Scrooge, I am not the next big radio drama thing yet, bottoms as usual

News on a local Scrooge, my BBC commission failure, my bottom and the cats bottoms.

Another very early start so I thought I would ramble. This is not the only thing I do in the morning in case you were wondering. I get on with with mini projects and shop. I have been doing a lot of online Christmas shopping and because I have the wonderful but expensive Amazon Prime I get things next day, even Sunday’s.

Recently I have been doing an hour or twos research hunting down facts on our local landowner. I was prompted to do this when chatting to the workers installing a new electricity cable. Because our landowner (80th richest man in the country – under a billion though) refuses to trim the branches from the top of his trees that currently disrupt the supply, we tax payers are picking up the bill for diverting the electricity cables around his land underground – not cheap. This reminded me of an Italian novel ‘Fontamara’ in which the local robber baron re-roots or cuts off the local water supply in order to tax or squeeze out the local peasants. Our landowner has also refused to let the the workers walk over certain bits of land which I had assumed were public. He has a habit of turning public roads into private roads and just hoping no one will notice. His reputation as the ultimate modern day Scrooge/King John is widespread and there are countless anecdotes of his personal cruelty that I won’t repeat here as his hobby is litigation and he employs Blair’s wife’s old legals to fight his cases. Suffice to say he is someone that someone should take on – not me – not the local council they can’t afford it – someone worth a billion upwards who can afford to match his bottomless pockets for seemingly trivial bits of litigation.. As my address book does not have an entry for someone like this I wrote a poem instead – my first overtly political one – not very good at all – sounds a bit like bad Russell Brand but I feel so much better for it. You should note he owns most of the market town of Tadcaster and the Sam Smith Brewery. He patrols his local properties early in the morning maybe to avoid his disgruntled tenants or the vigilantes which I assume exist at least in the fantasies of many. Actually come to think of it that subject might make a better poem. I will post separately after checking with my lawyers – tee hee.

Talking of feeling better the chemo cocktail is doing nicely and I feel great. That is apart from troublesome bowels caused by the nerve damage subjected by my expensive drug. Did you know my chemo is based on mustard gas. After the First World War they found that soldiers that had been gassed had experienced cell damage. They use the same compounds to kill off Cancer cells. Any way this symptom is negligibly disruptive so I am certainly not complaining or worried. Ah the blessed bidet!!!

Other news is I got turned down flat by the BBC for my radio play VENT. It’s better than they think, but worse than I think so fair enough. I am still planning to do it as there are loads of independents who will probably take it if I don’t charge and I have some parts recorded already. I am looking forward to making it myself – that will be a real challenge but fun.

Maria and I have have a missionary zeal about communicating the merits of failure. Both our children were brought up on it and are sick to death of hearing it but Maria and I have had the privilege of failing many, many times. Mainly auditions and job interviews but in my case countless grants and commissions. I don’t exaggerate when I say I must have received at least 100 humiliating put downs in my creative life many shared with my dear friend Paul. I used to be genuinely put down by them – now I honestly don’t care anymore than when I don’t win the lottery on a Sunday. What I have instilled in my children is the notion that if you care enough that it stops you doing something then you don’t deserve to be doing it and go find another profession now cos you are not ready. Authoritative voices that wield power are not always right. By that I mean funding bodies, arts councils, critics etc are people just like us with axes to grind, personal prejudices, good and bad taste, opportunistic tendencies, talents and delusions. We all need to try to jump through their hoops but having jumped and fallen over just get up again and get on. Don’t moan, winge or write blogs on the subject we have heard it all before – whoops..

Other natural history news – Mitch’s head continues to explode- Maria bathes it in salt water and as long as it is warm he loves it. Both cats are doing the worm bottom shuffle so time for a dose. Our rats are dead but have chosen to die between the floorboards wrapped around warm water pipes so our house smells like Sweeney Todd’s. A deer came to visit us and Maria got a picture of its bottom. Heard no more from the stoat. Usual host of mice complete or in bits. For those we may see New Year’ – bring your pomanders – seriously we stop noticing but the Selby Council rat man entered and turned a bit green, of course there is always the risk of the plague (Arthur got bitten on the head while asleep by a mouse) or limes disease from the visiting dear or worms from the cats or cancer from me (only joking) tee hee. See you all soon – do pop in. I bet you want to.

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