Sunday, November 24, 2013

The magic of Doctor Who

[The Doctor Who 50th anniversary special was on BBC1 last night.]

I was eleven when I first saw Susan Foreman and her grandfather. 

Susan was a pupil at Coal Hill School in Shoreditch, and her teachers were worried about her because she had a strange take on the world. Almost alien, you might say. 

Coal Hill School was on television on Saturday night, watched by millions around the world. It’s the most famous fictional school in Britain, for Susan’s grandfather was William Hartnell, the original Doctor Who, and they had stopped off in Shoreditch while he was trying to fix a technical bug in their Tardis, which caused it to keep its shape as a London police box when travelling through time.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A very senior moment

I had my first senior moment this morning. It was very embarrassing. 

I was in Waitrose, where I love using the self-scanner handset they give you so you don’t have to queue at the checkout – you just scan all the items as you shop, then swipe your credit card and walk away with bulging bags and a sense of superiority. 

Except that today, when I inserted my credit card in the slot, the bill came to just £6.75. Considering my laden basket included a whole shoulder of lamb, I realised I must have absent-mindedly bagged half a grocery list without scanning.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The next hot thing

Sunny Sunday mornings are always special. 

A leisurely soft boiled egg with soldiers lying lazily beside a frothing cappuccino, my computer open at a blank page, ready for the weekly update on my world. It’s my favourite moment of the week. Except that instead of a view of my frosted garden, I’m looking at the Empire State building glowing in the sunlight of a New York midtown skyline. 

Outside my hotel here in Brooklyn, the streets are still silent, no sign of life apart from a few tracksuits in the park jogging guilt into my brain as I order another round of buttery toast. 

I only arrived last night, and this afternoon I’ll be back in the care of British Airways, 14 hours of my weekend lost on a plane. It’s a long way to come for one meeting, but that’s the strange world of television. You work away at a project for months, and then suddenly somebody says they’ll meet you, but only next Saturday, and off you fly. Literally.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Doggie Doos and Don'ts

I think the fairy period of Izzy’s life may have peaked. 

Not that she’s discarded them yet. In fact, as I write this, she’s sitting on the floor building a new fairy house. It’s a shoebox decorated with glitter and nail varnish (which I’m not sure Mummy knows about, but I’m not going to be a spoilsport) and will soon be filled with pixie dust and other tiny objects in order to attract a real live fairy to come and live in it. 

While construction work is proceeding, we’re keeping Boots out of the room in disgrace. Last night he leapt over the dog gate and ate Tinkerbell. Izzy’s hoping the fairy that inhabits her new box will be Vidia, because she says it’s her favourite. 

I looked Vidia up in Wikipedia. She has pouty lips and arched eyebrows. She is also selfish, with a secret box of fairy dust under her bed which she hides from the other fairies, which explains why Izzy has suddenly acquired one too, in which she keeps a collection of birthday cards, broken dolls and old yoghurt pots. 

Vidia is self-centred, calls everyone “darling” and believes that not all fairies are created equal. Izzy says she likes her because she flies the fastest and has purple bits in her hair.  She is the Joan Collins of fairies, and I’m not sure I want Vidia living in my house, even if she’s hidden under Izzy’s bed – she reminds me of my ex-wife.