Sunday, March 5, 2006


It was my birthday on Thursday. Because my birthday features in the Googlewhack Adventure a lot of people know about it so I get a lot of e-mails from strangers wishing me well. Which is nice. Unfortunately there are too many to reply to - but it really is appreciated. What's also in the Googlewhack Adventure is the fact that as I began my early 30s I was struck by the (unpleasantly vain) notion that I should make my living in a more respectable fashion. I sort of failed to do so but then spent 3 years making a living by telling people the story of my failure in a way that was, by and large, received as being my most mature work to date... so maybe I kind of succeeded. In any case there was no such crisis of confidence as I turned 35. I spent most of the day working on an opera that I'm contributing to (don't ask) and you can't get more grown up than that.

In the evening I went to see The Boy Least Likely To who I'd interviewed a couple of weeks ago when hosting on 6Music. Oh yeah, I might be 35 but I can still groove on down with the kids. They were great when they played in the studio but obviously better at a gig where their happy, uplifting energy creates a great atmosphere. I was surprised and flattered when part way through the show they stopped to give me a slice of cake (victoria sponge, cake fans) for my birthday. Aw shucks.

I had to have a relatively early night as I was up the next day for more opera-related work followed by some more filming on Annually Retentive where the hardest part of the job seems to be not corpsing at Rob Brydon. We have the studio records for the show at the start of next week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) which I'm looking forward to. I think when they're happening we'll really feel like we're making the show proper and the whole project will come alive.

Right now I'm wishing I'd spent the day in a poker bootcamp because this afternoon I'm playing a game for Showbiz Poker (I think that's the new title for Celebrity Poker Club) and the competitive side of me is desperate to do better than I did on my last appearance a year ago. That was my first ever game. I've played a fair bit since then. I've definitely got better. It should be a fun afternoon if nothing else.

When I'm writing this I sometimes wonder whether anyone will be reading it. Then sometimes an entry strikes a chord and I get a flurry of e-mails and it's clear that I'm not sending this news out into the ether unread. A few days ago I mentioned how someone had fleeced me on ebay by not sending me an item I'd ordered. I'm certainly not alone - I received a host of e-mails from people venting their spleens about similar things happening to them, many of them worse than my £6.99 incident. I also received an e-mail from the seller. Which is odd because I'd e-mailed her before and had no response and yet, when her e-mail address was on my site, something prompted her to get in touch. She's promised to reimburse me... I'll let you know if it materialises.

Now... poker.

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