog, he barked and tugged and fought but I was the Buddha of dog training, my force was absolute and delivered with a small smile. So after quite a bit of fighting it returned to my side. I waited and then we continued on the walk. It started to tug on the lead again so we changed direction. This happened a few more times until the doggy neurons started to connect.

By the time we were half way into the diamond district of London he was walking alongside me next to me and sort of responding to my commands of heel.

It was nothing short of amazing, actually amazing. I wouldn't have believed such a big transformation could have taken place in such a short amount of time.

In the future I'm know to trust television, perhaps I'll take the dog to Albert Square, the pub in that documentary about the East End looks very nice.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

I fought the dog, and the dog won

The house sitting has begun and I've come to realise that the dog I thought was 'charmingly naughty' was actually a little demon sent to cause misery and do large poos in front of the police.

I hate this dog.

It barks if it doesn't get attention, requires three long walks a day and it has decided to be a chastity monitor and so if I even so much as kiss T.P. when it can see it goes bananas and barks.

Walks are a nightmare, this thing is completely untrained so it tries to eat everything it comes across. You can imagine the sorts of things that you encounter in the streets in central London.

Yesterday I tried letting it off the lead in a park, it ran off and with in about 30 seconds it had eaten several hundred pounds of luxury foods from other peoples picnics. It was completely shameless, and I was surprised I didn't get me into a fight.

I really can't see the point in having this dog, there is no unconditional love only a battle of wills and cleaning up of shit.

After three days of this with not enough sleep due to a constant need to be let out to go for a pee I'm a broken man. I had a stress headache yesterday from it all. It's got to change or I'm going to need some start taking sedatives.

Today is the day things change. I've been looking up dog training on the Internet and when I gave it it's breakfast of luxury food in a funny rubber thing I pretended to eat it before I handed it over.

Yeah, I'm totally going to try and establish myself as Alpha dog and when I take it out for the morning walk today I've got special passive-aggressive tactics to use when it pulls on the lead and tries to eat a tramps foot.

In your FACE dog*

*unless this doesn't work, then I'm really in trouble.

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Green room

Last night was very informative, which makes it not sound like fun when it was. I nearly got lost when trying to find the studio but I finally managed to locate it by following the massive queues to be in the audience.

After a few frantic minutes of phone calls I went inside and found a very nice chap with highlights who had a list of special people. We got taken to a holding area with booze and my friend turned up a few minutes later. We ordered a round of drinks seconds before being told we had to go into the studio, so we downed our drinks before we were led through the labyrinth of the television studios past pictures of Fern Britton and Ant and Dec.

When we arrived at the set prime seats had been set aside for us so I was sat in the third row from the front exactly in the middle. So close I could even read the note of instructions the Camera man had on a clipboard.

The warm up guy was good, he got the hang of the audience of Have I Got News For You very quickly and everyone was giggling away while the final preparations were made. This involved people frowning a lot while they whispered at each other.

The guests arrived to a mass applause and took their seats (Paul Merton is much taller than you think) and then the fun began. It was like the show but for every question everyone had far, far more attempts at making an funny answer. I laughed a lot but mostly at bits that probably won't make the final cut - Moira Stewart was being brilliantly rude and sassy.

After the show was over we went up to a wonderful bar on the 14th floor and drank free booze while we mingled and admired the amazing view. My friend and I thanked the person who supplied the tickets and she said it was an open invite we would be welcome anytime. She was also telling her friends a story I had told her sister at New Year's Eve so that was a strange moment.

Anyway after a few drinks we scampered home on the last tube, but not before a very important person asked for my email, I wrote it on a sheet of paper from my notebook.

It was a brilliant evening, I'm not sure I want to work in television anymore, it looks like far too much hard work but I do fancy Moira Stewart.