Luscious and I are both sick at the moment (another post on that later today) so last night was resting, couch-surfing, and revisiting a comfort movie. We settled on one of our favourites, and a movie that is such an underrated little gem, Mr. Brooks, one of the very few movies in which I genuinely enjoy William Hurt and in which Kevin Costner gives arguably the first of his relaxed, subtle late career performances. It’s stuffed with fantastic acting turns, and even Danielle Panabaker — so utterly awful and unconvincing in the The Flash TV series — is given just enough to do to turn her limited range into an asset. Hell, any movie that makes you want to see more of Dane Cook should be counted as a miracle equivalent to a Mechanical Turk or roc egg!

It’s a joy.


There’s a very simple solution to stopping big game hunters, you know.

Put a bounty on them.

Money for villagers who might otherwise be tempted by fees to act as guides, limiting access to local knowledge and preserving the natural heritage, skills, and financial independence of the indigenous population. Plus, how many smug white dentist’s heads from middle America mounted on hotel walls do you think it would take before the whole industry just withered away and died?


You’re welcome.

“If I’d known it was harmless, I’d have killed it myself.”


Three weeks ago, as part of my determination to make what might be, perhaps, one last attempt to take the sputtering embers of my writing career and see if I can fan them enough to light at least one match head, my good friend Chuck McKenzie and I invited a few colleagues — all of whom were in a similar situation, and had spoken of a similar mind-frame — to create an online group dedicated to supporting each other as we tried to reignite what we all once had, and at least occasionally enjoyed.

After some discussion around format, and desires, and structure, we set our first writing target this week. Very small, very simple, real ‘hurdles for baby bunny rabbits’ stuff: 100 words, or half an hour cumulative writing time.

It’s easier to aim low, and surpass, than aim high, and not even try.

So this morning, gifted with a third consecutive sick day (thanks, inflamed lung!), I finally sat down to try my first writing session since determining to do so at the start of the year (Turns out new jobs and house moves are time-consuming. Who knew?). I dusted off Vitelli’s, a short story I’d churned out a couple of thousand words on the last time I tried to restart things, and which fell apart before I could finish it and even contemplate what came next.

Today, armed with the knowledge that I had to get at least 100 words down, or front up to the writing group I started and explain why I couldn’t manage the first, smallest target I set, I managed 800 words and brought a long-dormant short story from somewhere in the midst to just about finished.

That, my friends, is a good feeling.

Baby steps.

First steps.

But oh, they do feel nice.


Almost completely moved into the new house, and two weeks into fresh battles at my new school, so of course I’m going to fall over with an inflamed lung and have to spend the better part of a week doing sod all on doctor’s orders, just as the neighbours and fellow teaching staff were really learning not to bother with me.

Lord 17 is also home today with a cough to rival Captain Coughy McCougherson — we’ve really got to stop huffing off the same crack pipe — so it was a glorious chance to introduce him to a movie that is, well, simply one of the most wonderful pieces of celluloid I’ve ever watched: one of Terry Gilliam’s several masterpieces, The Fisher King.

There are some lines, no matter how brilliant or otherwise a movie may be, that simply transcend the material and slice your heart straight open.

The Good Place’s “Picture a wave…” speech makes my eyes flood every time.

“We are Groot.”

“I don’t understand. Who is this child?”

Hell, I know people who tear up over the “I love you”…… “I know” exchange in The Empire Strikes Back.

It takes all sorts, and I guarantee you, unless you are a soulless monster of incalculable stone density, or a Steven Seagal fan, you have your own Shut up, you’re crying! favourites as well.

Which brings me back to The Fisher King, and because I haven’t seen it in a bunch of years, this line, which goes straight into that list of lines that make me cry like a six year old with half a cone of ice-cream on the ground.

Naturally, as a defence mechanism, I have to undermine the living shit out of it. Naturally.


One of those inviolate rules of comedy: death is funny, dying is pain.

Death is doubly funny when you anthropomorphise it and give it a range of normal human habits. Like marrying, and dinking cocktails. To whit: ta-daaaaaaa.

“You’d think that, but he’s actually quite a warm and gentle lover.”

Bonus points for anyone willing to share what they actually do think about Death’s performance as a sexual partner……


It’s been a short while since any meaningful content, but perhaps this picture may serve as a form of explanation as to why.

Weeks of short-term accommodation homelessness have been navigated. Home is achieved. Today, the box fort arrives…