Yearly Archives: 2005

Back Again, Meh

Well, I guess it’s about time I let both of you know what I’ve been up to. First off, I’ve been busy in my Dad’s house, sorting out his possessions, sending stuff to the dump, to charity shops, and bringing loads home with me.

As you can imagine, it’s a task by turns sad, funny, stressful, depressing, uplifting, nostalgic and dusty. My mother died in 2000, so it’s a case of clearing out the family home. I wasn’t actually born there, I was born when my parents lived across the road (actually I was born in a hospital, but you know what I mean), but the house was the family home for 30 years. A lot of stuff accrues in that time. So I guess I’d better report back with a progress report when I know more. It’s gonna be a heck of a process.


While clearing out my Dad’s cutlery drawer, I found these two metal sporks. I always remember them from our myriad caravan holidays. I’ve seen lots of Spork worship around the web, but that’s been mainly aimed at the plastic variety. I think these could be the ultimate…

I wonder if these people would be interested: The Slightly Less Than Official Spork Homepage, Wikipedia: Spork, Ahh, jeez.

Lambs To The Slaughter

My pals Kristen and Ian have started blogs today, so head on over and take a look.

First up, Wannabe Scriptwriter is all about the pain and the passion that is being a wannabe scriptwriter and actual movie extra. Expect discussions on when it is appropriate to eat Rich Tea, and when HobNobs are in order. From post number 1, it’s looking like a heck of a ride.

Then there’s StuffWhatIHaveWroted, the discordant ramblings of a true original. Expect nothing less than total submission. Again, first post looking splendid.

I bid you welcome, guys. Welcome to a world of checking your rankings, trying to figure out trackbacks, and of course, hurt.

My Theatre CV Database Fixed

I finally got around to fixing the database problem with my Theatre CV. So head on over and take a look. You can see what I’ve been in through the years, which groups I’ve done stuff with, and where they are. It also features links to all the groups (where possible) and to the various venues.

You can search by group, or sort them all by year, or look for a particular show. Enjoy yourself! If you should feel the need to congratulate me (or correct me), by all means drop me a line.

p.s. Other Theatrical stuff here

Collage – The Serial Killer’s Artform of Choice

Watched Red Dragon on DVD from the other day. Not as good as the book by a long stretch, but OK in it’s way. I was shocked at how Anthony Hopkins’ Southern US accent was even worse than Brian Cox’s in Manhunter (“You’re a killer, Wolvereeeeen, always have beeeeen” – OK that was from X-Men 2 but you get the idea).

Sorely missed was the killer playing In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida really loudly while stalking a blind woman round his flat – as seen in Manhunter. Also the wall of his flat was covered by a huge blow-up of the surface of Mars – really cool. Must visit Prontaprint with some downloaded NASA snaps.

Then more recently I watched the end of Messiah IV – The Harrowing* with the super Ken Stott looking perturbed, and Helen McCrory doing what she does best – collapsing in great snotty tears, like she did in Anna Karenina. She slid down the wall in that one, so snotty were her tears.

Anyway, Ken gets hold of the killer’s journal, and surprise surprise, it’s a bloomin’ great book with pasted-in photos, newspaper clippings, and loony scribblings. Just like Frances Dolarhyde’s book in Red Dragon/Manhunter.

And Kevin Spacey’s journals in Se7en. And many many more. It’s clear – the movie serial killer’s artform of choice is Collage.

Every time the detective (usually with marital and/or drink problems) gets into the killer’s lair, they find a big book filled with newspaper snippets, reviews, photos of people with the eyes cut out with nail scissors, scrawled judgments on the world, a picture of the detective’s wife, bus tickets, a receipt for a hedgetrimmer from Homebase, and of course some really bad pastel art featuring lots of the colour red, and heavy-handed symbology.

What are we to read from this? They’re frustrated artists? Obsessive collectors? Egotists? What worries me at the moment, is that along with the Lakeland Kitchen catalogue through the post, which is cool, I also receive (unrequested) the Lakeland Hobbies catalogue, with lots of handy gadgets and materials for making collages and scrapbooks. They are feeding the filmatic crimewave with their unholy glitter and paste. And with those prices, murder could be said to be justified.

What alternatives are there? Scrapbooking and Collage are rather solitary pursuits. I can’t help thinking fewer bodies would be found with just the kidneys missing, and fewer walls scrawled with, “Oops I did it again” in victim-blood, if these people found another hobby. Walking perhaps. Get out in the fresh air. And I don’t mean stalk the dark urban alleyways, hammer in hand. No. Tooting Bec Common on a Sunday afternoon.

Or how about modern dance? Performance Art? Actually, no – a lot of the performance art I witness seems to come from the fevered imaginings of your screw-loose set anyway, come to think of it.

But when all’s said and done, I hesitate to recommend theatre. Too risky.

* Not to be confused with Highlander II – The Quickening, or Watership Down II – The Burrowing.

The Eyes Keep Following Me

I have, in my possession, a lifesize cardboard cutout of myself wearing a tuxedo and striking a gameshow-host pose. It dates back to the Raw Theatre tournament I hosted in summer 2003, which ran over six Saturdays, one of which I was on holiday, so they replaced me with a cutout. The producers (Aubs and James) then did all the hosting (which they excelled at) and my opening musical numbers (ahem – least said, soonest mended).

This cutout (picture pending) is made of that artboard stuff, with foam between layers of card, with colour inkjet printouts pasted onto it in a mosaic. Crude, but effective, even if you discount the bizarre foreshortening of the legs which has occurred. I’m not complaining though – Julia did a great job, nearly getting sacked for building it her office, and using office Pritt Stick.

After the run finished the cutout was signed by the teams and the crew, and given to me (to carry home). Now it’s cluttering up the flat, so I need suggestions as to what to do with it. I feel it needs a spectacular send-off.

So I posted a Curious George question on Monkeyfilter, to see what ideas people had. The response was stupendous. The ideas seem to be split between spectacular destruction (documented of course), bizarre profit-making schemes (thanks Capt Renault), and various suggestions on how to get away with illegal acts. Now I just need to decide which I’m going to do. Rest assured, dear reader (singular), it will all be documented here. Of course, if you have any ideas, feel free to contact me. The best suggestions will be posted here.

I just want to do something with it. To be honest, it’s beginning to freak me out. Wait a minute, there’s someone tapping at the study door. I thought Mairi was out…

This Is More Like It

In stark contrast to the rubbish I produced, here is the piece Jane Richards (AKA Simone Evrard) wrote to accompany the wonderful gift she gave me. The limerick form appears to be mandatory.

There once was an actor called ‘Petty’,
And it’s to him I dedicate this fine ‘Netty’.
It’s crude and it’s brash,
And a banned load of trash,
But will make any man very sweaty!

Thank goodness for Monsieur de Sade,
He defined what it meant to be mad.
But Matthew is wise,
He took all in his stride,
And was great as this sadistic lad.

‘Secret Sades’ should cost less than a fiver,
But I’ve been a bit of a conniver.
Who cares about rules
When pornography calls,
Coz ‘Justine’ is worth more than a fiver.

Notes: The Netties are our equivalent of the Oscars, a gift-giving ceremony at the after-show party. A kind of ‘Secret Santa’ rule is used, where the names are drawn out of a pot to see who gets a gift for whom. Of course, in this case it was a ‘Secret Sade’. Jane got me a fantastic 1960’s copy of the Marquis de Sade’s Justine, which describes in wordy and vivid detail the fall from grace of an innocent girl. Lovely book, wrapped round with red white and blue ribbon, for that French Revolutionary touch. Thanks again Jane.

Lyme Regis July 2005

This was disrupted somewhat by events. Disrupted seems a little disrespectful, but you know what I mean. But, it was all booked, Mairi’s parents and nephews were all ready to go, so we went. I needed some time off anyway, on top of the compassionate leave, and it had taken us long enough to find a dog-friendly caravan site anyway. All in all, it was fun, if you discount the following.

  • Taking the dog to the local vet because he was limping (it turned out to be a grass seed lodged in the fur of his paw, which kept prodding him.)
  • The literally incessant rain.
  • Twisting the same ankle that I had twisted some weeks earlier, forcing me to use WORDS in front of my partners mother and young nephews.

At least the on-site pool had a slide.

My Netty Effort

Here is the crappy poem what I wrote to accompany the gift I gave my compatriot James Grayston at the after-show party, in the ceremony we call the ‘Netties’.

This inmate is further in years,
Than his partner in crime, it appears.
When calling for “Food!”,
His “Pleas” are quite good
His “Not me!” a treat for the ears.

But way back before he could shave
La la la la la la la lave,
The careers officer,
Der der der der der,
Cos he wanted to be “Depraved!”

Utter shit I know, but all I could come up with between the matinee and the last performance. The poem I got from Jane was much better.

Brian Cox Petty, 5 June 1929 – 15 July 2005

My father died last Friday, after a short illness, in Bedford South Wing Hospital. It’s still too much to come to terms with, so for now it’s just the facts.

My elder sister and brother and I had been to visit him on the Thursday. We met the consultant then, and he said that it was a matter of days. We went back to my bother’s, feeling rather numb, and made plans to visit again the next day. But the next morning at about 9.30, before we got down there, we got a phone call saying he had died.

The Funeral is next Tuesday, 25 July, at Norse Road Crematorium. Family flowers only – any donations to the Primrose Oncology Unit at Bedford Hospital, care of Arnold Funeral Directors, 48 Roff Avenue, Bedford MK41 7TE.

After that, who knows? My siblings and I will be in Bedford a lot, sorting everything out. Expect lots of reminiscences and nostalgia.

Thanks to those of you who sent cards, phoned or emailed. Thank you – I guess I need contact right now.

Those of you I haven’t told yet, I’m sorry, I barely know what day it is. I’ll be in touch soon.

So it goes.