Blog 46

Well my book reading tour is finally over and Wilf is very glad I’m back, I did twenty-five dates and adding it up I have driven over six and a half thousand miles read for twenty hours and answered something like two hundred questions.  I can’t recall where it was (I think Folkestone) but I was asked what I would do if I ruled the world.  After giving it some thought I said that I would introduce a law capping the price of Pilau Rice in a restaurant or takewaway at £1.95.   If I find myself paying more than £2.00 for Pilau Rice I always feel like like I’m being exploited unless the restaurant is very fancy.  Apart from that I said I felt the world was pretty much OK.

I noticed a review by Roger Lewis ( a very funny writer, I recommend his "Seasonal Suicide Notes"  ) of Stephen Fry’s new book in the Telegraph. He wrote “As Stephen says often enough, he possesses a mind imbued with “fundamental dishonesty. I never tried to engage authentically or truthfully with an intellectual issue or to answer a question” because he thought it preferable to “have fun, tell jokes and not hurt or intrude on anyone’s feelings”.

But here we have a problem with The Fry Chronicles. As most of its cast are not dead, Stephen has to be gushing. Only Alexei Sayle gets it in the neck, “for his bullying unkindness towards Ben Elton”, though for that most of us would want to shake Alexei by the hand.”

I was asked about this at a reading but chose to take the high ground.  After all as I said I have apologised to Ben for how nasty I was to him and he in response invited me to the opening night of his Rod Stewart musical “Tonight’s the Night” (which hoped to replicate the success of “We Will Rock You”) and in those three long hours I paid for every cruel remark I’d ever made to anyone ever.



WARNING! I've just been round with my £5 off voucher to the new Robert Dyas hardware store that's opened around the corner from me and they had free chocolate on the counter which I of course had a bit of but it's Marmite flavoured chocolate! And I still feel sick half an hour later.  Learn from my mistake or I will have suffered in vain.


Blog 45

The spambot seems annoyed that I'm making fun of it and appears to have inserted more ads in my blog than usual, as a way of getting its revenge.  Does it turn out to have a brain and feelings?  Can it cry?  Can it love?

Wilf Mbanga has a review of a book about Robert Mugabe in this week's Guardian.  That's one clever cat!


Blog 44  

Have you noticed that the spambot that occasionally invades the comments section is getting more sophisticated?  In blog 43 it pretended to be a person with an Indian name.  Now its going one further and writing my blog for me half-price mackerel. So now I am over two thirds of the way through my book-reading tour gucci wellingtons and its felt like quite an epic undertaking, I don’t know how many thousands of miles I’ve driven already but its been a lot used leg irons.   Its been great to meet so many people and good to hear how much they’re enjoying the readings microwave waffle ovens.  At one reading in Wellington I actually had two and a half mayors in the audience pogosticks.



Blog No. 43

I forgot to mention that the programme I made for Radio 4 about John Lennon’s house-”The Lennon Visitors” was on this Thursday the 7th at 11.30 a.m.  You can always listen on i-player.

I have been so busy going all over the country doing readings that I haven’t had any time to think about anything else.  I must have done 2000 miles in the last week or so, I feel like I'm in that ABBA song “Supertrouper".  It all seems to be going well though, a lot of the arts centres and festivals have been sold out so if you’re planning to come to a show you better book soon.

I did manage to get home last night from Gloucester to watch Mad Men and I enjoyed the episode, particularly when I noticed that the 60s lamp on Don Draper’s desk is exactly the same as one I have.  Does that make it valuable?  In fact does that make me Don Draper?  I certainly look good in a hat.


Blog No. 42

I’ve just got back from my week’s teaching at the Arvon Foundation’s Lumb Bank.  Either side I did book signings at independent bookshops.  On Saturday the 11th as Evelyn said me and my mother did a joint event at News from Nowhere and this Saturday I did the Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green, London, we sold 115 books in all.  Now if I could only get to every bookshop in the country I’m sure I could get Stalin Ate My Homework into the top ten. I’ve taken to obsessively checking the Amazon top 1000 every ten minutes to see how the book is doing which is pretty stupid as its only changed every hour but I notice  there still aren’t any reviews yet, so maybe if any of you have an inclination you could do one.  
More importantly I’ve done an interview for Your Cat magazine about Wilf  M’Banga for the Celebrity Cat section.  I suppose he qualifies twice, once because he lives with me and secondly because he turned up in John Humphries garden as a stray.  I hope he’s not one of those cats who only wants to hang out with other celebrities, a sort of feline Kate Moss.  I wonder if when the article comes out he’ll get his own agent and PR, if he does I’m cutting down on his fishy treats.


"Here's Wilf's photo that will go with his interview in Your Cat"