Thursday, 23 July 2009

This picture has nothing to do with what follows, I just liked it

This is me covered in excitement. Whassat look like? Lots of body hair, but like, invisible. Doh.

The reason for this unreasonable excitement? I’m off first thing tomorrow to the Crime Writing Festival at Harrogate.


Some of the papers refer to it as a Crime Festival which is another thing entirely. Brings to mind a requirement for the local police force to temporarily increase their numbers and suspend all leave.

No. It’s Crime Writing and some of the world’s top crime writing talent will be in attendance. Guys n’ gals like Lee Child, George Pelecanos, Val McDermid, R J Ellory, Denise Mina etc etc etc. On the Sunday the guy who wrote The Wire, David Simon will be taking the stage. How cool is that?

I was thinking about taking my laptop away with me and blogging/ twattering (yes, I know I’ve misspelt it, but I’m trying to start a new fashion. Think it will catch on?) about the event while I’m there. Cannae be arsed though. I just wanna take in the vibe, man and hang out with the big names. And hope that some of their success rubs off on me.

Anyway, there I was on the way home from the office daydreaming about meeting the publisher of my dreams and I accidentally tripped and fell into a Chinese takeaway place. Nobody got hurt, thankfully, but seeing as I was there I ordered some of that sweet and sour stuff. It would have been rude not to.

Again I would like to add that I am a man of balance. Regular readers of this blog will know I like to lead a balanced lifestyle. And no, that does not mean a doughnut in each hand. So later (much later) I headed off to the gym.

Strictly entre nous...something that happened on the way home has me worried. Really worried. The radio was on and the song In for the Kill by La Roux was playing. OK, the lead singer might be a nice girl, but jeez does she have an annoying voice. The last time I heard that kinda voice it was the local church choir and some wee lassie was singing Adeste Fideles like she was auditioning for the “Worst” outtakes on The X Factor.

For anyone who doesn't know it the song has an 80's retro feel with said caterwhauling over a synthesiser tune type thing. Why anyone would want to go for a retro on the 80's - the decade that music forgot - beats me.

So there’s me shouting at the radio – can you no get someone who can sing, and getting louder as the sentence finished (what's that all about?) when it struck me. I’m becoming my father.


Thinking about it ...our generation grew up with pop music so (I think) popular music feels much more inclusive. It’s a big old smorgasbord of influences where anything goes and anyone can dip into it, or come and stay for a few weeks. My Dad and his peers were used to Perry Como, Sinatra and Andy Whatsisname. Nice wee songs that told a story, where each word was enunciated with care and where the singers wore cardigans and sat on rocking chairs. The most controversial it got was when somebody whipped out a pipe and started smoking. When Pops was faced with glam-rock, punk, heavy rock etc ... it must have seemed like somebody had popped a hallucinogen in his tea (strong, two sugars) and melted an ekky over his toast.

Back in the day (here in the UK) Top of the Pops was required viewing. While the “pop star” was doing their thing, the old fella would be sitting in his chair giving it... cannae even work out what they’re singing. Then he’d mutter under his breath...what a buncha poofs.
...awfurfucksake, would you look at that? that man wearing fecking make-up? Buncha poofs.
...that fella’s trousers are so tight I can tell he’s been circumcised. Poof.

And then he’d carry on watching, making no effort to turn the TV off. Car-crash TV long before the term was coined.

Thing is, the Pops I am talking about would have been younger than I am now. And as things stand I am totally down with the kids. Kinda. Times they are a’changin’.

Other ways that I am becoming my father? Eeesh, I’m not admitting to anything else. In any case everybody suffers from wind and has hair growing out of their earlobes. Right?


  1. you crack me up. now, when i fall i get all self-conscious and hurry on (assuming I survived said fall) but you order take out...i'm sure your daddy would have had some choice words on that one, sonny. thanks for the laugh, michael! t p.s. have a great time at the conference and yes, i hope you meet an editor!!! sending the vibes

  2. Thea - you just need to watch where you trip. Last time, I ended up buying some whisky!

  3. its the whiskey that might have tripped me...hiccc

  4. Enjoy that conference. (Coincidentally, I'm posting on writing communities tomorrow.)

  5. Not only do I hope you find a publisher, I insist on it. Have a great time there, Michael. I know you will. (And BTW, I endorse every word your dad uttered.)

  6. Oh, and here I was thinking you get to meet a cool author like Bill Kirton... duh. Good luck and watch your feet.

  7. Bill - oh, ok then. I WILL find a publisher. Is it OK if they don't give me an immediate answer?
    Marley - Bill is too cool for school and I didn't need to watch my feet. People insisted on giving me tumblers of whisky. No tripping required.