Monday, June 30, 2008

Cage fighting fops

Well, I think I may have just arranged my most dangerous assignment yet. Or at least the first part of the assignment, I've not actually got an editor to say yes but I have secured a place in a cage fight.

Yes, a proper cage fight in a competition. Now I've had a bit of training when it comes to fighting, but not for a while and nothing at this level. I mean really nothing anywhere close to this, so this will be one of the silliest things I've ever taken part in.

So if I do say yes - which is very likely provided I can find somewhere to write about - then I'm going to have to do a training montage and turn a slightly foppish chap with a nice snug waistcoat into a lean, mean, fighting machine.

Sounds like the start of an adventure to me, I do hope the editor I've pitched it to says yes.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Huzzah for Port! The miracle cure that heals all

Yes, after a fairly extensive course of drinking port last night while alternating between shivering and sweating I have been cured entirely, well mostly. I still feel a bit strange but that's probably due to drinking so much port last night. I wonder if they should list that as a side effect on the bottle.

Well since I'm feeling okay it's definitely time to go to a garden party, perhaps two. Now where did I put my pith helmet?

Friday, June 27, 2008

I don't get GQ

A few weeks ago I brought a copy of GQ because of some work things - I'd been asked to think of some feature ideas for a section of a newspaper that wanted to be more GQ. Now I don't often read GQ - but know what GQ is - or at least what it tries to be.

It's a slightly more intelligent men’s magazine, aimed at chaps in their 20s or 30s who earn a pretty good living and care about clothes, watches and the other indulgences while also wanting to know a bit about important global issues.

I don't think anyone at GQ would be insulted by that summary, they might argue a few points here and there, perhaps my age range was out by a few years or perhaps I didn't stress enough how much these chaps earn but I think I'm pretty close to who it is targeted at. Or at least who it is perceived to be targeted at - it is aspirational so, like other magazines, people buy it to feel part of a gang they would like to join.

Aside from the reasonable living part of the summary (which I'm working on) I'm fairly close to that description. So logically GQ should be exactly my sort of magazine, opening it should be like meeting an old friend, or discovering the perfect bar tucked away in my favourite part of town but it's not.

I went through the magazine reading everything, and there was only one tiny feature that even mildly interested me and that was it. It was hard to describe exactly what was so wrong with it, perhaps the writers are just too settled to really understand what it's like being a single chap - men change massively when they have partners, even more so with children.

Or perhaps the writing was just too busy trying to be worthy and important to be interesting. It really just felt like it missed the point, like it was put together by people who had heard of young chaps about town, and maybe met one or two briefly but they had completely missed what it was like to be one.

It's a bit of a shame really, I'm a chap and because I'm not a Zoo or a Nuts reader there isn't a lot for me unless one gets a magazine for specialist subjects so I'm bereft of lightly engaging topical reading.

So when did GQ become so out of touch? Why hasn’t anyone there noticed?

Of course this whole post can be discounted because I'm still suffering from man flu (it's been days now so I suspect it's really the plague) and I've been drinking port for medicinal reasons.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Breakfast wines

I had wine for breakfast today, not because I'm some decadent dandy* who bathes in Champagne and uses silk for loo paper but because I'm ill and I'd completed some tricky work even though I was practically deaths door due to man-flu and the only food I had in the house was a couple of slices of bread, some slightly 'troubled' cheese and half a bottle of terribly good Shiraz.

This morning I had to finish off a feature which I should have completed a while ago, and suddenly it was asked for so I woke up at 7am and wrote it, then I finished off another piece of work all before 9am.

To mark this Herculean effort I made myself some English Rarebit, which according to a telly program I watched last night is cheese on toast where you give the toast a good sploshing of red wine before you put the cheese on. I tried this and it was marvellous, so good I did a little dance.

Sadly after I ate it I realised it was the last bit of food I had in the house so I'm going to have to shuffle down to the shops while unwell. Blast, but if I do make it out I'm morally allowed to buy all sorts of treat foods because I'm not long for this world and I probably should enjoy it while I can.

It's entirely logical if you think about it.

*Although most of the time that is more than enough of a reason.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Strangely familiar

The final restaurant visit was extremely jolly. Through luck more than careful planning I'd managed to save the best place for last. Hurrah. It wasn't all easy though, we managed to order the largest starter the world has ever seen and it would have been more then enough for us. Actually, Piqued (who joined me) has already covered this so just read his account, it was a jolly affair.

The waitress told me I looked familiar, I've had four people do that to me in the last three days. It's very strange. Perhaps my hair has now got long enough that I look faintly reminiscent of David St Hubbins from Spinal Tap or perhaps there was an episode of Crime Watch I missed but recently strangers think I'm familiar and it troubles me.

I'm not sure what one is supposed to say in response to 'you look familiar'. One of the International Party Girls said I looked familiar but after an hour of rum fuelled questioning she was no closer to the reason why. Maybe I should say to these people 'oh yes, you owe me five pounds' and thus I could use this strange effect to pay off various credit card bills and things.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gout and Chips

I've been testing restaurants for days now. The feature I'm working on is focused on a type of food that is extremely fatty and meat focused. I think I ate so many ribs yesterday it gave me nightmares. No really, I had horrible dreams full of meaty products that glistened with menace.

It reminds me faintly of that scene in Matilda where the kid is forced to eat all the chocolate cake as punishment but manages it and wins. Except I'm not winning, instead I'm feeling rather unwell from eating so much BBQ sauce and chips. Still tonight is the last day of it, by sun-down I will have eaten at the last place I need to and I can enter a whole new world of eating habits where a chap can have a light salad for a meal, or possibly something interesting on wholemeal toast.

Still, even with the rather strange diet it is a rather fun job, I wonder how one gets this as a regular gig.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I had bad news on Friday, which is probably why I went to so many parties. Option two of the life changing news finally came back today with a negative. I'm mildly despondent to say the least. Blast, blast and thrice blast.

The view from the people was they liked me but my idea was a bit to strange for them, or at least too strange for them to be able to sell it to other people in the company. Publishing is a funny ol' game. Even if you do have a bit of a following (a faintly ridiculous amount of people read this blog now), a reasonable profile in the papers and fairly comprehensive battle plan of how you would promote a book it just doesn't seem to be enough.

Never mind, I shall allow myself an hour of feeling a little bit glum, while drinking a brandy and then I shall redouble my efforts.

I've to got a restaurant to review tonight, and tomorrow I've got a couple more and then for reasons I don't really understand I'm going to the Danish Embassy. That's bound to cause an adventure.

Weekend adventures, part 2

Having stiffened up my resolve and changed into a fresh set of party togs I skipped up to Earls Court for the rest of the weekend. The theme of the weekend seems to be relative strangers so I'd be going to a birthday party of someone I'd never met with a good friend.

The party was in Oxfordshire so I was bundled into a car (again mostly filled with people I didn't know) and we set off. The drive was good fun - we listened to music and managed to completely avoid getting lost even though the directions were vague (the arrow on the map pointed to nothing).

It was a very well equipped bash, there was a huge tent for everyone to dance inside filled with a plethora of booze, a chequered dance floor and the loudest sound system I've ever encountered outside of a festival. There was a hog roast but I wasn't really in any sort of state to eat that much.

Everyone was in fancy dress, superheros were a fairly popular look but thankfully there was only one of each hero - I was the only super hero without foam in his costume to make him seem more manly. Modern men eh?

The most popular costume, especially for couples was Top Gun, which I've never really considered before but it's a good one. Interestingly the couples were a few variations on Top Gun theme, so it wasn't just the main characters appearing.

I had an excellent time as Spiderman, although I did get caught in the heavy rain at about 2am having a duel with party poppers and got completely soaked. I changed into 'normal' clothes rather than spend the rest of the evening squelching about damply.

Everyone else at the party had done the same thing already so I just got stuck into the serious business of dancing with someone dressed as the lady from The Birds and drinking far too many cocktails.

Some time rather early, I think at about 4am I found myself in a tent and fell asleep to the soft lullaby of pounding dance music. I can sleep almost anywhere, and was exhausted anyway so it didn't bother me but I can imagine that people who aren't so trained in napping might have issues.

I woke up again at about 11am to find the party still going strong (the music had of course not stopped) and got to witness some early morning croquet while people sipped bitter and listened to grinding hardcore music. The music made the whole scene seem a bit wrong really.

After a few cups of tea it was time to set off but the chap who had driven us up managed to 'clong' his car on a rock and it was bit broken and leaking oil everywhere. So we had to hang around while we waited for the rescue services to appear and give us a lift home, by this point everyone was so tired that conversation was a struggle and when I finally made it home I was exhausted and went straight to bed.

It was quite an adventure and I really enjoyed it but it was definitely time for an early night.

Weekend adventures, part 1

I don't often have hardcore weekends, not that I'm slipping into an insipid world of wondering around Ikea in a daze and thinking about blinds but that normally I try to have at least one day of rest for every day of charging around doing something strange. So if Saturday is spent swinging from trees or racing motorbikes than Sunday will be spent reading the papers and listening to radio 4.

I don't know why I keep to such a strict system, I work strange hours in the week so occasionally have hours, or days off so weekends mean less. It's a couple of days when everyone is about to play but it's harder to do actual work.

This Friday started off in a fairly tame way. I spent the afternoon doing arts and crafts for work. After making some models and an excellent collage while drinking sherry I ambled over to Sloane Square to meet a chum for a post-work drink. This turned into quite a few after work drinks as we went to a hidden pub off a side-street I had been introduced to by a girl when I first moved up to London. After the pints we went to a Chinese Restaurant in South Kensington and then to a house party.

My chum sort of knew two girls who were, well International Party girls. I've encountered this breed before, they dance from city to city going out and meeting people as a career. They might have 'promoter' as an official job title but really their job is to have fun and search for future husbands. These two girls were from Northern Ireland, and having realised that they had missed their favourite flight to LA had decided to go out in London. They rented a vast flat in Kensington to use as a base of operations and even hired two chunky chaps to stride around topless near them. These two chaps were like Derek Zoolander, but with an angry hint of too many drugs and steroids just bubbling away under the surface.

So we met up with these sort of friends, even acquaintance would be pushing it, at their flat for pre-club drinks. We tried to play some moderately complicated drinking game because one of the hostesses insisted on it but a couple of missing cards made it almost impossible and so it was abandoned in exchange for polite conversation while sipping rum. One of the hostesses had decided I looked familiar and so spent about an hour trying to work out where she had seen me before. I couldn't place her and I normally have a pretty good memory for faces.

This scintillating conversation ended when they had to dance off to get to the club early, we were left in the flat with another girl who had appeared so we could escort her to the club when she was ready. I was slightly taken aback by being left, as strangers in a flat after only having met this girls about an hour ago. We didn't do anything, but we could have.

Anyway we ambled into the club, got whisked in to the VIP area and fed bottles of Vodka. This was all well and good until about midnight where the place filled up massively and got a bit sinister. Chaps were doing drug deals right in the middle of the club, or if they weren't dealing they were buying very expensive tic-tacs.

We decided this wasn't really our scene and the vodka had run out so we went to a flat for a light party (as in short) before we would rejoin the main group to go to the larger house party in Kensington. We ended up drinking grog at 3am with some girls who didn't drink and that we hadn't met before. It was all a bit strange. My memory gets a bit hazy at this point but at about 10ish I woke up on a sofa while a chap in a top hat arranged a cab to take him to the train station.

I managed to get up and then made my way home feeling a little bit woolly. There wasn't much time for rest, I had a quick wash, a power nap and I was off to the second part of the weekend...

To be continued

Friday, June 20, 2008

What time is it?

Why it's 2.30am so of course it's grog o'clock.

Oh dear.

Grog o'clock is a dangerous time of day, especially when at a house party with a load of strangers.

A little bit more magic

I seem to have covered half the office in silver spray and the fumes are, interesting, but the little wooden chaps are starting to look a bit more magic.

The poses are so I can get them completely covered in silver.

Arts and craft afternoon

Today I shall be making models of famous magic chaps so I can photograph a montage for a book.

This is one of the most silly things I've done for quite a while.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Washday at chez Louche

I have quite a few different washes I have to do. I can remember being strangely proud when I accumulated enough pink items of clothing to justify doing a pink wash, and tweed day is very special.

Today a new wash was born, I've been invited to a fancy dress party this weekend and the theme is American Films. I think you will be able to guess who I'm going as from the picture I just hope there isn't any abseiling involved.

Going to a party in this costume will be a bit of an experience, it doesn't leave a lot to the imagination to say the least. Still I'm sure Spiderman has faced worse threats.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Oh it's a sailors life for me!

I've always wanted to go Tall Ship racing, I think because I was born about 200 years too late to really get stuck into a bit of firing cannons at French people and jumping about with swords. It's almost entirely wasted on the modern world that I'm decidedly dangerous with a sabre, can ride horses like I was born in the saddle and can wear a floppy hat with panache.

So it was great delight that I'm managed to persuade an editor to let me go Tall Ship racing for a feature. While the sailing would be limited to going from point A to point B with very little chance of boarding actions or capturing Spanish gallons it will definitely let me run up and down the rigging and possibly keep an eye out for any Dutch pirates that might be in the area.

Now I just have to organise the blasted thing, which for reasons that aren't really worth going into will require a full background check before they will let me get on the ship.

I bet a chap didn't have to put up with this when Nelson was in charge.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The end?

I had a stand-up gig last night, probably my last one. I say this because I already have one high-risk, low reward career that doesn't pay as well as I'd like so I don't need another one.

The gig was excellent - probably my best - so it's good to stop on a high-note. Loads of friends turned up so it was cosy little gig and my new material went down well, especially the joke about shoes.

I was pretty nervous before I went on, it was a long wait and I didn't want to mess up in front of friends. The organisers had put me on last which technically makes me a headline act but it's more that 95% of the audience were my friends and the organisers didn't want them to leave after seeing me and leave an empty room for the other chaps.

It really was impressive how many people appeared, including some chums I've not seen for years. Bless. Some of the women there were probably in a pub for the first time in their lives, they are rather more the cocktail set.

In other news, I've had some news, and it's not good. Not terrible but not great either. Sort of neutral to good. Ho-hum. Well I suppose if the promise of a full time job hadn't been waved about I'd be doing a little dance now because of the commissions, but it seems the goal-posts have been moved again.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Surfing, Aching and inappropriate touching

Where to begin? Well I ache every where. Surfing requires muscles I didn't know I had. It's slightly my own fault as yesterday I stayed in the water for hours waiting for 'just one more wave' even when everyone else had gone in. This seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I'm starting to regret it. Ouch.

The surfing was fun and the girls were very pleasant, we didn't actually interact with them that much - the organisers had got us some private lessons with an instructor so we got to progress very quickly but sadly didn't get as much splashing around and giggling. Ho-Hum.

I managed to stand up and ride some (admittedly very tame) waves and this was going brilliantly until somehow I ripped the nail off my big toe. It must have been on a passing shark or something. I had to stop then, to try and bandage it back on and then instructor recommended I stay out of the water for a bit so we limped into town to get some medical supplies, which ended up as some drinks, then a few more.

Post drinks we hobbled back while doing a bit of light shopping and I hit the steam rooms which amazingly really helped the toe. In the evening we had a big meal with all the girls , and then went to an awful bar. It was terrible - packed with stag parties who were farting away almost constantly which made you long for the days of smoking and then a terrible live band appeared. It was enough to drive a chap to drink, which I did and it was around the time that we started drinking bright red drinks that the dancing contest started. We were drinking quite a lot because we had be told that surfing as a good hangover cure and we wanted to test this theory.

This went on until about 2am when the prospect of an early morning surf seemed a bit daunting so we got a cab back. I had a couple of moments during the night where I had to go and sit by the loo, just in case but I was fine and we woke up at 7am to go and surf. The surfing did clear our heads brilliantly and I ended up staying out for hours after the photographer had gone. The photographer was awful. Every time I did something good - like share a wave with a chum while striking dramatic poses the photographer would be playing with a passing dog or getting something out of his shoe.

After I finished surfing - I was so exhausted I had trouble walking we had a light lunch and I went for a special surf massage. This was excellent although the lady doing it seemed to touch my bum an awful lot so afterwards I didn't know if I should call the police or buy her flowers.

Sadly at this point out surfing adventure was over and we bundled back into the bus, all skin-kissed with salty hair and went back to London. It was a great experience and I'm going to be surfing again, perhaps in a few weeks but I don't think I'll be buying any gear just yet, it was good, but not as good as motorcycles.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The return

I have returned to London so normal service will resume once I've slept and the floor has stopped wobbling around - I spent so much time in the sea the ground feels a bit weird and as if it's moving.

I'm pretty sure the tectonic activity in London is pretty minimal so I think it's my head that is being a bit wrong.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Oh dear

Yesterday we were told that surfing was an amazing cure for hangovers. This was a very dangerous thing to say to me as I instantly decided to brew a mighty hangover to test this in the name of science.

I can't believe how much I drank, I really can't. I put away a whole range of drinks I though had been made extinct years ago, Reef anyone? It didn't stop with that either. Cocktails also followed, although they were rather poor. At about midnight this reached critical mass and thanks to some bright red energy drink (with booze in of course) I started dancing, with my very unwell toe.

It wasn't just any dancing it was a dance off with the girls. I don't think they've seen dancing like that in Cornwall, and I'm sure they don't want to see it again, but at least I got to the finals. I'll blame my toe for not winning, but I think it was the robot dancing that let me down.

My. Head. Is. Not. Well.


I've been clubbing with a spazzy toe. It's late and only four people from the surf course remain.

Oh my word, I think I've had rather too much gin.

Oh no Toe!

Welll surfing went well, up to a point. I was happily standing up after about 30 minutes and I was having a whale of a time humming the beachboys and riding waves.

That was until I smashed up my toe. No more surfing for me today, and tomorrow I'm just going to have to tape it up in a boot and just grin past the pain when the photographer appears.

Which means tonight I'm on the prowl for a sexy nurse or some sort of spirit healer in a short skirt.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cornwall Ho!

The trip down was strangely fast and now I'm in the surprisingly swish hotel in Cornwall. I have somehow managed to end up on a surfing and spa weekend so after my lesson I'll be hitting the steam room hard and thinking very seriously about treatments.

The girls seem very pleasant, an interesting mix of professionals from London. One of them even ordered a French Martini which impressed me. I'm going to sign off now because in 6 hours I'll be hitting the waves and I want to be ready.

No beard, no news

My week of relaxing in Devon is drawing to an end, and I still have no news. Argh etc. At least I'll be distracted for the next few days. I'm going to an all-girl surfing school in Cornwall to learn how to surf.

I didn't realise it was an all-girls school when I arranged it but they are allowing me to go anyway. I'll be staying in a hotel with 15 other girls, well women really. It's a school for grown-ups. 15 lovely women from London who are getting away for a weekend, and me. Ding to the dong.

Right, I have to shave off my beard, find a good bottle of brandy to take with me (for night caps of course) and select my cravats for the trip.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Helpful cats

I've met the newest cat in the household, Sausage. He is a very sweet chap and utterly fearless provided his mother is within sight. I've been trying to do some writing today, instead of just waiting about for news so I've taken up residence in the downstairs study to do a bit of work.

It's a lovely place to write, as out of the window you can watch the poultry stride about. I can see about a dozen free-range chickens ambling about, a couple of ducks and squirrel. Yes I know squirrels aren't poultry, but it's appeared and is jumping all over the place. All the booze is stored here (the study) too, so I suppose if the writing doesn't work I can always just drink a bottle of rum to pass the time.

Anyway, while I was typing Sausage decided that he would help me with my work, he is so light that he doesn't make the keys go down so I suppose I should be thankful for that. Bless his little furry face.

The bathing habits of geese

The waiting continues, deadlines seem to have a terribly different meaning when you are in a position of power. So I just have to busy myself with other work while I wait. Well by other work I mean lounge around on a farm eating biscuits and watching geese slowly circuit around the grounds.

I like how the geese have a routine that they stick to, first thing in the morning they do a lap to see if anything new has happened. Then they take a morning bath followed by some stretching in the sun. A short patrol around the new orchard follows this where they spend a lot of time jabbing the grass with their beaks looking for slugs and other interesting animals to eat. At lunch time the alpha male goose 'Kipper Daddy' will rap his beak on the back door and demand some bread. The afternoon involves a few swims in the pond and a bit more stretching in the sun. As it starts to get dark the lap the grounds a few more times tweaking anything they can before going to bed. It's not a bad life being a goose here.

I bet they don't stress about waiting for news.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Steampunk Camping

Louche found himself camping on Saturday night, a chance remark to his little brother became a mission. An ancient tent was found in the garage and brave attempts were made to put it together in the dark after one too many gin and tonics.

Sadly the years had not been kind to the tent so some repairs had to be made. Louche couldn't find any gaffa tape, or a tarpaulin so he had to do the best with what was available. The broken connections on the polls were fixed by using copper piping as a sort of splint and he found an old bit of canvas to throw over the tent to cover the holes. Louche and his little brother stood back and admired their work. What had once been a fairly normal tent was now a twinkling construction of canvas and copper. A tent worthy of a Jules Verne novel or the sort of thing The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen would take on a weekend trip to Cornwall.

Once the tent was constructed they set about filling it with bedding then went to sleep, the door was left open so the cats could amble in and out. This was a double edged sword.

While the little furry things were quite pleasant to have in the tent, later in the night the cats would charge in and then bap sleeping chaps in the face before scampering off again. Later on the cats used the tent as a handy place to store mice while they were hunting more things that go squeak.

At one point there were three terrified mice in the tent as well as two naughty cats having a great time hunting them down across the bodies of not-really-sleeping people. Thankfully the cats juggled the mice out of the tent while playing with them so there was a chance to get a little sleep before the next round of 'bap and run' began.

Morning came not a moment too soon, and the cats were rather despondent when the tent was taken down but soon discovered that tents were good fun to attack when they were being disassembled. Louche crossed 'cats' of the list of good things to take camping.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Practical Magic

Louche found himself almost rigid with stress on Friday, so he decided to decamp to Devon to visit the ancestral pile. He also decided that he would describe the event in the third person since this trip to Devon as a holiday from everything.

He arrived late on Friday night, so late that there was little time for anything but a light supper and sleep. On Saturday he woke up to the sort of golden dewy sunshine that only exists in Constable paintings and memories.

The day didn't involve much, some lounging around with cats and eating cakes while looking at geese. The sort of things a chap needs to do when London gets a little bit too much.

In the afternoon there was some farm work to be done. A pair of pigs were about to move in to a luxury condo near the orchard so a source of water had to be found for them. No-one could remember the exact location of the pipe that ran across the field so a stout dowsing rod was brought out and used to locate it as simply as a chap bringing out his pocket watch to tell the time.

The West Country isn't that far away really, but sometimes it feels like a different world. A world where bits of stick can tell you where water is, kittens make stress disappear and every tin in the kitchen hides another interesting cake

Louche was glad to be home.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Suspense and death

Today is going to be an exciting day. I'm waiting on two big bits of news. Yes, not one but two entirely different things. Both of which have the ability to considerably change my life, for the better I should add.

Although I'm trying not to think about them too much because if I do I'll probably give myself a heart attack or something. How lame would that be...


Louche - "Hello?"

Chap - "Great news, they have said yes!"

Louche - "Huzzah, hurray, this is the best day ever. Urk. Heart. Stopped. Due. To. Excessive. Joy."


Chap - "Hello? Louche? Are you there? Hello?"


Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Prisoner

Today was supposed to be a day of rest, and catching up on things. I had a couple of features to finish off for other places and some things to research which involved a very long phone call with a chap at the Navy.

Anyway, having finished off all my work on time, I decided that what I really wanted to do with the afternoon was the following.

1) Cook a smashing lunch, maybe some of the Thai Soup I made before that was so nice.
2) Go and test a couple of motorbikes out, I already know the one I want but it doesn't hurt to test the competition does it?
3) Amble over to my favourite wine shop and try and bottle of the wine that they especially ordered in for me because it's my favourite wine ever.

Now I don't know about you chaps but that sounds like a cracking afternoon to me, but it isn't happening. Why? Because my flatmate has locked me in again (who knows why) and so I'm stuck in the flat again and she isn't answering her phone. Drat.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Oh I say

Due to the fact I was on a trial I was given a pre-generated email address, one of many they must use when people come in for a bit.

I don't think they realised but two people must have been using the same account because at about 3pm I was suddenly involved in some mildly fiery emails which turned more that a little flirty as the afternoon went on. I wasn't sending them, but the other person on the account was so I got to see all the banter between the two people. Judging by the conversation they were sharing I given them two weeks tops before they have a tryst in the stationary room.

Ding dong for offices.


I pressed send before I was finished. I'm doing this on my phone as I make my way home. This picture is taken from the upper floor of the bus. It's almost live, or it will be if I don't take ages to post this.

Anyway, where was I. Yes the chap said the feature I wrote up might be in this Sunday and that they were going to have a meeting on Friday, after that he would give me a call.

Before I left I pitched some more ideas, he liked two of them as features and three of them as potential on-going sections. I have to research the features tomorrow and come up with some examples of the sections to prove it could be done.

So, I think it went okay, the day wasn't ideal for playing up to my strengths (coming up with ideas and writing them up fast) but I didn't do anything stupid.

I guess we will all find out on Friday. Oh and the title of the previous post was from The Princess Bride.

'I'll most likely kill you tomorrow'

Well I've had my first trial day. I'll find out on Friday if I've got the job. Trial days are fairly stressful, for some reason I kept thinking of the Apprentice. I couldn't stop imagining that at any moment Sir Alan Sugar would charge in and tell me I'm fired.

Which isn't to say it went badly, it's just that it's fairly high stakes being a dream job and all. In the morning I was given the task of editing an interview. I've not done much editing really, and this interview was awful, I spent most of the morning carefully shifting bits about to try and make it like it should have been. I showed it to one of the editors and the said I had been far too gentle and I should have just started again.

Once I knew this I got on okay and I had it in a fairly reasonable form. This pleased them and the chap who would be my boss said it was good, especially given the source material.

After that I came up with some ideas for one of their regular sections, one of them got the nod so I chucked it together and sent it across. Again the boss seemed pretty pleased with it

Monday, June 02, 2008

I'm just singing in the rain

Today is a good day. It couldn't fail to be after some job news I had yesterday. I've sort of stumbled into having my dream job, it's only a trial but they have said that they want to try me out first to see if I can do it and if it goes well there will be a full time job there for me.

This came completely out of no-where, I mean really from nothing and it still feels a bit well, unreal. It has made me offensively happy. Even with this military grade level of good cheer I couldn't do much to cheer up my chum who has just broken up with her chap. So I took her out for comfort food and beer, nothing like a bit of stodge and pints when you are feeling glum.

It was a proper serious relationship and everything so she is understandably upset. There must be something in the water as I've got a about a dozen chums who have split up in the last week. Which, on the positive side means there is an absolute plethora of pretty women available at the moment. The men of London (and other nearby places) have never had it so good.

I was supposed to be testing out some bikes this morning but they don't let you out when it is raining so I'll just have to run around the flat making 'bruum' noises instead, oh well.

A dictionary of journalism

I've been tagged with the question What revelations have you had since taking up your writing career? by Sarah. I'm not sure if I call it a career yet, I've not got to shout 'stop the press' although I have said 'You can't tell me what to print, we have a free press in this country'.

That is slightly less exciting when you find out that it was said while I was working on a restaurant review. Since my experience is decidedly limited instead I'll provide a useful dictionary which lists the definition of words that I have learned while doing this.

Journalist - Someone who lies for a living.

Writer - Someone who lies for a living but secretly wants to write a book.

Hack - A derogatory word used by other journalists to describe one with regular work.

Columnist - A journalist who is either sleeping with an editor or knows an editors dark secrets so they are allowed to write about their choice of underpants and get paid for it.

Freelancer - A special sort of tramp that only hassles Editors for money instead of members of the public.

Case Study - A friend who is willing to pretend that they live with a horse/found love online/only eat apples so you can interview them.

Copy - Words taken from a press release.

Deadline - A special excuse used by journalists to say why they can't go out on a date/meet a PR for lunch.

Press officer - A person designated to not be able to answer your questions, or if they do agree to talk will provide the answers too late to go in the piece.

Sub-Editor - Either someone who removes all the jokes from your copy or makes it ten times better and yet strangely doesn't get a credit.

Editor - A being with such power that they make gods look a bit tired and weak.

Editor in Chief - The god of gods, a bit like Zeus.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Nonsense he wrote

Well after a morning spent in the library I now have 3000 lovely fresh words with emotional depth. Hurrah, that's enough for my homework but I'm not really finished. I'm going to pop out to get a portfolio from an art shop and then I'll go and write some more words.

Then I'll have to start my other homework. All of this is possible thanks to the miracle of extremely strong coffee. I made a batch with the moka pot this morning and I'm still buzzing away happily. Is there any problem that can't be solved with a cup of coffee or tea?

Emotional Depth

The last few days would be best described as fraught. Actually that's rather over doing things, aspects of it have been fraught and other aspects have been marvellous. It's probably good that the fraught bits were there to provide a counter-point to the excellent stuff that's so exciting it makes my face hurt a bit.

And this is 'stuff' I really didn't expect, stuff out of the blue. It's also stuff that requires a meeting that I really should wear a suit for. Yup, it seems that suit was even more timely. Luckily I got this news while in my favourite wine shop so I had easy access to champagne to celebrate with.

Right, I have to get back to work. I have to write quite a few words today words with 'emotional depth' which is slightly outside my usual remit but I do like a challenge.