Celeb spot number 178: Sophie Okonedo (of Hotel Rwanda and Aeon Flux) in Muswell Hill last week.
On Monday I went to a pub quiz. In recent months I’ve been doing lots of film-based pub quizzes, mainly thanks to an old friend of mine who I recently re-found thanks to Facebook. He has lots of film-buff mates. Anyway, we were in a pub in East Finchley to do the quiz when I spotted an old friend of the family and went over to say hello. She was also doing the quiz and had a team of 3 people with her. One of the guys she was with turned to me and said: “I’m reading your book at the moment.”
I was very impressed.
“My ex-girlfriend made me read it,” he continued. “She’s mad about you. Well, you and Charlie Brooker.”
I was indeed very impressed. I keep forgetting that my book is OUT THERE, that the general public can, without my permission, just go out and buy it. And what’s more, they might really like it. It’s very nice.
We came second in the pub quiz (out of about 20 teams). We keep coming second because there is one guy there who does the quiz with his son, and he’s either a professional film critic, or he was involved in some kind of freak accident which resulted in the imdb being permananently embedded in his brain. We will never beat him.
Talking of my book, I have an arrangement at the moment with The Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a new bookshop off the High Road, and it’s excellent. They are friendly, helpful and do lots of events, with recent readings by Levi Roots (yes, the Reggae Reggae sauce man) and an upcoming reading by Bill Drummond of the KLF and the K Foundation. Anyway, they are selling copies of my book and you can even order a copy from them for delivery, as they accept Paypal – and I don’t. So if you’re hunting around for a copy, you can either contact me directly or speak to them.
Yesterday I was walking through Muswell Hill when I saw a group of young, religious Jews (frum but not Haredi) asking for directions. Being the helpful person that I am, I stopped and asked where they needed to go. They were heading to Alexandra Palace to go ice-skating (a Jewish pastime since biblical times) and as I was heading in the same direction, I said that I would escort them there. There were four or five of them, boys and girls, with ages ranging from about 9 to 12. I tried to engage them in conversation, but they were quite stand-offish, so it ended up with me walking through Muswell Hill with them following at a safe distance of about five metres behind, chattering amongst themselves. It must have looked quite strange. At various points I wanted to stop, raise my arms in the air and say: “Behold! I am Moses, leading the Children of Israel to the Promised Land!” but I didn’t. A missed opportunity.
They were talking among themselves in French, so eventually I chipped in with my own broken A-level French, which surprised them a bit. It turns out that two of them were Belgian, and the others were French. No wonder they weren’t friendly.
Otherwise, life continues as normal. I’ve been trying to get out more and work from the office, but I seem to find myself at home a lot of the time, pacing up and down the lounge, checking my email and reading about the Olympics. Oh, and winning the Mexican league in Fifa 07 on my X-box. All attempts at doing anything vaguely creative have failed.