Month: December 2005


Not Cricket

Listening to the news…

In his native Australia, tributes continue to pour in for media mogul…“Oh. Come. On. You just did that to mess with me.

Also, in this report from the Herald Sun..

Mr Packer, whose wealth was estimated at $7 billion, will be farewelled at a private funeral but a public memorial service is also being planned.

When exactly did farewell become a verb?

Strewth.

 


And the goose is getting fat

Whoops. There goes another week. And another year, come to think of it. I woke up on last week a year older and precious little wiser. The big two-six – and as someone quite rightly texted me – “What a year it’s been eh?!”

Eh indeed.

Actually what a year-and-a-half it’s been. That hit home as I was moving house the other week. I really must put all these old copies of LNR on eBay. It really was good, you know, despite everything. And then there’s the pilot of LbL. And a thousand versions of the business plan. Do you know, we nearly handed over the whole thing to a huge publishing multinational? The only thing that stopped us was their retardedly slow contract department. And their inability to understand a single thing we were saying. And so many train tickets – so, so many train tickets. Oh yes. It’s been a hell of a journey, make no mistake. God knows we have in the last year and a half. But hakuna matata, right? What doesn’t kill us only makes us hunger.

The birthday itself was a funny one, spent partly in the studios of Resonance FM doing that debate on democracy. The yoot spokespeople from the three parties were as you might expect: posh Tory girl who was wrong about almost everything, but believed what she was saying – which is admirable; jovial Libdem boy full of moderate radicalism, signifying nothing and the Labour girl. She was the worst. All facts and figures, no passion. She’ll go far.

The Lib Dem, incidentally, supported Kennedy to the hilt on air but was – how can I put this? – less forthright when the microphone was off. Poor Charles. He’s toast.

Then came a Heroes and Villains party which, in the end, I went to dressed as Hunter S. Thompson. Michael has very thoughtfully posted the pictures here. You’ll observe that the cigarette isn’t lit and as such is merely a prop. Just say no, kids.

And in answer to your question about the first picture – yes I was. Very.

Speaking of parties – fast-forward to Tuesday of this week and it was time for the very first Friday Project Christmas Party. An incredibly good time was had by all, and it was nice to drink some – lots of – Champagne with authors and friends. Things we learnt from the party include…

1) It’s a bad idea to have your team Christmas lunch on afternoon before the evening of your Christmas party. By the end of the night none of you will be unable to walk in a straight line. Or walk at all. Or feel your hands.

2) It’s a bad idea to tell your Chairman and main investor at same lunch to ‘fuck off’, no matter how cheerfully you do it, and no matter how much he probably deserves it, having taken the piss out of your suit.

3) It’s a bad idea to drink the bar dry of house Champagne in the first hour and then move on to progressively more expensive bottles as the evening progresses. Better to start with the good stuff while you still have any idea what you’re drinking.

4) But it’s a good idea to work with a fantastically dedicated team, some brilliant and supportive investors and partners – and, most importantly, the world’s finest authors. They deserved all the Champagne and so much more.

Oh, and if whoever has Clare’s phone and my wallet could possibly pop them in the post, that’d be great. Thanks.


Christmas time is here, by golly. Disapproval would be folly

The nights have drawn in, it’s freezing cold outside and the world continues to mission-creep towards Holy war.

Would it kill XFM to play some upbeat music?

Seriously, if I hear Coldplay one more time – or that James Blunt dirge – I’m going to drop the office radio in a bath. While Blunt is in it.

“Yoour’e byoootifu….” Splash. TZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Hiss.

So, yes, long time no blog. Things have been mental-busy here at TFPHQ. For one thing, we’ve just signed a great new author. I can’t talk about it until everything’s completely watertight, legal-wise, which is incredibly annoying because the book is going to be absolutely bloody incredible. Fine writing on a gripping subject. Ooh yes, it’s going to be goooood. More soon. Watch this space.

We’re also right in the midst of a particularly fascinating process involving some large sums of money and contracts the size of Ghana. Again, I probably shouldn’t say much. Law again, y’know. But suffices to say the process is a pure and simple head-fuck.

You know those big meetings you see in Wall Street films, with lawyers and accountants and advisors and investors and directors all sitting round a table, calculators and gold pens in hand, wrestling over spreadsheets and tiny percentages and professional fees that could put a Beckham child through college? And people keep excusing themselves to make Very Important phone calls? And assistants in smart uniforms keep bringing coffee ensuring that everyone involved is bouncing off the ceiling? And there’s a weird politic about who sits at the head of the table.

Turns out those meetings exist. And they’re everything you’d expect them to be. And so much longer.

In the midst of all this, I continue to media whore myself like a media whore. On Wednesday evening I’m taking part in a debate on Resonance FM with ‘youth representatives’ of the major political parties. I’m to be the ‘non-partisan’ participant. Ha!

Immediately after that I’ve been invited to a Heroes and Villains party in aid of some worthy cause or other. It’s fancy dress but I’m not sure I’m going to have time to change into anything but the most basic of costume. Unless I do the debate in my villainous fancy dress. Perhaps as a non-partisan Hitler. I do hope there’s a webcam.

What else? Ah yes. Heather has been busy, decorating the office in appropriate festive style. Honestly, it’s lucky I like tinsel and fairy lights otherwise I’d be working from home until January. I challenge anyone to set foot in here without bursting into Christmas song. Not ‘holiday song’, you’ll notice. Christmas. Or at a push Hanukkah. Which is probably more appropriate given that our office is currently a festival of lights.

And speaking of Christmas cheer – I’d like to know whose bright idea it was to arrange our Christmas drinks party for the evening after the afternoon of our TFP office Christmas lunch. And who decided that we’d have cocktails before lunch? Are any of the five of us going to be still standing when the evening guests arrive? But then again will we notice if we’re not?

Now XFM are playing something about a man who remembers a JCB.

So this is Christmas.

And what have we done.

Another year over.

And it’s my birthday on Wednesday.

How depressing.

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