Newsflash Middle-aged women of Finsbury Park:All the Versace scarves and Dolce et Gabbanna glasses in the world aren't going to make you look chic if you gob in the street coming out of church.
Am late to meet Kelly. A chance conversation with Gwen ( kindly offering to pick Kelly up in the "new" Volvo; casette player as standard!) about, among other things, whether or not half-pipes appear naturally in the building world or are they hewn from from full-pipes by ambitious skaters (the alarming fact that Douglas used to be a skater also cropped up! He wore Vans! ). Here is Doug's scientific explanation of how flying carpets and, by obvious extension, skate-boards work:
"See this image of how a flying carpet maintains a high degree of apparent angular integrity in its total X-Z plane, with the deformations restricted to a local scale ~1/4 of the dimensions of the carpet, centered on the standing 'sweet spot'.
*** ****** *****
HIGH-FREQUENCY 'MAGIC' CARPET ~0.25 frequency
* BURDEN *
LOW-FREQUENCY 'BAG' CARPET ~4 frequency (NOTE THE DANGEROUSLY RESTRICTED PILOTING VIEW-POINT AND TENDENCY FOR TREASURES, AMULETS ETC. TO POOL)"
Doug often attempts to teach me high falutin' science and I fail to understand it for comic effect (and because it's TOO HARD). A recent lesson on time travel and its practical application dissolved into an arguement about whether Milky Way's "Red car and blue car had a race" advert was a viable example of illustrating faster than light travel from an objective perspective. I still think it does. I'm sure I saw James Burke do something similar.
We also discussed the Blue Peter book awards (and Biddy Baxter's need to show the mud spattered bare arses of the male presenters on every expedition - even Mark Curry! Dirty old Bidy!). Professional (read: amateur) interest stirred within me and I investigated the one Michael Lawrence (not the chemically polluted star of "Black Knight". Blood-stream like the Cuyahoga river, that man!) author of the Jiggy McCue series, including timeless work like "The Toilet of Doom" and "The Killer Underpants" - no one ever went broke selling bum, poo and wee to pre-teens! He's a rum old cove, bearded and crabby, and a welcome relief from all the bright eyed and beautiful young authors who seem to proliferate in the shallow waters of childrens publishing. He cheerfully admits (none too cheerfully) that he didn't start out writing for children, it just so happened that his first book to get published was a children's one and he just went with it. He also admitted that he couldn't be bothered reading contemporary children's authors and that the time it took from deciding to be a writer and being able to earn a living from it was about forty years! Another thirty five to go then! I find this strangely heartening. All the authors I read about are about 15 and fabulously feted for their first forays or they're already successful in some other arena and appear to be publishing books as a sort of hobby. Stupidly I don't really have a back-up plan - this is all I really want to do. So it is reassuring to find that other ugly people with art-school educations and no friends in the industry have managed to make it into print.
I then had a sudden urge to find out what a pangolin was (a sort of scaley ant-eater). And then I realised I was late.