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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Week In Pictures

I got up particularly early this morning in order to blog, and the first piece of email was a request from Steven Moffat for me to write Production Notes for Doctor Who Monthly about my episode, so I wrote that and there was my blogging time gone.

So instead of a well-considered discussion of my last ten days, I'm going to carry on from where I left off, in pictures.

This is Liam McKean, son of Dave and Clare McKean. He is standing beside the Garden Thing, which is something strange and artistic and faintly haunting that his sister Yolanda made.

I had a wonderful day at the McKeans. We picked blackberries and apples from their orchard.


This is Clare, above, picking blackberries. It's scary and thrilling to think I've known them for quarter of a century.

Dave, below, has just finished lunch in the George in Rye. I agreed, as I left, to write a children's book called FORTUNATELY, THE MILK for him.

I accidentally left lots of things to charge telephones with in their house, so they would not forget me.




I stayed overnight with my daughter Holly (in photo with her eyes tactically closed) and her flatmate, my scary god-daughter Hayley Campbell, offspring of Eddie and Anne Campbell of Brisbane.
This is an accidentally moody black and white shot of Thea Gilmore and Nigel Stonier, at the Radio 2 studio in Manchester the next night. Thea has a really great new album out called Murphy's Heart, and you can get a taster of it over at http://www.theagilmore.net/welcome.cfm.
From there to Bristol, where I saw Diana Wynne Jones, with special surprise she-was-just-leaving-as-I-was-arriving guest Robin McKinley. (You can read Robin's account of the visit at her blog, which is http://robinmckinleysblog.com/2010/09/23/fame-sort-of/)
The last time I was there, in April, Diana was not in good shape. This time she was much more chipper and happy. She's writing another book, and has a book after that she wants to write, and she remains one of my favourite people in the world.

From one old friend to another: Terry Pratchett and I met for Sushi in Cardiff the following evening, for Mysterious Reasons That We Are Not Announcing Yet. This is a photograph of us toasting Something Unexplained with champagne.




The next day was Doctor Who. Normally writers do not have much to do on set except step on things and get in the way, but I had agreed to be interviewed by Doctor Who Confidential, so I was indulged as I did the sort of things writers love to do which are normally frowned upon.

Like sneak into the prop stores, looking for Daleks to hug. (Fortunately, I did not see any weeping angels.)

Like being interviewed by Charlie McDonnell on the TARDIS steps (http://charliemcdonnell.com/an-explanation/)

Like stealing a TARDIS and head off across the infinite vastness of Time and Space battling evil wherever it occurs...

Sorry. Did I say that out loud? I meant, take a picture of myself on the TARDIS set.

I said goodbye to Director Richard Clark and the amazing Matt Smith (who makes even my duff lines sound good) and left Cardiff on the last train, missed the last train to Heathrow so shared a cab with a Greek Doctor who had come up from Swansea and missed the last train too. A couple of hours sleep, and then I flew to Boston...

Where, on Sunday morning, I found myself working as a roadie for Evelyn Evelyn, as they performed a Super Music Friends at the Yo Gabba Gabba! concerts for an audience of mostly three year olds and their parents.

They performed "Elephant Elephant", which you can see enacted by puppets here.

I liked this photo of them in the Wang Theatre dressing room...
Then I walked over to Boston Public Library, where Karen Hesse, Jerry Spinelli, Grace Lin and I were being honoured as Literary Lights for Children. http://www.bpl.org/general/associates/literarylightschildren.htm

It was a wonderful event, filled with enthusiastic schoolkids, and followed by a signing. I spoke last, and by the time it got to me, Jerry and Karen and Grace had already said everything there was to say, so I talked about the importance of daydreaming and why you should stare out of the window sometimes or actually a lot.


My future mother-in-law, Kathy, threw an engagement party for Amanda and me on Monday evening, which was really kind of her, and fun, and I got to meet lots of Amanda's neighbours and friends and relations, and some of my cousins came in too, to even out the numbers. (Here's the last few days from Amanda's point of view at her blog.)

Yesterday I finally got to see Amanda in Steven Bogart's production of Cabaret at the ART Theatre. I'm not going to enthuse about it here, mostly because the last of the tickets sold out when the first rave reviews appeared. But it was masterful. The things I'd had a problem with during the run-through I saw a month ago had all gone away.

Cabaret was followed by Amanda's Late Night Cabaret, a free-floating event starring an astonishing performer called Meow Meow, and, after that, Amanda herself. I do not have any photos of Meow Meow crowd surfing, alas.

Here are the press comments from her webpage: if anything they're understated.

Meow Meow, accompanied by Lance Horne.

Amanda and Meow Meow duet on "Fake Plastic Trees".

They are doing the Late Night Cabaret again tonight, only more so -- tickets are cheap and available at https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/8419705 until 8:30 tonight, or at the door, and you might want to bring some flowers to fling Meow Meow's magnificent entrance. If you're in the Boston area, come on out. You will, as the Cheshire Cat said, see me there.

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