It's been a while since I last updated this page. That's because my days are all pretty much the same and a procession of entries where I write I wrote some of my book today or I didn't write much of my book today would be a bit, well, repetitive.
But I'm sure a few things have happened. They must have done. I have recently changed my Internet Service Provider after many years of being with the increasingly lacklustre virgin.net and I'm shocked by quite what an improvement BT have been. Not only has their service been trouble free so far but it was incredibly easy to set up and they did sensible things like use registered post to ensure that the change over from one to the other on the right day so that I wasn't subjected to anything as unpleasant as an internet free day. Hurrah for them. Yaboo sucks to virgin.net who were driving me up the wall with their poor service. Of course what makes the BT package even more attractive other than, y'know, it working, is that it takes the form of a shiny plastic box which looks nice next to my shiny white plastic Mac. I'm a tart.
The only thing that makes me feel a little unhappy about the change over is that it was kick-started by a cold call from BT. This worries me. Normally when the phone rings and I hear someone asking one of those, "Have you thought about double glazing?"/"If you had £5000 to spend on your home, what would you spend it on?"/"Have you had a holiday this year yet, Mr Homeowner?" type questions I have no qualms about just putting the phone down. Manners are important and much underrated in this world but not with the direct marketing telephone call. There is no "I'm sorry, not today" from me, I just put the phone down. I'm sure they don't take it personally as I'm sure most of them know they're doing the devil's work already.
Anyway... for a long time the thought, "Virgin are dreadful... I really ought to change my ISP" had been randomly popping into my head and I'd done nothing about it because it would always be followed by another thought like, "Ooo, I could do with a cup of tea" or "I'd better keep writing, I'm still only on Chapter 5" and so it would drift away as quickly as it arrived. Then one day, the phone rang and the voice on the end said, "Are you thinking of changing your internet service provider?" and I surprised myself by not putting the phone down and instead I said, "Erm... yes, I am actually..." I think the phone didn't go back in its cradle because I was still wondering how the girl on the end of the phone knew what I was thinking. You can cheerfully be rude to a cold-caller... but not to a mind-reading-cold-caller: they know stuff.
But now I'm worried that I've sent a little message to the world that this kind of tactic works. Surely this will only encourage more cold-calling in the future. I feel guilty. Sorry about that. I wish I'd just got off my arse and made the arrangements myself some time ago instead. Heigh ho.
I'm sure Richard Branson will read this and be really worried about the little kicking I'm giving to the Virgin.Net wing of his empire. Yeah. I'm a crusading consumer putting the boot into any company that treats me badly just like Michael Winner does (or did) in his column that he might or might not still be writing. Be warned utility providers, your cards are marked. Which reminds me... British Gas... you've failed to turn up for three appointments so far. It's no use turning up 4 hours late and then sending me a letter to tell me I wasn't in... that's what appointments are for. Grrr. I like this new style. (Maybe they can bring back That's Life and I can be one of Esther's new team of presenters? Maybe not.)
I went to see the Inspiral Carpets last night at the Shepherds Bush Empire. They were fab. I first saw them when I was 18 and they played my Fresher's Ball at Manchester University. It was meant to be Then Jericho, but their lead singer was beaten up the day before and so the Inspirals stood in at short notice. They were great then and they were great last night.
But how's this for a weekend of contrasts... after spending last night enjoying a sweaty night of great music and Mancolgia I was up early this morning and on my way to Wembley where I was filming two episodes of The Pyramid Game with Donny Osmond. You read that right: I said, Donny and I said Osmond. There are some offers you can't refuse and the chance to work with the D.O. is one of them.