Friday, 12 December 2008

Awaiting Further Instructions

(originally posted on myspace here)


I have written no screenplay-he-dee-dee-doe.
I have written no screenplay-he-dee.
Done nothin all the livelong day but written this song
And then whittled a fiddle out of whicker from a skip
And stuck it up me bum-dee-doe.

Dear Hollywood, I'm afraid I did not get round to writing "Fat Adolf" in the end but here is a song I just done instead, can you make a film of that? Yes? Excellent, phew that's a load off.

Writing isn't hard you know. Graham Linehan said in an episode of Screenwipe I have left it now too late to link to, it was like "doing a poo". Perhaps I should get off the pot then. Certainly I'm not going to get anything written at the British Library; people are distracting, and I've never written anything in a library I now realize. When I write I tell myself a story and take it down, and that means being on my own, maybe in bed, with warm low lighting. Sounds nice enough but I'm still not doing it, I'm simply filing these reports. Some excellent writers were interviewed for that Screenwipe and the only thing, disappointingly, they had in common was that they all dreaded writing. And willies. They all had willies in common I mean, they didn't all dread willies. Russell T. Davies' one piece of Advice To Writers was "Finish it", which is sterling.

Wednesday's the half-point, yes? The half-point of the week? So I'm at the half-point of my paid holiday now and that's five livelong days of procrastination (ten day week, yup... You weren't told? You're in for a big shock come Stansday)... five days in which I have written nothing, and done very little else either because I know I'm meant to be writing. Everything has been put off, even sleep. I mean I've been for walks. And into second-hand bookshops, as should now be obvious (NICE FACT TO STAVE OFF PANIC NECESSARY TO GET MY ARSE IN GEAR: Shunt have asked me to be in their next show, which is based on "L'Argent" by Zola. I've been looking for a copy). And I've been eating out a bit (SECOND PROCRASTINATION-FRIENDLY FACT: The money came through from those Mitchlook and Webbell sketches, the ones with this


in, on the back of which I have now been invited to write for BBC 3's "The Wrong Door" following a very friendly meeting with - I think - the producer and receipt of a brief in which "Edgeyness" was misspelt.) I've been swimming. I've been running baths. I've found an old sitcom of my Dad's in its entirety on youtube, and been reminded yet again just how kind a writer he is, and how glamorous ITV used to be back in the eighties: that handover from Thames to LWT, those floodlit office blocks along the South Bank promising such good times for the weekend (recalled to perfect life in the opening credits of "Man To Man with Dean Lerner"), and Richard O' Sullivan in a pastel blue track-suit toppling suavely into Regent's Canal... I mean, yes, the BBC had the world for its logo, but ITV had the South Bank! And the West End! AT NIGHT!

And what am I going to see of that glamour, eh, in this day and age? Where will I find all the magic bits in a W1 I now know like the back of my tiny hand?... Anyway sitting in front of the laptop this morning looking at - I don't know - this maybe -

- I received a text out of the blue from Dr. Meikle of Foix: "Lazy bottom..shift and do something other than pretend you know what its like ouside!scoot!i think you should go to....maida vale today!why not."
So I got up and headed out.
I went to Maida Vale.
I'd never been.
It was sunny. I had ciabatta on a barge. I picked up a leaflet called "Little Venice Circular Walk". I hit Regent's Canal and attempted a run, like Richard O' Sullivan. I felt queasy and slowed down. Ibis to the left of me, dingoes to my right and up ahead moored to the Cumberland Basin, the top-heavy Feng Shang Floating Restaurant just waiting to be hijacked. I continued my way to the top of Primrose Hill and, similarly buoyed, awaited further instructions.

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