Monday, 30 April 2007

Dictionary Misappropriations

Mordant = showing lots of teeth
Usually ‘he had a mordant wit’ i.e. ‘he showed a lot of teeth when laughing or making jokes’

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Dictionary Additions

A person who goes to buy a copy of The Sunday Times or The Observer at the newsagent’s and, while handing over the money, their eyes slyly check out the more sensational headlines in the tabloids* so they can report back over breakfast.**

Elements needed: tabloid, sly, eye = tabsleye
As in: You ought to charge extra to the tabsleyes - the hypocritical little chisellers hold up the queue.

*More thrilling than reading them online.
** Or - even more offensive to the newsagent who's been up since 5.30 am inserting copies of the Rich List into the Sunday Times - over brunch.

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Novelty Tarts

According to the Dorset Echo today, Weymouth baker Val Temple has been forced to rename her novelty pig tarts because they don't contain any pork. She's also in trouble over the robin tarts and the paradise slices.

photo by Brian Jung - Dorset Echo

BBC writersroom

I saw this*, which women writers might be interested in:

Monday 11th June 7.15pm-9.00pm
Paul Ashton of BBC writersroom will talk about how the writersroom works and what the BBC looks for in a new writer. He will also give some tips for aspiring TV writers. Followed by Q&A.

The Library, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, WCI (Holborn Tube)
It’s £5. You can’t book in advice. For women only.

More info

*Philippa Johnstone at Literature Training sent me the link

Friday, 27 April 2007

Dictionary Additions

A souvenir from a flash location or event, brought back and left on the desk at the office or the mantelpiece at home with the sole purpose of proving to others that you have been there.
Proof + souvenir = Proovenir. As in: I'm not impressed by his Madonna & Guy stuffed pheasant proovenir as I was recently invited to a party on P. Diddy's yacht.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

TV Mashup

DS Jackie Reid, longest-serving cast member of Taggart, heads off to a pretty English village for a well-deserved break. She joins a watercolour painting class on the village green where she finds herself sitting next to a kindly local, Joyce Barnaby. Joyce offers to take Jackie along to a summer fete where her daughter Cully is in charge of the home-made jam and chutney stall.

When they arrive at the Midsomer fete, Jackie and Joyce are astonished to see an unpopular local cobbler lying dead in front of the coconut shy, slain with one of his own shoes. Cully arrives on the arm of Inspector Barnaby’s handsome new assistant just in time to hear Jackie tell Joyce: “It’s murdur.”

Joyce’s husband, Inspector Barnaby, is put in charge of the case. Unfortunately Jackie objects to Barnaby’s laidback detecting style and airy disregard for police procedures and soon heads back to Glasgow.

With Barnaby preoccupied on the case and Cully off chasing her impossible dream of being an actress, Joyce returns alone to the watercolour class on the village green, taking her place next to Jackie’s empty seat. She adds a Jackie-like figure to the scene she paints, to symbolise what might have been, if only their friendship had been allowed to flourish.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Dictionary Additions

To force an anecdote on someone: fanecdote. As in: 'We were having a lovely dinner when all of a sudden he started fanecdoting.'

* see also refanecdote – to repeat the above offence, usually with the same anecdote.

TV Mashup

Fearing that baby Tomas will be taken away from her by the authorities, Dot from EastEnders flees to Emmerdale with him. An unusually high murder rate in the farming community, coupled with the normal exigencies of the lambing season, has seen mud, blood and shit-spattered clothing begin to pile up in Emmerdale. Dot soon endears herself to the locals by helping out with the service washes in the laundrette while regaling customers with her theories of who killed Tom King.


Remember the old days, when you had to go and hang about in a club in town if you wanted to feel cool? Now it seems you can just sit at home and the cool people will come to you.

The trip to the local shop has taken on a whole new cultural significance since the recent discovery of this Banksy picture of Kate Moss on the pavement close to where I live.

Update: Dozens of really rubbish spray stencilled faces of famous people have appeared in Brixton and Clapham, some of them haphazardly clumped together on the pavement and one of them on the dog shit bin on Clapham Common, prompting an 'I Can Believe It's Not Banksy' post from my daughter on her blog.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

TV Mashup

A new spin-off series from Life on Mars in which time-travelling Scottish character actor Alastair Sim* tries to get to grips with the laddish culture in a 70s Manchester police force.

Meanwhile edgy, cool actor John Simm tries to keep order as Head Mistress of naughty girls’ boarding school, St Trinians.

*using CGI as he is now sadly deceased

Monday, 23 April 2007

TV Mashup

Spiritualist Colin Fry takes a turn at playing a country solicitor in Kingdom at 9.00 pm on Sunday night on ITV while professional wit and raconteur Stephen Fry tries to connect with the other side in Colin Fry's Sixth Sense daily on FTN at 8.00 pm and 8.30.

Society of Authors Party & LATER at Trafalgar Studios

Is anyone going along to the Society of Authors summer party or LATER at the Trafalgar Studios, curated by David Eldridge? They're on this evening (23rd April) and I'm planning to go along to both. Please say hello if you are there, too.

Dictionary Additions

There are plenty of situations and sensations that aren't covered by words in the dictionary. Here's one that came up last night: Envying the delicious smell of a neighbour's dinner cooking, only to realise it is your own dinner that you can smell (in our case, roast lamb).

What is the appropriate word for it? It should have various elements like mis (or faux?) and olefactory and envy = misolefactenvy. As in: 'We had a moment of misolenfactenvy last night until we realised the oven was on and the dog was drooling.'

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Useful Pets

Wouldn’t it be great to have a really useful pet? The best idea I could come up with was:
Broom Dog
An animal which - taking its inspiration from those busy people who say “why don’t you stick a broom up my arse and get me to sweep the floor while I’m at it?” - does just that.

I came up with some others but they don’t feel terribly original:
A monkey that makes you cheese on toast and other snacks when you’re hungry

In case your parachute should fail

Point at it – it saves you the trouble of shouting

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Dream Analysis

Ever tried to analyse your dreams? Here’s one of mine to start you off thinking about it. Other people’s dreams are a bit boring but grit your teeth and you’ll get through it - it’s better than working which is why you’re reading this:

Last night I dreamt that I was in a big, old house that I didn’t recognise. My friend K turned up to a dinner party long after the pudding course had been served, carrying a tray with five bowls of chunky home-made tomato soup that had been thickened with whisked egg. Then another friend, possibly T, tipped out a long, thick line of cocaine down the centre of the table. The line was about a metre long and as cylindrical and as thick as a church candle, although glittering and white like soap powder. T insisted we all have some as it was his birthday. By the time my turn came, there was none left. I went upstairs to where an old-fashioned cistern toilet covered a hole in the floor over a very long drop. I dropped a coin into the toilet and listened as it fell all the way down through the house and below ground. I thought, ‘I’d better be careful.’

So far as analysing it is concerned, it seems to be all about missed opportunities and poverty, doesn’t it? That soup looked enticing, though.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Mistakes I Have Made

On My Website
There may be too many photos of dogs in wigs on my website.

On Other Websites
Theatre company benchtours have created a MySpace to promote a play we're working on called The Psychic Detective. (Please come and say hello if you're on MySpace). I have posted several times about what it's like to write a play. The mistake? I've made it sound like way too much fun.

Getting Started

I got so giddy from Tom Smith's evangelising about blogging at tonight's Writer's Guild meeting that I vowed to create a blog and become part of an online writers community. A writer's life is a lonely one and hey, even my dog Jessie has a webpage on Myspace - so I thought I'd give it a go.

I think the key to starting a project like this is to remember that there's nothing too important or exciting - whether a love affair, a gym membership or a blog* - that you can't just walk away from it when you get bored.

[*Oh Jessie, I said blog, not dog, you ridiculous animal. How could I ever walk away from you?]