The countdown continues as we reach the halfway point. Have you found your ideal Christmas present yet? So far we have had the Channel 4 Comedy Gala, then Peter Kay, then Kevin Bridges, and yesterday, Jimmy Carr. Today it is the turn of the future Mayor of London.

Number 6 is…

eddie izzard

Eddie Izzard- Number 6

Wow! Now, for those new to my style of reviewing, I’m simply going to review the cover, not the contents. And this cover’s a stunner. It makes me think of this:

nightmare before christmasWith a little bit of this:

time tunnelAnd just a typeface touch of this:

BIg Yellow Self Storage Company

It’s Eddie Izzard. And his show is called Force Majeure Live.

That’s a two thirds French title, but don’t worry, the DVD isn’t in French. Or, if you are French, do worry. Or not. You choose.

But what does it mean? Heck knows. Here’s a hastily researched online definition:

noun: force majeure
Meaning 1:  Law – unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract.
Meaning 2:  Irresistible compulsion or superior strength.
Does that help? Meaning 1 makes me think the concert didn’t even go ahead. And meaning 2 worries me. Is Eddie the force majeure, or did a mighty wind blow through the arena, disturbing his tie? I don’t know.

This is an ultraviolent copy. And, as a result of it being ultraviolent you can watch it anytime, anywhere. A bit like The Goodies.

It’s another 15 certificate twice, making it suitable for 30 year olds.

He also (and I admit I didn’t get this info from the cover, but rather from the guardian yesterday) plans to consider entering into politics as either Mayor of  London, or just parliament in general, around about May 2019. the 17th.

That’s 6 years away! 6 YEARS AWAY!

A priest once said to me “never trust a comedian who wants power over us. In the future. Around about May”.

Eddie Izzard is “a genius”.

Tomorrow, number 5.

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Movember- Day 4

November 4, 2012

it’s Day Four of my Movember attempt. I say attempt… it’s just not time to reveal any kind of moustache. It’s not there. I look like a boy trying to grow his first ever moustache, who also happens to have the withered visage of a quinquaginarian (I had to look that up).

Movember. It’s November crossed with moustaches. Or mustaches. (My computer prefers that. Maybe it’s American). I like to write  moustache, but I most definitely pronounce it ‘muss-tash’, none of this ‘moose-tash’ lark.

Anyway, and crucially, it’s for charity. The aim is “to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and testicular cancer.” Please find out more here. And please, if you can, donate here. I am currently on £52 and rank 8556th nationally. My aim is to raise the necessary amount to rank somewhere between 237th and 217th.

Over they years I have experimented with fake facial hair. Fake to me; the BBC perhaps got it from the Tirumala Temple. Maybe not. I just don’t know! I hope nobody was harmed in the making of our cheap sketches.

Here we are in one of our fake (but possibly real) hair get-ups. Not for the BBC though. This was one of our rare outings to a rival TV company. I can’t remember the exact details but we did some Hallow-e’en links for a season of horror films on Sky TV. No beards, no moustaches, just whiskers.

And here is someone trying to be Trev.

Pic courtesy of/pinched from the guardian

take less

December 7, 2011

It’s a shame, isn’t it, that we may lose Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle to a Korean millionaire. It’s been on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square since May 2010. But in January 2012, like a New Year’s Sail, everything must go.

Where though?

An article in the guardian by Maev Kennedy sets out the dilemma. The unnamed Korean millionaire wants it as a garden ornament (so we’re told – damn those unnamed uncultured foreign millionaires and their fancy private garden desires!) But, there is the chance of saving it and moving it down the Thames to a new home at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Perfect, no?

All we have to do is buy it.

A charity has been set up to do just that. The mystery Korean was willing to pay twice the full price (£650,000), but it’s on offer to us, the public, at a cut price. We can buy it for £362,500. And here’s how; you send a text message and donate a fiver. All we need is 70,000 people to do it and the biggest ever ship in a bottle in the world is ours!

But I’m troubled by something I can’t find an answer too. Who are we buying it from? According to the Greater London Authority website “Yinka Shonibare’s Ship in a Bottle has been commissioned by the Mayor of London and supported by Arts Council England and The Henry Moore Foundation with sponsorship from Guaranty Trust Bank.”  So some money been’s moved around somewhere in the past, and it seems only right that Yinka (and his troupe of workers) was paid at the time for his work. Wasn’t he? So who owns it now?

the guardian article implies it is the artist we are buying the work off. Shonibare is quoted as saying: “This is a bargain price, a huge discount. I did have interest from a very wealthy South Korean, who would have put it in his garden – but I thought I would wait for a better offer.”

The article goes on to state that the better offer is “the chance of keeping it in the public domain, after the Maritime Museum expressed an interest in acquiring it permanently”.

This is clearly magnanimous of Yinka. He could make twice this amount, but he is prepared to sell it at half price just to keep it in this country. That’s good.

But how about this for an alternative? Take less.

Oh, I know, I’m not understanding something.

This work says many things to many people. I’m not going to get into that, I’m no art critic. But I will pinch this bit from the artfund’s site, which enables us to understand part of the artwork’s appeal:

Its richly patterned textiles – used for the sails – are of course a departure from the original. These were inspired by Indonesian batik, mass-produced by Dutch traders and sold in West Africa. Today these designs are associated with African dress and identity. In such ways, the piece celebrates the cultural richness and ethnic diversity of the United Kingdom, and also initiates conversations about this country’s past as a colonial power.

And that’s one of the things I love about art; it does all that, and yet still qualifies as the world’s biggest ship in a bottle!

Let’s keep it.

But Yinka, take less.

You’re an artist. Not a banker, not a Premiership footballer, not an actor or a chat show host. You’re not a member of the Royal Family.

Take less.

Ok, I’m being unreasonable. I clearly do not know how the art world works. Maybe you weren’t paid first time around. Maybe your team, who built the ship, put it in the bottle… the Italians who made the bottle… the people who came up with the air conditioning to make sure the bottle doesn’t look like my bedroom window on a frosty morning… maybe they are all waiting on payment.

The thing is made, eventually sold, we all get paid? Is that the deal?

If not, take less.

Oh, I know… what am I on about? Why should you? But go on, take less.

Would £50,000 cover things?

If you’re short of money (and God knows, we all are… at my current rate it would take me well over twenty years to earn your asking price – and hopefully, before then, I’d be retired or dead), but, if you are short of money… Well heck! Your an MBE! We (the nation) would take care of you.

Give it to us.

Go on, give it to the Maritime Museum.

It’s going to cost a fair amount in upkeep, so go on, be kind. Give it away.

You’re an artist! It’s your calling to not make money! It’s your calling to survive in a mildewed garret, absinthed out of your mind, serving a greater good. Oh, I’m being romantic now; those were the old days.

But go on, take less.

B & B

August 30, 2010

Have you ever stayed in a B&B? Do you know what it stands for? Bed and Breakfast? Well, yes. But a more appropriate abbreviation would be B&BISEH- That’s Bed and Breakfast in Someone Else’s House.

We’ve just come back from Claire and Sean’s wedding in Norfolk. The wedding was lovely, we had a great time, and we send a big Thank You to Claire and Sean for inviting us. And we both wish you a long and happy marriage. But back to B&B’s. No! Wait! I’ll have to divert for a moment.

Those Broads. Those Broads are crazily scary. I’m not talking about the Norfolk women here (though American tourists must get seriously confused when they travel all that way just because they’ve been told the Norfolk Broads are a must see). No, not the women. They’re all lovely. The other Broads. The watery ones: flat and wet, though capable of an almost Escherian mind-mess.

You can drive around all day, even with Sat Nav, and I guarantee you will drive past the same shop (perhaps Hairmageddon or  Dave’s DVD rentals) at least seven times.  Every 47 minutes you will find yourself in Norwich.

It is, truly, sincerely, like being In the Mouth of Madness.

There’s a scene later in the film where they drive and drive and keep coming back to the same place. They just can’t escape.

In Las Vegas, in the hotels, on the gaming floor, there are no clocks. This is to encourage you to lose all sense of time; to keep you there, gambling, through the night, through the day. In the Broads there are no calendars.

But back to the B&B. Or rather the B&BISEH. Or B&BWAM&AD. That’s Bed and Breakfast with a Mum and a Dad. Not your mum and dad. Or mine. Just a mum and a dad. Who metaphorically tell you what time to be back by.

Our room was lovely. Like a hotel room. We had a huge bedroom, a dressing room, and a nice big bathroom. It was like a 4 star hotel bedroom. Tidy, clean, tasteful. Like a 4 star hotel bedroom, but not in a hotel.

On arrival on Friday afternoon we were made a cup of tea and we sat with our ‘just for the weekend’ mum and dad. Our plan was to head out for the evening, find a local pub and enjoy beer, wine and food. And our ‘mum and dad’ were very helpful there. They offered great advice on all the local pubs, even going so far as having homemade laminated maps for us to take and use. ‘Mum’ was unhappy with one though. She told us they offered far too big portions. The portions were so big ‘mum’ had even written to the local newspaper to complain. ‘Dad’ kept quiet on this one. I suspect he thought ‘mum’ was giving us information that wasn’t needed; perhaps information that might just, possibly, scare us a little. Writing to newspapers to complain can be a great art, also a noble endeavour. But to complain about large portions? It’s a hard sell.

Breakfast is early in B&B land isn’t it? The wedding was on Saturday at 2pm. Only 3 miles away. Lots of time for a nice Saturday morning lie-in. As we sat having our tea, ‘mum and dad’ asked us what time we would like breakfast. Well, not quite like that. They asked us if 8.30am would be ok. I was shocked. Picking up on my shock they came back with “8.45?”. I asked what time they did breakfast till. 9. Oh, ok, let’s go for 8.45 then. (I could have settled for a lie-in and breakfast somewhere else a little later, but I couldn’t bear to disappoint ‘mum and dad’; to turn their B&B into just a B.)

But back to Friday night. We were back and in bed before midnight. Fooling around a little; you know the kind of thing. I was doing impressions of Rolf Harris and Zoe was laughing at them.

I ended up doing a surreal take on your bog-standard impression from the 70’s. Instead of saying “Can you tell what it is yet?” I was saying “Can you tell me what it is yet?”, as if Rolf himself had no idea what he was painting. It’s not funny to read now, but you should hear my impressions. Every one sounds like a high-pitched leprechaun (apart from my impression of a high-pitched leprechaun, which sounds more like Al pacino in Scent of a Woman).

It’s just a bit of late night fun, no big whoop. Just two folks on holiday making each other laugh. And we laughed and laughed, until, at midnight, the knock knock knock knock came through the wall. We were mortified. I know I have a big loud voice, but my Rolf impression is normally so soft and delicate.

And whoever was knocking would be glaring the following morning over breakfast.

The breakfast was all local produce; perfect and just the right portions.

Despite getting quite drunk at the wedding (surely obligatory) we were back at the B&B by bedtime. We even managed breakfast the next day (a Sunday!) at 8.45am. ‘Dad’ did, however, comment on us having being out a long time.

Checking out time was 10am. Being a Sunday, and being the day after the wedding, we did our best. We were out of there by 10.10am.

As we loaded up the car I realised I wasn’t sure where my coach ticket home was. Then ‘mum and dad’ came out and got into their car. I caught ‘dad’ and asked him if I could just nip back and check the room. ‘Of course’ as he got out of the car. ‘Mum’ called after him, loud enough for us kids to hear; “Do hurry up!”

I’d wasted his time. My ticket was in my bag, slipped between the pages of the guardian G2 supplement from Friday. He smiled and explained the hurry. Church. You don’t get that in hotels.

A few weeks back I was a judge at Literary Death Match. You can read about the build up to it here. Yes, I was anxious about it, but I needn’t have been. Everyone was lovely, all the performers were top notch, and I did my best to be be whatever I was meant to be.

Ok, yes, well, there was one moment of trauma. I think that is why I haven’t been able to write about it until now. I’d hidden it away. But, today, thanks to the guardian, it has come back. Reading the Review section I came across this.

Anyways, you’ve read that now. Go on, read it. No, do.

So back to my trauma. When it came to voting, we (the judges), maybe we didn’t pick the crowd favourite. In fact, when we announced Lee Rourke, author of The Canal, as a semi-final winner over Nikesh Shukla, author of Coconut Unlimited, there was  silence. Did we hear right? Can that be? Simon, repeat what you have just said. Yes, he did say Lee. Well… ok… if that’s who you’re picking… idiot… pant-swinging fool…

Made worse by one of the judges saying “Simon had the deciding vote”. I did not! I just voted. The same way as you! Two to one. I decided nothing! Nothing! I’m no Cowell! Please, let me leave. (No, not the event; that was weeks ago. Just let me leave leave).

I never wanted to judge anyone.  I’m sorry ok? You were both great. If I could, Like Cher, turn back time, I’d make it a draw… or just not judge. I’d abstain, tear up my ballot paper, go to the toilets and throw up, not arrive, stay at home, go back to Salford, regress, back further, to Hope Hospital. I’d ask them, plead… don’t let me be born. Not today.

It’s too late for that. Good luck with the books. Well done Clare Pollard, Milly McMahon, Lee and Nikesh. You are all winners. And losers. And thank you LDM’s very own Tyler Durden, Todd Zuniga, and Nicki Le Masurier and Suzanne Azzopardi for inviting me along.

Here we all are, having fun.


Bobbin 1991-2006

Bobbin 1991-2006

Well, when I say the news, I of course mean the Daily Mirror. All of these stories are in today’s Mirror:

“Cat Rosie survives cruel airgun attack”.

“Three teens arrested on deer death”.

“Grandma is savaged by angry gulls”.

“Rider hurt in horse horror”.

“Mahmoud Ahmadinejad buys puppy to show World he is an ok guy.”

Watch it, mum!”– A clumsy duck steps on one of her own ducklings.

Ok, one of them I made up, but five animal stories in one day? What’s going on?

Four of them cancel each other out; terrible abuses by humans on animals (cat and deer)- animals then fight back (horse and gulls). Now this may not be much comfort to Delphine Mutch (yes, that’s Delphine Mutch, Mrs. Mutch, who was attacked by the nesters in Weymouth) but let’s take a Gaia-ian approach to these stories. (No, I haven’t a clue what I’m on about, but what goes around comes around blah blah blah- one day a dog’ll flush a kid down a toilet, that kind of thing).

The odd one out is the duck on duck attack. Thankfully it was an accident. The mother duck was ushering her ducklings away from a swan when she squashed one under her foot. When ducks turn on each other for no apparent reason, that’s when we should worry.

Coming back briefly to the puppy in the pipe story. That was yesterday but it’s still a big deal. Do you know of this tale? A four year old boy flushes his puppy down the loo. Before I carry on, know this; the puppy’s fine. See the amazing rescue attempt here. It made me cry.

Anyways, the four year old said he wanted to wash his puppy. Hmmm. Obviously he should have asked his parents first. They may have suggested a bowl or the sink or the bath (if the puppy even needed washing at all). But he didn’t and instead chose to wash his puppy in the place where he’s just been taught to wee and poo. Would you? Poor little four year old. I suspect he put his puppy in the toilet and flushed it just for fun, to see what happens. That’s what we do when we haven’t quite grasped consequence. And then… then… then… when he realised, when he saw the puppy sucked down the u-bend, wagging his little tail goodbye … then… when the puppy doesn’t come back… then… Oh dear, I bet something kicked in. Then I bet the little fella ran to mummy screaming and crying.

Poor boy. Poor puppy. But all good in the end. Well done, DynoRod Man. And well done for doing it for free.  (Obviously you get all the publicity and so on, but regardless, well done!)

the guardian‘s jumped on the animal bandwagon too. They’re saying cats are daft. Or rather scientists are. You can find out the science here.

Well, that’s not news! Anyone with cats knows they’re daft animals, dafter than dogs. My two cats, (the much missed Bobbin pictured above and his sister Tess- still going strong at the age of 19- that 457 in human years), are and were remarkably stupid. Those who know Tess may object (and quite likely will) but…

Oh, then alright, I acquiesce. Tess is lovely. She’s deaf now. Or just plain rude. She never comes when called, doesn’t look up when you enter a room, and spends all of her day sleeping. Ok, she’s clever.

Tess, Bobbin's sister. 19 now.

Tess, Bobbin's sister. 19 now.

Marina Hyde has written a spot-on article in The Guardian’s G2 supplement today highlighting the way celebrities hijack current news events just to get themselves in the papers; Atomic Kitten’s 9/11 trauma, Razorlight’s “brush with polonium 210, and so on. Heck, let’s be honest; we’ve all come close. I stood beneath the Twin Towers on my only visit to New York in 1994… if I’d just been 7 years later. oh,and only last week I had my lunch at Itsu. Bloomin’ heck I haven’t half diced with death. Read her article here and wonder at the people who exploit anything and everything to make themselves seem more interesting to those who couldn’t be less interested.

And now some former Big Brother contestants have jumped on the pig flu bandwagon. They caught it in Mexico. They haven’t been to see a doctor or anything, they just know they have it. Fools.

pigs

Mark E. Smith gets it right in his book Renegade. Having done my best to check whether you can quote others or not, I’m hoping this qualifies as “fair use”. If not and anyone (particularly Mr. Smith) is unhappy, I’ll remove it.

Things Like Big Brother I find very strange. Why should anyone want to watch somebody asleep at night? Now that’s weird.

… They asked me to replace Johnny Rotten on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. I’d never dream of doing anything like that. He must have been seriously broke to have even considered it. But that’s his business. Programmes like that remind me of wartime Russia when they’d make so-called subversive artists dig holes and plough fields. It’s very sad: every year at a certain time we get to have a laugh at celebrities who are skint or desperate or just simply mad.

…All of a sudden people are making money out of tittle-tattle – I’m talking about the Big Brother mindset here.

Ok, I’m skint, desperate and simply mad, so should I ever end up on such a show (ha!) please remember “it’s my business”.

me-with-pigAnyways, back to the pigs and the BB pig flu liars. Leave the pigs alone. Who knows what’s going on, and I can’t be bothered researching it, but if we are all going to die from pig flu I’m guessing we only have ourselves to blame. Whenever I get a cold or a flu-like thing, it usually follows a journey on a crowded tube. When we are all pushed together like… well, like battery farmed pigs… we’re bound to sneeze on each other. Let a lovely pig roam free, feed it something proper rather than causing it so much stress it tries to eat another pigs tail (this much is true; that’s why battery farmed pigs have their tails snipped off) and the chances are the pig would be healthier and flu free.

I’m not a doctor, but I am right.

One of my recurring dreams finds me in a big city. It’s New York, but no New York that really exists. And in the dream I am in the city and also on it. I’m low down, where the pipes and the steam and the bricks are, looking up at bridges and freeways in the sun. But at the same time I’m on the bridges and freeways, riding over the city, looking down on the chaos. The city is the biggest city I have ever seen. And I’m so small in it, but I can also contain it. It’s a mess and it’s clean; it’s sunny and shady; it’s big and it’s small.

And then along comes the poster for Synecdoche, New York and it’s the nearest thing I have ever seen to my dreams.

synecdoche_new_york_poster2

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about this movie. It came out in America last October. However, waiting, passing time, may be appropriate for something like this. It’s by Charlie kaufman, the writer of, among other things, Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This is his first film as writer and director. And look at the cast; Philip Seymour Hoffman and a big bunch of great women. And a soundtrack by Jon Brion, the musical master behind Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I Heart Huckabees. it’s going to take me a lifetime to realise just how good this film is.

Laura Barton interviewed Charlie kaufman for the Guardian magazine, and, if it is ok for me to pinch some of the stuff he said… well, I don’t know if it’s ok… I’m going to do it anyway. Look, if it causes problems. They’re his words, and they were spoken to Laura Barton. She did the work, he did the speaking, I’m just doing the copying.

“I was trying to present a life, with it’s moments of nothing”, he says softly. “There is something that happens to people when they get old, which is that they get sidelined. There isn’t a big, dramatic crescendo and then their life is over. They’re forced out of their work, the people in their lives die, they lose their place in the world, people don’t take them seriously, and then they just continue to live. And what is that? What does that feel like? I wanted to try to be truthful about that and express something about what I think is a really sad human condition.”

And now, to get yourself in the mood, to get ready to go and see this film, have a listen to this. I should warn you though, you may find it a little sad.

A while back the guardian told us of the 1000 books everyone must read. I, naturally, ranted against this. Here. 1000 books we all must read- the rant is obvious, but I will briefly reiterate it. I do not have enough lifetime left to read 1000 books that a bunch of journalists have picked just to fill some copy. It would take me, at my reading rate, 3780 years. I worked it out. Where I typed here up above, just go there. It’s all worked out.

Now they have 1000 songs everyone must hear. I’m not going to be silly and say what about the deaf (although it’s tempting and I guess I’ve gone and done it now) because I can’t really complain about this one. Books are a certain length, and so are songs, and yet, oddly, a book’s timeline is different for every reader while a song’s timeline is fixed. So, they’ve got me now. If I wanted, I could listen to all 1000 songs (and they are available online) in maybe a few days. I’m not going to. I have enough songs of my own to listen to (not songs I’ve written, but songs I’ve found and enjoyed for myself, or had recommended by friends).

And now I’d like to recommend two songs to the guardian that they have failed to list. Come on now guardian, you’re telling me I must listen to 1000, so please indulge me as I ask you kindly to listen to two.

The 1000 songs are divided into categories. yesterday was Sex. I was astonished that they left out June is Bustin’ Out all Over from Carousel. You think I’m joking? Look at these lyrics:

June is Bustin’ out all over!
The ocean is full of Jacks and Jills
With her little tail a-swishin’
Every lady fish is wishin’
That a male will come and grab her by the gills

And my favourite lines:

All the rams that chase the ewe sheep
Are determined there’ll be new sheep
And the ewe sheep aren’t even keepin’ score

And why? Because it’s June.

Today was the turn of Protest and Politics. But nothing by Tim Siddall aka The Boycott Coca Cola Experience. Please, whoever is reading this, please take a look at him singing Gas on YouTube. Never has protest and politics been such fun. And he knows about fun- Look for him singing Fun on YouTube. And Darling too. Do look. You won’t regret it. And if you, The Guardian, read this, you look too please. If you look at my one choice- Gas– I’ll try and mellow towards your 1000.

See you all on the line out of London.

Oh the guardian, shut up!

January 17, 2009

Yesterday the guardian advertised a series they would be starting today; 1000 novels everyone must read. I buy the guardian daily and so I thought that when I got it today there might, at least, be a little bit of humour in the introduction to this series. Something along the lines of “just kidding.”

A while back the same paper did a 1000 films to see before you die. Ok, if the trend has to be to list eveything, and then to apply some random number to that list, a 1,000 films is possibly doable. And at least in this instance the guardian didn’t have the cheek to tell me I must see them. You’re my daily paper, not some Dickensian frightmaster (whatever that is or whoever he may be…  Piddlewitch Poddlewitch… I don’t know. Like I’ve read his books!)

One thousand films, at let’s say an average of two hours a film. That’s… (quick bit of maths) 2000 hours. Hmm, just realised that the “two hours times 1,000” thing doesn’t really help; it’s unrealistic!  Let’s go for this approach. I do my best to watch all the films this daft paper recommends. So, given that I have a vague sort of a life, and also I want to find time for all the new films coming out, I try and watch two of them a week. I think that shows a fair dedication to a list a few people have cobbled together to try and sell more papers. This means I will be watching the guardian’s list of films for the next TEN YEARS! (Sorry about those capitals. I rarely would resort to this sort of visual emphasis, but come on now… TEN YEARS!!!)

Right, that’s the films dealt with. Now onto the books. You may be able to see where this is going.

Ok, I don’t get a choice with the books. There’s no should, there’s no you might like. There’s just must. And not just me. Everyone! the guardian (oh, how much I’m starting to hate them right now) says these are the 1,000 novels EVERYONE MUST READ!!! (There I go again, but I’m feeling a little Hulkish at the moment).

Ok, here we go. I don’t know how long it takes you to read a novel, but it can take me quite a while. The Secret History by Donna Tartt took me ten years to read. Ok, I took some time off, and I read some books inbetween, but I started it when it first came out in paperback in the early 90’s and I finished it in 2003. This book crossed centuries with me. Now I don’t feel too bad about this. I really enjoyed the book, and it took Donna Tartt another ten years to get around to a second book, The Little Friend. So, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, or something like that.

If I read a book quickly it might take me about a month or so. Depending on the number of pages of course. I recently read Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. This is a long book, 650 pages or so. I loved it and have since been tracking down other Murakami books. It took me about six weeks to read.

Now the maths here is a bit difficult for me to work out. Kafka on the Shore and The Secret History are both long books. One took me six weeks and another, ten years. So, I guess, to get an average, we need to go “ten years add six weeks is ten years and six weeks, divided by two is… five years and three weeks.”

Now on to the 1000 books I must read. They won’t all be long, so let’s assume 500 of them are half the size of The Secret History/Kafka on the Shore. Those ones will take me just over two and a half years. So… two and a half years times 500 equals 1250 years. Five years and three weeks times 500 equals (approximately) 2530 years. At my rate, to read all thes books the guardian insists I read, it would take me 3780 years.

And, for those quick readers who read a book a week, it will take you 20 years. That gives you two weeks off a year. It’s a bit like work isn’t it.

Finally, let’s take an average sort of reader. You get by with books, but you also have plays and music and cinema and friends and kids and parents and relatives and sports and work in your life. Maybe more things. But you do your best and you manage a book a month. So, that’s the next 80+ years sorted then.

Oh, fuck off guardian.