Friday, 14 September 2007

What not to say

It’s obvious the McCanns do not watch CSI (any of them, although, what they would learn from CSI : Miami, I have no idea – standing sideways maybe).

If they did, they would know you must never ever ever say, ‘Prove it!’ to the police. Only the guilty say that and they’re usually actors. Yes, I know that everyone in CSI is an actor, but the culprits are the only ones, apart from the main protagonists, who are actors. If someone appears on the screen and you recognize them from some other TV series or, even better, from films, you can bet anything they’re the murderer.

I now believe the McCanns are guilty. They gave themselves away, didn’t they?

Addendum (14.09.07):
What not to do
If you are a famous Polish author (if you’re currently a British author you can spend some time in Poland – they’ve got masses of space there since everyone has now moved to this country – and become a Polish author), so, if you are a famous Polish author (I have no advice on how to become famous: you’re on your own there, sorry ) and you commit a crime, it is not a good idea to write a thriller describing your crime in great detail because someone will tip off the police five years later and suggest they read your book and you will eventually be jailed for the crime. Do not follow Krystian Bala’s example: think of another plot for your novel.

Are there any limits to people's stupidity and greed and arrogance?

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

More of the same

What would I do without the BBC? What would I write about? No, really. It’s a constant source of astonishment, aggravation, amusement, alliteration. Such a gift for a grumpy old woman.

Like, for example, why did they show Bend It Like Beckham the other day? As if I didn’t know. Could it be, by any chance, because that Keira Knightley (my mother would have said, ‘On dirait un hareng.’) is in a new film? Could it?

I don’t care when this kind of thing is done by commercial TV channels, although I don’t see why TV and newly released films should be coupled thus, but this is my licence fee they’re using to hype Atonement. Drat, I’ve said it!

Don’t go away, there’s more
: the BBC has surpassed itself this week. They have reached a new low in moronicity. Wanna hear the latest? I’m once again about to translate stuff for them, as I do every year around this time. Yesterday morning I received a summary in abominable French for one of the scripts I have to translate. I asked the PA who sent it to me why it was in French and where it came from, dismayed at the idea that such gobbledygook might have been used to promote the programme in a French-speaking country. She got back to me saying, ‘... the translation I sent was created from a translation website that I found – I was trying to help.’ Does she think that’s what I’m going to do too: feed the scripts through Babelfish and just correct the odd infelicitous phrase here and there? Obviously she does.

Idiots are all around us. How do you respond when a project manager says to you, as one did recently to my partner, who’s an editor, when told a particular book would take x weeks to edit, ‘But surely you don't have to read it all, do you?’

Makes you want to curl up and die, doesn’t it? Or slap them very hard, anyway.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Something to look forward to

The problem with having a blog dedicated to bad things and bad people is that readers might get the impression that my life is one long miserable series of tribulations. Not so. I choose to write about what annoys me, as a way of getting it out of my system, eliciting sympathy from my readers (no, not really), showing that we all have the same problems, and, finally, making people feel better about their own lives (‘Well, at least, nothing like that has ever happened to me’ kind of thing).

Sometimes I want to share the nice things too, but since I can’t start writing another blog called Blessing of the Day (not only would I make myself throw up but frankly, on balance, I wouldn’t have enough to write about) I have to use this platform and wonder who or what I can slap at the end. Let’s see how it goes...

A little while ago, I told the story of a failed getting-together-again-after-so-many-years with someone I met when I was having fun with – er – teaching French civilisation to kids in Tewkesbury. The young, bohemian guy I knew then had become a dirty old man and I didn’t feel like having anything to do with him now. I more or less swore not to try to track down any more people I had lost touch with years ago: we were bound to not have anything in common any longer and meeting again might destroy the good memories we had of each other.

However, one of my recent commenters turned out to be someone who studied English at the same university and at the same time as me: I didn’t know him personally and he didn’t know me but we’ve been able to remind each other of people and things we encountered then. He’s a charming man and I hope we can carry on reminiscing together.

Encouraged, I decided to see who else was out there. I googled some names and hit the jackpot.

I used to smile when my mother visited her ‘school friends’: women, who, like her, had managed to escape being murdered by the Nazis; little old ladies she knew when she was a child in Poland, with whom she walked to school, her pockets full of hot sunflower seeds in winter. To me as a young person it seemed slightly ridiculous but yesterday I talked on the phone with someone I knew when I was 11 years old and hadn’t spoken to for 45 years. We were best friends at school, and the last time we met we were 14 and we were both in tears: I was leaving Paris with my parents. She still lives in Paris and has two grown-up daughters, and we giggled like schoolgirls on the phone. I’m so looking forward to seeing her again soon.

So, you see, it’s not all aggro.

Who shall I slap, then? What about myself for not looking for her sooner?