O Happy Day

Yes, I’ve done it! I’ve written 50,000 words in just over 22 days and now for me the war is over, I’m putting on my demob suit and packing my bags and waiting with the other troops on the airstrip for the planes to take us back to Blighty. It feels good to relax a little, stretch out and not have to worry about how many words I’ve done today or whether I’ll get to the end because I’m there! I made it – and even though it’s only a very rough draft with lots of repetition and more loose ends than a bag of wool fragments, it is real. Something which did not exist five weeks ago is now in the world and will soon be putting on its first pair of boots and going out to look for a good time. Ah, they grow up so quickly, these novels! Once a twinkle in their Mummy’s eye, then a tiny collection of dots on a page, they soon outstrip their first set of clothes and are fully weaned. Then before you know it they’re off to take their place in the world.

I can’t bring myself to think about editing yet. It’s time to focus all my efforts on the *l*c*i*n and the rest of the time kick back and enjoy a well-earned rest.


Last night’s TV was nothing special – or so I thought, but then I realised there was the climate debate on Channel 4 and a little later a ‘candid’ interview with Elton John. The climate debate was excellent for several reasons: in the absence of Boris Johnson who was running late – sorry, scared – and the leader of the Brexit Party who is presumably a climate change denier, these two leaders were replaced by a pair of melting ice sculptures. Though this had been mooted as an idea we didn’t think they’d actually do it – but they did! It was brilliant and well-deserved. Boris Johnson is now in a huff and threatening like his pal Trump to ‘review’ the Channel 4 licence; meanwhile little Govey, having been dispatched post-haste to deputise for his Glorious Leader*, was denied entry on the grounds that it was for leaders only and jumped up and down outside squealing ‘they won’t let me in! Mummy! It isn’t fair!’ and other such mantras. * he’s not even the deputy leader, is he? Hang on, who is? Any ideas?

Inside it was the most civilised debate I’ve seen in a long time. The five leaders were broadly in agreement, the only differences being in terms of the timescale and detail of their plans. I’m disappointed that Labour are not fully committed to scrapping the disastrous expansion of Heathrow but Corbyn made some good points nonetheless and was the only one to tie climate change to wealth disparity. Nicola Sturgeon as always came off best – that woman really does show everyone how it’s done – and the others were fine. There was no slanging, no interruption, no rudeness, no insults – in short it reminded me of how political debates used to be. My only sadness was that in this election time there was still the necessity to score party points and I live in hope that we will at some point have a government of national unity to deal with this. Because climate change is a war and we have to win it. Johnson may live to regret not attending the debate: the first rule of politics is, always show up or, as C P Snow put it, never be too proud to be present.

I really wanted the ice sculptures to have melted by the end (just as the Tory and Brexit party arguments would have done) but alas they did not; still it’s well worth watching. Here it is on youtube as it’s not available on All4, because All4 is crap, and here‘s poor little Govey being turned away from the party.

Aw. Sad face.

On a much lighter note, Elton John bared all on the Beeb in an interview with Graham Norton. It was basically a whistle-stop tour through his life and career but what struck me was, in the midst of all his diva-esque outfits and over-the-top addictions, how ordinary and down-to-earth the man was. I got the same sense I had when seeing him in Rome (when in Rome, go to an Elton John gig) – that he’s one of us. There was no preciousness about him; he admitted cheerfully to being bald and wearing a toupee, to being 72 years old and to having had addictions and weight problems; yet this was no tear-filled celebrity confessional, just an ordinary bloke talking about his life. I’ve always liked Elton, he’s a one-off and the fact that he’s been friends with lyricist Bernie Taupin for more than fifty years says it all. So watch the climate debate, shed a tear (of laughter) for poor little Govey and then watch this. You’ll be glad you did.

Kirk out

4 thoughts on “O Happy Day

  1. I like some of Elton John’s music and I’d agree with you about his personality – I think he is very much a WYSIWYG type, and doesn’t want to sell himself as anything other than he is (though I’m just about old enough to remember when the press were trying to promote the idea of him and Kiki Dee as a couple). My favourite story about him relates to a time when he checked into his Florida hotel suite in prime ‘Bitch is Back’ mode, complaining about everything. ‘The walls! I hate that colour! Have them painted magnolia!’he barked at his hapless Personal Assistant. ‘These flowers! I hate them! Get me some new ones! This carpet is foul! I’m not staying here until it’s been replaced! And what the fuck is that door doing over there? I want it over here!! Get the whole fucking suite changed, or I’m moving to another hotel and I won’t stay here again!’ He was about to stride out of the room when he looked through the window and noticed the weather. ‘Oh! And it’s raining!’he barked at the P.A. ‘Do something about it!’

    Because he doesn’t write lyrics, most of his oeuvre is from the P.O.V.of a heterosexual male (apart from the fun but very camp song he co-wrote with Tom Robinson). It must have been torture for him all those years, singing about girls when he was thinking about boys…

    I loathe the ‘Diana’ version of Candle In The Wind, though. Surely one of the worst records ever made, by anyone anywhere. Why did he do it?

  2. ‘Yay! Michael Gove!’

    It’s not often Gove’s name is a cause for jubilation in these times of ours and, to be fair, the quoted exclamation is nearly ten years old. It was the exclamation of a blogger, delighted by Gove’s appointment as Education Secretary – an office in which he demoralised the teaching profession as no previous Ed Sec had done and devalued the education of a generation of ordinary children.

    The happy blogger was one Marc, now Amanda Ure, who campaigned for the return of a Conservative government in the 2010 General Election.

    You yourself expressed some delight at the idea of Gordon Brown being ‘gone’ (Iirc, your blog of the day opened with the words ‘Thank God he’s gone’), though your efforts to prevent Liz Kendall from becoming your MP were unavailing.

    I am somewhat younger than you, but an early political lesson I learned was that the worst Labour government is still preferable to the best Conservative government. The other early lesson I learned (from study) was that Conservative governments tend to creep in by the back door (as this one did) and then steadily build their grip on power until they are as difficult to effectively remove as a malignant tumour.

    As you are now engaged in (doomed) efforts to remove said tumour, I wonder how you (and Amanda) feel about your earlier role in helping it take root?

    Don’t worry. That’s a rhetorical question. You don’t need to answer it…….

    1. You seem to have a talent for unearthing everyone’s worst moments. I regret it, one reason I joined the Labour Party and am now campaigning

  3. I can remember positively loathing Tony Blair and being bewildered at Gordon Brown’s extraordinary lack of interpersonal skills. By 2010, I was thoroughly sick of the serving Labour government but knew that the alternative could only be worse. And so it proved. To be fair, 2010-2015 would have played out pretty much the same, regardless of whichever party happened to be in power: all were offering some measure of austerity (apart from the fatally dishonest Liberal Democrats). But only a Conservative government could have broached the possibility of Brexit and landed us in the hell in which we now reside. I hope you’re urging your children to leave country as soon as they can and while it’s still possible: staying in TrumpTrade Dealland will only mean they have Shit Lives.

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