Carling Cup final, book, etc

I spent the afternoon in the pub, watching Spurs lose on penalties to lucky, lucky, greedy Man Utd in the Carling Cup final. It was a strange game – I thought we played well, but felt that our defeat was inevitable. I should feel gutted but I don’t – I suppose the main aim for the season is that we stay up and everything else is secondary. We never win against Man Utd, so I wasn’t expecting much. I wrote off this season a long time ago.

It was quite bizarre in the pub. I met my mates Sam and Jon there, but my mum also tagged along, as I know she  enjoys her football. She had to leave before extra-time and so I texted her the result. We also bumped into Martin, a bloke who me and Sam went to university with in Leeds many years ago. It turns out he now lives in Wood Green. It was one of those odd occasions where various social spheres all collide, but no-one gets hurt. A jolly time was had by all, if you remove the football from the equation.

Yesterday, in a second-hand bookshop in East Finchley, I found a copy of my book. It cheered me up, briefly. I often forget that I’ve written a book. Come April it will be 3 years since I wrote the damned thing, and I can’t say I have any particular urge to write another one. I assumed that once I’d written a book, fame and fortune would instantly beckon, but that hasn’t been the case. I should really pull my finger out and write something else, but my creative well is dry.

Anyway, here’s a good interview with Alan Moore.

Words and pictures

A very spectacular rainbow in Muswell Hill. I kept stopping to take photos, whereas my girlfriend was totally unimpressed.


Some big, fuck-off leaves. I am increasingly amazed by leaves, and increasingly annoyed by the novels of Michael Chabon.


The fireworks at Ally Pally, as captured by the unreliable camera on my phone.  Apparently there were 50,000 people there, but I didn’t say hello to all of them.


A mighty big fry-up from my favourite caff in East Finchley. All that plus tea for about four quid. The chips were undercooked and we asked for them to be done properly. I’m English and not accustomed to complaining, so I looked at the floor throughout.


Todd Carty aka Tucker in Grange Hill, Mark Fowler in Eastenders, and the strange copper who slept with his mum in The Bill. He was minding his own business having a meal and I shouldn’t have snapped him, but I couldn’t resist.


My book, alongside Barack Obama. We go back a long way, me and Barry. Before he met me, he was going to call his book “Calypso Courtship”, but I suggested “Dreams from my Father”.


Quiz Moses

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.