ITEM: Apparently somebody has written/composed an opera about Anna Nicole Smith and it is currently showing at the Royal Opera House.
No, seriously. Here’s the trailer if you don’t believe me:-
High culture’s answer to Evita, the tale of a Playboy centrefold who hooked up with an octogenarian billionaire.
Makes you wish for the good old days when an innocent scullery maid could fall in love and marry Prince Charming.
ITEM: As decision day moves ever closer for our friends north of the border, I find that I am hoping for a ‘No’ vote. I can understand the desire to get out from under the Tory/New Labour/corporate yolk, but every indication leaves me thinking it will just be a ‘meet the new boss’ moment, and the sentimental side of my nature abhors change.
On the other hand, if the Scots do decide to go their own way then the thought of ‘call me Dave’ going down in history as the man who brought about the end of the union pleases me immensely. It is one hell of a consolation prize.
ITEM: Staying with the political theme, the other week I was undertaking a rather long bus journey and somewhat out of sorts with a bus driver who was holding forth in a loud voice and disrupting my attempts to read a book, but then he said something that turned it all around, and I realised that he was the most wise and insightful commentator I had heard in ages, and put aside my book as I felt I could derive more pleasure from listening to this guy than from devouring the words of Michael Marshall Smith.
The phrase was ‘that twat Cameron’.
Little things, children, little things.
ITEM: In November I will turn sixty, and while there are many reasons to celebrate this milestone, I find that I am also thinking a lot about the end of my time on this mortal coil and what will happen to my loved ones when I am gone.
By loved ones, I mean the several thousand books and comics that I have managed to accumulate over the last sixty odd years. Unfortunately the people who are the main beneficiaries of my will are so unfamiliar with literature that if you gave them a book to read I fear they would try to stuff it in the VCR. I am, of course, exaggerating for dramatic effect, but only a little. Best case scenario is everything gets shipped off to a charity shop and worst case scenario is it all gets dumped in a skip by whoever is assigned the onerous task of clearing out my house.
Such thoughts perturb me greatly.
I believe that Des Lewis has spoken of a ‘life clearance’ and it’s a concept that appeals to me; slowly, over the course of many years, finding good homes for your various possessions. I imagine that as the books fall away from me I will become less substantial, finally disappearing altogether when the last one has gone.
ITEM: While on my hands and knees Sunday morning pulling up weeds in the front garden, it occurred to me that the ancient Greeks must have loathed this activity every bit as much as I do.
How else do you account for their creation of that most persistent of monsters, the hydra?
ITEM: A short while ago I informed The Imaginary Girlfriend that, as I now had An Actual Girlfriend, she was no longer the #1 object of my lustful desires, and she responded, in a slightly disbelieving tone of voice, ‘So if I was to sit on your face you’d push me away.’
I confirmed that this indeed was the case, at which point she broke up into raucous laughter, but I’m sure it was just a ploy to hold back the tears.
Yes, that’ll be it.
ITEM: A recent exchange I had with a friend:-
Me: The doctor says it’s a minor hernia. If I want to reduce the odds of needing an operation at some point in the future, then I need to lose weight and do stomach tightening exercises.
Friend: So you’ll be having an operation then.
This woman knows me too well.