On Sunday night I made a big mistake. I sat down to watch TV for 2 hours. Why am I writing about this (apart from the fact that it’s a very unusual occurrence, courtesy of at least 4 reasons – all of them now taller than me)? Well it’s because of what I saw. Don’t get me wrong; I love TV. But my choice of programmes left me watchful and looking over my shoulder.
First up was the second episode of the new series of Cold Feet (recorded from Friday – I never get a look in on a Friday as it’s rugby league and football night). And, in it, we had Adam agonising over whether to have another child with his new partner, Tina and Jenny being forced, in her recently-acquired managerial capacity, to make her friend redundant (all relevant issues troubling us middle-agers!). But it was publisher Karen’s storyline that caused the first flickers of angst; her wonderful, lauded debut author, Bridie, is not only behaving badly (bossing Karen around) but has writer’s block and can’t deliver her second novel (hm!). She ends up drunk and vomits all over Karen’s hallway, admitting to only having written 3000 words. I cast an eye in the direction of the study, next door, where a hard copy of my first draft of novel no.2 is sitting, expectantly and mentally note that Dan (publisher’s) house is not close enough for me to make any impromptu visits.
Then I switched to Silkworm; the dramatization of JK Rowling’s second novel, featuring private detective Cormoran Strike (isn’t there a missing “t”?) and his able assistant Robin (I had read and enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling but not read this one). But, oh no! Yet again we were on the topic of the world of books. And poor old Owen Quine, a writer who has been unable to recreate the success of his first novel (double hm!), has ended up dead, disembowelled in horrible fashion and laid out like the final scene in his new manuscript, Bombyx Mori. More authors are introduced; Andrew Fancourt is successful but bitter after his wife committed suicide when her writing attempts were publicly lambasted. Then, after a few confrontations and Strike removing his artificial leg a couple of times, we discover whodunnit? It was the wonderfully named, but suspiciously shirty, Elizabeth Tassel, Quine’s publisher! (I am now even more pleased I don’t live near Dan).
So now you understand why I will be leaving visits to the gogglebox alone for a while or, at least, sticking to Bake Off for the time being. I comfort myself by thinking that (1) I have not had such tremendous success [yet] with TPB (so I don’t have a great height from which to fall, like Bridie or Owen); and (2) I don’t speak Latin.