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December 24th 2013
What do you mean, do I still have a blog? Yes, of course I do. It's updated with almost perilous frequency.
Well, not that perilous. In fact, the tenth anniversary came and went a fortnight ago without me remembering to note it, a clear indication that the blog is petering out a little (unlike my Dad, who celebrated his 60th birthday on the same day, and is very much Petering on). In an attempt to breathe life into the corpse, my new year's resolution is to update once a week. My two remaining readers will be so pleased.
Anyhow, enough of such promises, and onto the exciting world of amateur dramatics: I returned to my parents' house just in time to co-star in our annual family sketch, performed before a West Chinnock audience largely comprised of people who were also featuring in the show. Each year we rotate writing duties and this year it was my turn to take up the pen, which I did somewhat belatedly so that the 'finished' script was available mere days before the performance. Entitled "Doctor Who and the Three Unwise Men", it starred Mum as Doctor Who alongside me, Simon and Dad as various iterations of the same person - time travel, you see - who go on an adventure defeating Daleks (off-stage) and being attacked by an invisible poisonous fog that attacks the vocal chords. How does it attack the vocal chords, you ask? It can give you a high-pitched squeaky voice (Dad's speciality, after it was well-received on the Chiselborough stage last year); it can mean you end all your sentences with a different type of animal (given to Simon, with gems like: "Oh dear", "He's getting 'otter" and "Do you know Michael Fish?"); or it can mean you can't say full words, only individual letters (this was mine, introduced with the line: "Individual letters. Oh, I see"). That gives you an idea of the kind of lengthy exposition we needed, and which I gave almost entirely to Mum's character, which helps to explain why she wrote many of her lines on props like envelopes and a rather impressive sonic screwdriver. In fact, it's fair to say that props were our strong point this year, with the highlight being a very impressible (and potentially actionable - the BBC lawyers have been in touch) TARDIS door. All in all a good time was had by all, and several pleasant liars have told us that they liked our sketch best.
In other news, I am now the proud owner of a house - well, the bit that isn't owned by Scottish Widows - and have just about finished kitting it out with furniture, pictures, light bulbs and the like. You're all very welcome to come and visit me, internet... but just to be on the safe side, I'm not going to tell you my address. If it's meant to be, you'll guess it. Anyways, it's all very exciting to be a man of property, and I still can't quite believe that these walls are all mine (...Scottish Widows) to do with what I please.
When you next hear from me it will probably be with the Coddies, the annual film awards that are rivalling the Golden Globes for international prominence. Not a stellar year, 2013, but prepare yourselves for my continuing insistence, contrary to all other reviewers (sorry about the self-aggrandising 'other' in that sentence), that Gangster Squad is one of the best films of the year. I genuinely don't understand why more people don't rate it. If you do nothing else this year - and you really should; it's flipping Christmas tomorrow - I recommend that you watch Gangster Squad. It holds up.

what was I listening to?
Ultimate Collection - Billy Joel
what was I reading?
Tune In - Mark Lewisohn
what was I watching?
Horrible Bosses
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