Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The Writer gets arrested

Hellhole or ace place?
Sy lived in London for 10 years. He started life as a city boy, and has lived in cities most of his life- Birmingham, Glasgow and Bristol being among some of the many.
I did wonder how he would adapt to living in the countryside and to be fair, he's settled in really well. However, now and again he likes to catch up with his agent so takes the train back to his old hunting ground.
Sy organises a lift to the train station with the next door neighbour but something goes really tits up there, and he ends up having to get to the station a different way.
So, who's tit's up it actually was, we'll never know, but Sy decided it had to be his fault.
It probably was.
He rings me from the train.
'I don't know what happened Sprouty- he just wasn't there, and i couldn't miss the train.....i thought i might try and get a little pressie for him in London, you know, just to say no hard feelings..'
I make the right noises down the phone, and wonder what wonderful little presie Sy is going to bring back for the neighbour...after all, i only gave him a tenner and he's got to buy some lunch with that.
The days scurries by and before i know it, i'm sat at the train station, waitng for his Lordship.
Eventually, the train comes and he crawls into the car.
'Good day? Meeting go well?'
'Yes and yes.'
'I got arrested.'
Nothing surprises me anymore.
'What did you do?'
'Well, Sprouty...'
It turned out that Sy realised once he had bought his lunch, he had no money left to get a little pressie ( i'd been waiting for this...)
So what could he bring back for the neighbour that didn't cost anything?
'These two telephone boxes were full of these cards that you could just take away, and seeing as nieghbour reads 'The Sport', then a few of these cards would tickle him...'
Sadly, for Sy, The wonderful London police force had decided to park themselves outside these two phone boxes and promptly set upon Sy as he left the second box.
Apparently, they thought he was putting the cards up, not taking them down.
And when asked what he was going to do with the cards,Sy answered; 'Give them to my next door neighbour who lives in the countryide.'
He made him sound like the godamn village idiot, who had never seen a naked woman before.
The police made him empty his bag and pockets and searched him.
And then took details.
'What was the outcome?' asks i as we pull up outside our house.
'Well....obviously my feathers were ruffled Sprouty..but there was one thing that upset me more than anything else.'
'Oh God....they didn't search you....you know..'
No! Nothing like that...worse, actually'
What could be worse?
'On my report sheet. They had to put a description of me.'
'Go on.....
'Sprouty, for my hair....they wrote......greying.'
I laughed so much i could hardly get out of the car.
He was nearly crying.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper x

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Opportunity Knocks.

......for those of us old enough to remember Hughie Green and that fab show.
But that's not the opportunity knocks i'm on about.
When you're married to a writer, you have to take charge of all social occasions.
This is mostly because they have no idea of time when they are writing, whether that be time of day or time of year- the latter being decided by;
1- Amount of clothes worn ('Sprouty, how many jumpers have you got on, it must be at least 70 degrees out there!
'No, it's mid December and you missed the whole of Autumn completely...the warmth is the central heating.)
2- The lighting. Lighting is very important to a writer. Most of them are not typists, so bash away at their laptops with amazing speed, but only with two fingers. They need to be able to see where the keys are, as they don't touch-type. Writers seem really suprised when they finally get round to turning lights off, and it's actually mid summer....and they haven't needed artificial light for at least two months.
So- i'm in charge of the calendar. Sy will sometimes tell me if he needs a social life. Most of the time he won;t though, so i end up booking dinner with friends only to find that there is no way he's moving away from his laptop. Our friends are very understanding - these days if we are invited out, they normally supply us with a plate of sandwiches, or a tin of soup, accompanied by a cry of 'Well, we we didn't want to go to any trouble in case at the last minute you couldn't come.'
Sy always seems so disgruntled by this;
'But they asked us to Dinner, Sprouty...!'
'Yes- and you should be bloody grateful for the soup- it never fails to amaze me that we're asked out at all these days, it's you that always pisses everyone about.'

There are many other occasions that are missed by Sy while he's ensconced in his own world. I make sure i trawl the appropriate bookie, publishie, telly writing websites for networking opportunities and chances for him to meet others like him ( i make him sound like some sort of unusual pet or alien.....to a point he is.)
One such opportunity happened last week- Sy went off up to Brum to a debate on the state of television drama today.
Rather fab actually, because it was between two people that Sy used to work with- Hilary Salmon at the BBC and Tony Garnett who wrote the totally unforgetable and groundbreaking 'Cathy Come Home' back in the sixties.
Sy had a whale of time, got a chance to have a good catch-up with both of them, and has been able to send Hilary some ideas to look at. Sy hasn't written for telly for about ten years, but again, it's all about Opportunities .
And then getting The Writer to make the most of them.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper x

Tuesday, 1 June 2010


Sy's desk for his writing is set up in the sitting room. It really couldn't be in a worse place. Apart from the bathroom maybe-
There was a time this actually worked quite well.
Darling Daughter and me would set off at 8.30 in the morning and not be back until 4.30 in the afternoon.
Trouble now, is that DD is on 'revision leave' or 'skiving' or 'don't give a flying fart about my exams, so i'll stay at home' time....which means she's coming and going all hours of the day, and i've started coming home between jobs.
All this coming and going is not good for the concentration.
The Writer made this perfectly clear to us last week, when DD and i had obviously had the telly on a bit too loud, or talked to each other a bit too loudly.
'Can't work here anymore, Sprouty. Just can't concentrate. Too much noise and coming and going. I need peace and quiet.'
He's forgotton that i've given up half of my sitting room for his desk, and all my wall space for the bookshelves. Booting him and his bloody laptop up to the top of the garden seems like a really good idea at the moment.
But i can feel myself crumbling.
'Well......there is one place....'
I'm pissed off with myself as soon as i've said this. No going back, you see.
'You can have my dressing table in the bedroom'.
There. The last fucking bastion.
He's in.
So, i now have a lovely area about a foot square for all my girlie things.
Sy has my dressing table, with some of his bits and pieces from his downstairs desk.
Oh, didn't i say? He still has that desk going....if i want to go to bed, he comes downstairs and perches himself back where he started.
In the daytime when i come home, i find DD sat crosslegged on the settee, fingers in her ears, to try and block out the horrific thundering that echoes down through the floorboards-'Jesus Mum, does he really have to knock the crap out of that keyboard!?'
It would appear so.
I don't have my own little place anymore. Weirdly, the dressing table was it. Not much, but mine, and now i've given it up for the greater good.
But i'm a bit miserable about it.
A man writing in my bedroom as well as every other room.
I haven't quite got to the point where i strap him to the bed and smash his ankles. But that's only because i need to have Kathy Bates at my side to make sure i do it right.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

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