Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Status report:

OK, I kind of knew that this would be harder to maintain as time went on, and so it proves. But I still want to do it, regardless of whether anyone wants to read it, so I'm not going anywhere. The lists on the left are hopelessly out of date, and there's something about the Blogger interface which makes me not want to update them, but maybe I will soon. I've been working, and I've been holidaying, and my report below on writing projects is hopelessly optimistic, but I keep thinking that any minute now, some time will mysteriously appear.

But I bought a Frank Zappa CD, because the opening line of the novel-which-I'll-never-write (tentatively entitled 'Prague Autumn' for now) will be:

"I was in the bath when Frank Zappa called."

and I thought a little more research wouldn't hurt.

Also, I was in Turkey on Friday. Or Tottenham High Road. One of those two. It was quite intriguing, really. One of the things which everyone knows about urban Britain is the Asian corner shop (they're rather patronisingly known in the trade as the "Mr. Patels"). It seems, however, that in parts of North London, they re being supplanted by Turkish shops. The original generation of Asian traders - the ones who arrived in the mid-seventies - is reaching retirement age now, and their children have, in the main, loftier ambitions than selling news and groceries - especially given the state of the independent retail market, squeezed on all sides by multinational corporate grocers. So the shops are being sold off, and the new owners, in N17 at least, are Turkish. There was much Cola Turka - to nat's obvious confusion - together with Turkish confectionery (a lot of it strangely familiar...) and Turkish newspapers. I dimly remembered some Turkish words from all that time ago, but being able to say "The man in the street" has a limited value when you're trying to explain why you're doing software testing in the middle of an off licence called, confusingly, 'Highbury Wines'. (But you're in Tottenham, I complained. The owner - Turkish, naturally - pretended he hadn't heard it a thousand times before). And it was bloody cold, too.

So there we are, I'm still here, and I'm still writing. Sometimes.