Subscribe: Subscribe to me on YouTube

Friday, July 16, 2004

It's always good to touch base with the less conventionally sane members of Brighton's street community. I think they consider me one of their own. Which is perhaps not surprising when I have no qualms about sitting on the wall outside Lisa's place of work, merrily swinging my legs whilst wearing a Bart Simpson baseball cap and holding a notepad, pen, and copy of Alan Ayckbourn's 'The Crafty Art of Playmaking'.

So there I was at 4:30pm yesterday afternoon, when I was approached by a young lady carrying a large pad and pen. She clearly saw my Tesco Value notepad (every expense spared), recognised a kindrid spirit, and decided to engage me in conversation. She began by asking if she could look at my book. Being naively trusting, I handed it over, a decision I instantly felt uneasy about. I couldn't help thinking that if she ran off with it, read it, and wrote a hit west end play instead of me, I might regret my generosity somewhat.

As it turned out, she was only interested in the cover. She attempted to pronounce the name Alan Ayckbourn (to be fair, English wasn't her first language) (to be slightly less fair, I think she was on drugs too), so I decided to be friendly by saying "He's a playwright, have you heard of him?". She said something vaguely French. I took it as a 'no'. She then began to copy down every word on the cover of the book, before asking me how long Alan Ayckbourn had been going. I saw the chance to display my vast knowledge of British playwrights, so I struck a confident pose and told her it was at least thirty years, hoping she wouldn't open the book and prove me wrong. She was impressed, and wrote down "30 years" on her pad, before moving on to the quote from the Daily Telegraph ("A classic handbook for all aspiring dramatists and directors"). Having copied that down too, she passed the book back to me with the words "And he's been playing for thirty years?"

Possibly she hadn't fully grasped the concept, but I took the easy way out and said yes. Fortunately Lisa then emerged from the nearby door, kicked her love rival to the kerb (I'm talking figuratively there) and reclaimed me as her own. Twenty minutes later in a St James's Street coffee shop, we saw my new friend passing by outside, furiously writing on her pad as she went. She's probably finished Act I already.

Anyhoo, I'm writing this on Friday morning at Brighton Marina, dangerously close to a branch of McDonalds. So it won't be long before I have McFlurry stains on my laptop keyboard. I return home tonight, bringing Lisa with me, so you can expect to see her on my webcam within 24 hours.

Obviously she won't be, but you can expect it all the same.