Bookmark and Share

Monday 6th November 2006

I am not doing very well with the re-writing of my other script. I have to turn it from a 30 minute sit-com into a 90 minute drama and it's a lot of work and at the moment it's overwhelming me. This is more frustrating because this one is definitely going to get made and be broadcast and if I can make it good there's a possibility of a series, but for the moment I can only focus on its inadequacies and have not yet found the motivation to eradicate them.
As always though it's ticking along in the back of my mind and I have to accept that this is all part of the process, but my propensity to prevaricate disappoints me as per fucking usual. I think the script has the potential to be something really good, but it isn't that at the moment.
I enjoy the various displacement activities I come up with to avoid working. This afternoon, just as I was about to get back into things I suddenly decided that now was the time to replace all the blown bulbs in my house. Even though many of these bulbs have been out for months, suddenly it was important that I sort it all out now.
They are all special sized bulbs that I need to go to a specialist lighting shop for, but there's one of those very near to me, so I finally got the step ladder out and took out the dead bulbs so I could show the person in the shop what I needed. The kitchen lights were a bit tricky though. They are set up in the ceiling and I couldn't work out how to get the bulbs out. I figured that I would need to take the whole setting out of the ceiling. I prised one out and as it came out of its place a cloud of plaster dust came down with it, right into the open pack of porridge that was on the kitchen counter. Lovely. Should I throw all the pack away or just skim off the top? Porridge oats and plaster are not all that distinguishable. I could be eating the contents of my kitchen ceiling tomorrow morning. But I didn't want to waste a whole pack of expensive porridge. So I just poured out the top bit and hoped for the best.
I now had a light fitting hanging out of the roof. It didn't look right and when I tried to put it back in I couldn't work out how I was meant to do that. Had I just broken something else in my house. And I still couldn't see how to get the bulb out. It's not the kind of thing that you can call a man out for. Not if you want to retain any vestige of your masculinity.
Then I realised they were held in place by a little metal coil. Was I meant to take that out? I tried it with one - it was quite fiddly - and finally I managed to extricate the bulb, but it fell on to the counter and shattered. Luckily I had put the plastery porridge in the cupboard by now. I got out a second fitting and managed to take the bulb out in tact. I couldn't work out how to get the fitting back in though. I'd cross that bridge later.
When I took the bulb out of my hall light (the only one that really needed changing with any urgency as without it I enter a dark house at night and struggle to get to the next light - evenso it has been unchanged for almost a fortnight, but now had to be the moment I did it), I managed to crack the glass bowl underneath it which fell into two bits and was ruined. Things weren't going well. I then went upstairs to get a bulb from my top landing - again a different type. The people who lived here before me didn't like to make life simple.
Even once I got to the shop I found I had to come back again. The hall bulb did not have its wattage on it and if I wanted to replace the glass I would need a product number. I went home and got this info. I had probably only spent about an hour on this project so far. There was probably some part of my brain working on the script in some way. It wasn't wasted time.
The second time I got to the shop there was another customer. It was a quite old looking lady with a lined face who was wearing very trendy clothes and had funky blonde hair. It took me a while to realise that she was an actress who had appeared as a glamourpuss in a 1980s sit-com. Twenty years had gone by since I had last seen her, but she looked much older now (maybe exacerbated by the fact that her clothes and hair were so much younger than her face). It made me feel a little sad and old and aware of the passage of time once again. Ah the transcience of beauty. Just as our bulbs will splutter and die after burning so brightly, so shall we. She is an actress who hasn't appeared in anything since the series ended as far as I know and I wondered what she'd been up to since. I didn't ask her though. I know what it's like to get that question.
I managed to get all my bulbs, but when the lady rang about the broken glass she was told that the company no longer make that fitting. I would have to buy a whole new light or not worry about having no dish to shield the bright bulb in my hall. I opted for the latter for the moment. I don't have time to kill looking for new light fittings. I have a script to write.
Now, of course, I needed to put the new bulbs in. This was easy enough apart from in the case of the kitchen bulbs. It took some effort to even connect the things up, but then I was at a loss about how to get them back into the ceiling. They had little levers in them but however I tried to manipulate them they wouldn't go in snugly. Finally I gave in, leaving them hanging down an inch or two. Maybe I would sort it out later, or maybe I would call in a man or maybe I would knock down my kitchen and start again. I felt annoyed that I had broken something else in my lovely house and that I didn't have the technical expertise to complete fundamental jobs.
Later I was making myself a cup of tea. I went to open the cupboard and realised that the light fitting was now in the way. I sighed. My whole life was falling apart. I had another go at securing the fittings and was considering getting some blu-tak when by luck rather than judgement I managed to work out the required technique. I had repaired the problem. As always with these most simple DIY tasks (like bleeding a radiator) I felt disproportionately proud of myself for getting it done. I felt like a real man.
I am not one though

WIN A PSP
November quiz - Question 6
In 2005 I took part in a Scrabble tournament and have gone through periods where I have tried to learn useful Scrabble vocab. One legitimate Scrabble word is four letters long and composed entirely of vowels. It is an alternate spelling of an interjection expressing Bacchic frenzy (not that the definition is important, it just needs to be in the dictionary). What is the word i am referring to (gotta be worth a guess if you don't know - just string four vowels together and hope for the best or get into a Bacchic frenzy and write down what you end up interjecting)?
The clumsiness of these questions is what delights me most about them.
Please wait until the end of the month before sending all 30 answers in together. Anyone sending answers individually will immediately invalidate their entry to the competition. Remember the prize will go to whoever has the most answers right. It is still worth entering even if you can't answer all the questions. There will be no additional clues.

Bookmark and Share



Buy my new book/ebook/audiobook "Would You Rather?" (get stickers and a signed bookplate from gfs. Also available as a very different audiobook with the brilliant Stevie Martin
Help us make more podcasts by becoming a badger You get loads of extras if you do.