Do YOU Know Where Your Towel Is?

Yes, folks – today is towel day: the day on which we remember Douglas Adams:

It’s the day when we remember the man who brought us the Total Perspective Vortex, the Babel Fish and the Paranoid Android; the day when we honour the man who wrote the Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the spinner of concepts, the maker of extraordinary jokes, the complete one-off who is, was and ever will be – Douglas Adams:

He is in some sense the victim of his own success: so many of his concepts have entered the language (the special nature of the number 42; the phrases ‘carbon-based life-form’, ‘a small unregarded blue-green planet at the unfashionable end of the outer spiral arm of the galaxy – and of course, ‘grimbister’, meaning ‘a group of cars all travelling at the same speed because one of them is a police car’).   The other great thing about the series now known as H2G2 was, of course, that it was written for radio.  As they always say, the pictures are better on radio – and subsequent TV and film adaptations have not come close to the original.  Alan Rickman is a great actor but I just don’t buy him as Marvin.

Last night was pretty hoopy and frood as well: lots of national and international women (and men) came together at the Ale Wagon to celebrate International Women’s Day for Disarmament (they also gathered at the Thales factory on Scudamore Rd to protest about Drones, but I skipped that one.

It was cold! and frankly, I feel I’ve done my share of sitting in all weathers outside Greenham Common and Molesworth.)  Last night was in the warm and dry upper room of the Ale Wagon where there was music, song, food – and of course, poetry! provided by me and others.  And here, on Mark’s channel, is a video of me performing:

The sound isn’t great, but check back in a few days because he’s going to upload more.

And finally…

Bury in Haste, Excavate at Leisure

Yes, the latest discovery to roll out from the Richard III excavation is that the body was buried in great haste.  Not a huge surprise, I guess, given the circumstance, but interesting nonetheless.

And that was Friday.

Kirk out

Being wishy one day and then washy the next

– that was Charlie Brown’s plan to change his life and stop being wishy; it also seems to be the Church of England’s plan over the St Paul’s protests.  To their credit, some clerics have come out in support and the chief bod (can’t remember his name) has resigned but other clergy seem more concerned about the day-to-day functioning of the cathedral.  To be honest I was surprised how much they seemed to accommodate the protesters as I would have expected them to be very sniffy and patrician; very establishment about the whole thing, so in some ways it’s been a pleasant surprise.  The trouble about an occupation of protest like that is that it doesn’t have an immediate goal: they’re not saying ‘unless X happens we will stay put’ except in terms of wanting the whole situation to change – and that ain’t gonna happen in the short term.  The value of it is to bring attention to the issues and to express strong feeling – but unlike, say, the Greenham Common occupation, whose goal was to close down the nuclear base (which was eventually achieved) – this occupation has no immediate goal and no direct connection with St Paul’s cathedral.  They’d have done better to occupy the Bank of England or the Stock Exchange as the guys in America have.

Or so it is reputed, though apparently there’s a media blackout.  Shows how serious things in the media are over there.

Meanwhile, life in Leicester continues: a pleasant few beers in the Ale Wagon with Peter last night, where I was pleased to see an elderly couple, both drinking pints!  That’s not something you come across every day.  It gave me hope – for sadly, at the moment, my pint-drinking days appear to be over.  I just can’t handle it.

Mark says I’ve become neurologically interesting – not because of my failure to drink pints but because of a habit I have of sometimes letting my hand drop to my lap as though everything is hopeless and I just can’t take it any more.  I’m not aware of doing it at all, so it seems that the hand-dropping and the lack of awareness are part of the same thing.  We were discussing the ‘Hitch-hiker’s guide to the Galaxy’ and ‘Adrian Mole’ and saying that this kind of observational comedy has been taken over by stand-up comedy.

‘A stand-com,’ quipped Mark.


Today I shall be mostly… reading the Guardian.  Time to put the kettle on as the post is late this morning…

Kirk out


If the title of today’s post means nothing to you, then you just don’t know where your towel is.  To some extent, H2G2 is a victim of its own success, since so many of Douglas Adams’ comic gems have passed into the language.  It is not a surprise to find that the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything is 42, nor that the mice are actually in charge, nor that Slartibartfast won an award for his fjords (a fjord-award!), nor that it is not impossible for a missile to turn into a bowl of petunias, just “very, very improbable”.  I found myself missing the excellent BBC radio production while watching this on video.  I found the acting lame (even the wonderful Bill Nighy), the action limp and lacking in dynamism – even the special effects weren’t really on cue.  The only things that were better in this version were Zooey Deschanel as Trillian and Stephen Fry as the book.  Actually Stephen Fry wasn’t better but as good as Peter Jones – and that is high praise.

Here’s a taste:

Actually, thinking about it, they had some great actors in there – Helen Mirren, John Malkovitch, Alan Rickman – what went wrong?  I’m inclined to blame the direction.  let’s see – who was it?  Garth Jennings.  Apparently he also did “Son of Rambow” which I really liked.


Incidentally, in our house we never have just Thursdays – they’re always “I never could get the hang of” Thursdays.

Here’s a BBC page about the radio production:

Have a very happy Tuesday.  Now there’s a day I can get the hang of.

To the library today, where Richard Dawkins awaits me.  I am going to focus on the novel now, try to get a first draft done before the summer.

Kirk out.

The Numble Hematode

Mark is 6 x 7 next week – or, as he would probably prefer it, VI x VII.  Which will make him XLII.   I was thinking of having a surprise Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Party but I don’t have the energy.  What with the Plinth and all.

the invitations would have read:

Fancy dress!!! Suggestions –

Arthur Dent (a dressing-gown and a bewildered expression)

Ford Prefect (v-neck sweater, black jacket, trousers and plimsolls)

Zaphod Beeblebrox (wear an extra head)

Trillian (be female and look intelligent)

Marvin (wrap yourself in foil and look miserable*)

If you DON’T come in fancy dress you should bring:

A pan-galactic gargle-blaster


a Vogon poem


a babel-fish

Would’ve been a fun party.  *Sigh!*

The title of this blog posting (or blopo) refers to something Mark spoonerised last night on the way home from the cinema and which had me in fits of giggles all the way home.

Oh!  Yes – the cinema.  too late now – I’ll review the film later.

*Well, you will look miserable if you wrap yourself in foil in the middle of summer.  What were you thinking?

Additional: Mark just Googled the title of this blog and found that “numble” is a game just like Scrabble but with numbers.  Neat, hunh?  I wonder why it never took off?

Kirk out