Here we are again, starting a whole new year with the unnerving feeling that if we go outdoors for any length of time we will cause the immediate and irreversible end of all life on earth. Staying in and doing nothing has its charms of course, not least the fact that I can wear the same pair of pyjamas all day long for a whole week. But there’s not much to write about.
Ages ago, we got a transparent bird feeder that attaches to a window with suckers. When birds come to have some lunch, we can see them. It’s nice.
Lately I’ve been on a quest to get a picture of one of them and it’s harder than you think. If you move too much, they dart away, so you can’t just grab your phone and walk over. And if you’re not up close, they’ll be too small in a picture anyway.
Anyway, the other day I left my phone propped up by the window and set it recording, and then just left it for about 45 minutes. The downside was that, half an hour later, I spent some time swearing copiously and scouring the flat for a phone I thought I’d stupidly lost. The upside was that (once I remembered I hadn’t lost it and had deliberately left it recording) I found that I’d captured our robin friend paying a visit.
So here’s the video of our robin. It’s not very funny or silly but I think it’s pretty cool. I like him. I’m glad he enjoys dining with us.
Good morning to you wherever you currently are in the world.
It is a shame when things have to move on. Times change for all of us and I don’t know about you but I always struggle to cope in some way, shape or form. You have been the presenter of Newsround, the presenter of Countryfile, you’re a household name and you never once seem to have given in to the excesses of wealth and fame. That is a shame because everyone needs to let off steam every now and then. Have you never felt as though you had more to give the world, like there was a career waiting in the shadows for you to do something about it?
Have you ever given any thought to a career in rap music?
I believe that you have the raw talent to succeed as Britain’s newest / oldest rapper. You may not have had any experience whatsoever which is fine. Did you ever seen that episode of Louis Theroux where he went to America and tried his hand at rapping? Anyone can do it. I put my hand firmly in the air to be your second in command, your “hype man” as they call it. What this means is what I will start every song by telling everyone how great you are at what you do, setting the stage for what rhymes you start spitting. I reckon that you have a viewpoint which is unique in the world of rap. We can rap about whatever you want: countries, files, antiques, rounds, news, ravens, whatever you like.
I’ve even been thinking about names and even though it could be a cartoon character desperate for a cigarette, how about Craver Crave? Or even Kraver Krave if you really want to knock it out of the park? I will be MC I because everything is a play on words, and it’s kind of like my name but not. It doesn’t have to make sense, nothing makes sense anymore when your’re in a world of giant clocks, money and lurid sex.
If it would help, because I know that you are a happily married man, I can take all the excess that you’d rather not deal with (mainly the groupies, I suppose) and put it in a box away from you. This means you can focus on the important part; the words. I bet you know all the words, I do mean ALL the words, and you’re going to hammer them down like concrete hailstones. This is going to be the best thing you ever did and it would be a supreme honour if you let me help you achieve your goals.
If you are happy to jump right into this I shall include a stamp addressed envelope with this letter so you can write back straight away. You may be a little nervous about this, you may have doubts about your rapping prowess but trust me, you were born for this. You are ready for this. We are ready for this. Now, more than ever, the world needs heroes to shoulder the burdens the others are not prepared for. You’re a good man, John Craven, and I know you’ll make the right decision.
Today I had the day off work, and we actually went out! We went out for lunch, do you remember that? I barely do. Being able to go out for lunch.
Well we had to drive all the way to Harrogate to do it because we fancied going to Wagamamas and that was the nearest one that was open, but it was almost, almost, like the before-times.
That, and all the waitresses were dressed as surgeons, and there were screens on the tables, but it was almost like the before-times.
Oh, and you had to pay by using your phone via a website because despite bringing us drinks and food for an hour or so, holding the card machine for us to beep would be just too risky, but it was kind of like the before-times.
Aaaand they only had a limited menu, because… reasons, but it was a bit like the before-times.
OK so it was nothing like the before times, but we had a child free lunch out in a nice restaurant with nice food and the weather was nice.
I’ve never done anything very interesting while I’m asleep, beyond rolling around a bit, occasional light snoring and a bit of sweating. Until Monday night, that is, when I did the nearest thing I’ve ever done to sleepwalking.
I was having a very vivid dream, you see, that took place in the bedroom. Over on the other side of the bed, Some food had spilled onto the floor – I think it was a large amount of sausages, but very very thin sausages, almost like noodles. Anyway, there was a ton of it and if I didn’t get it off the floor soon I wouldn’t be able to eat it because it would be covered in carpet filth.
So I rushed out of the bedroom, in my dream, and headed to the kitchen so I could get something to hold all the slender sausages. The first drawer I opened had all the plates in it, and they were no use, so I closed that one and opened the next drawer where all the bowls were.
I picked up a big bowl and headed back to the bedroom in a hurry.
It was only when I was opening the bedroom door, bowl in hand, that I realised what I was doing, and that there were no sausages on the floor, because that had been a dream. It was 3am and I was now awake, carrying a bowl to the bedroom.
I did the only thing that seemed sensible, which was to put it down by the side of the bed and go back to sleep.
It’s hard to know what to say, these days, when you talk to people, because nobody has any news. What do you talk about when nobody has anything to talk about? How do you fill a blog post when you haven’t done anything worth remembering?
Luckily for me, I am now quite old, so what I’ve decided to do is go back and see what past Chris was doing on this day years ago.
Newsboost is going to be 11 years old this year. I watched it again recently and I’m still pretty pleased with it now, but back when we made it, it’s fair to say it was the crowning achievement of my life.
Obviously we wanted to do another one, and for a while there was a short-lived plan to follow up the news bulletin Newsboost with a late night current affairs programme called Newsboostnight.
It was going to be a special programme looking in depth at a scandal surrounding The Papples. This was when the only Papples album was “Masterpiece”, and we’d realised that all the songs on that album basically had the same tune.
Since there’s nothing in my life at the moment, and I have nothing much to write about, I thought I’d post the three pages of script that were written for Newsboostnight so you can enjoy them.
Do you need to cake? If your loved one is celebrating a birthday, wedding, divorce or bar mitzvah, you might need to cake. Nobody – and this, I must remind you, is the law – can celebrate properly without cake.
What I’m saying is that you almost certainly need to cake. But how do you cake? Don’t worry. I will tell you.