Yesterday the farmer had reploughed the field, making my second stone Christmas (as we call it in the trade) in a month. But today he had been over the field with some other unknown machine which had flattened the soil down and made it hard. Yesterday stones had laid festooned over the surface, I’d even made a mini cairn halfway across with the plan to take those stones to the proper cairn today. But it looked like all the stones had gone or been buried. Was it possible that the farmer had used some kind of machinery to scoop up the bigger stones? That’s the kind of behaviour that is destroying the noble art of stone clearing.
I think though they’d just been pressed down into the earth. I still found some stones, but after yesterday’s rocky bounty, today was hard work that involved prising. No one said that clearing a billion stones from a field would be easy.
I had a good day writing on Relativity, which is now being recorded in November. I have had several months to get on with this, but of course am leaving it until the last possible minute. Script one is finished (I hope) and I just need to write one more scene in script 2. I am enjoying it, after many weeks of not being able to face even looking at it, but I have a lot of work to do on half-written episode 3 and not at all written episode 4. For the first time in a while though, it feels like I might actually manage it!
I was ripped away from work though to travel into London to appear on Eamonn Holmes show on Talk Radio. I can’t remember if I’ve met Eamonn before - if I have it’s probably by being a guest on this show. You’d think I would recall meeting such a huge figure in UK showbiz, but I don’t recall much any more and radio interviews tend to meld into one.
It was a long trip for one interview and I am not sure how worth it it was in terms of publicity, but it was a fun chat. I always warn producers that there are some unexpected rude questions amongst the obviously rude ones. But in both major radio interviews the host has swooped in on one of them anyway. Steve Wright asked “Have you ever sucked on a fisherman’s friend?” (Though luckily didn’t voice the additional “lower case” that follows in parentheses) and Eamonn immediately chimed in with “Are you the postman or the letterbox?” before having a protracted discussion of how that could be interpreted in many different ways, whilst not actually voicing the most obvious (and the one that I had meant).
So maybe it was worth the journey for that alone.
The book has had an acceptable first week, even though I couldn’t find it in Waterstones Piccadilly on Monday (but the Taskmaster book wasn’t there either) probably because they’d sold all their copies, right? Right?! The ones sold via gofasterstripe.com don’t seem to count in the figures, which is annoying as that’s where I am obviously going to sell most copies (indeed Chris Evans - not that one- has sold about 50% of what all the rest of UK retailers have managed put together and I’ve sold about another 100 more at gigs that also don't count).
It’d be great if the book could be a palpable hit and earn its rightful place right by the tills so the casual shopper can pick one up as they buy their other stuff. So word of mouth, reviews and popping into your local book shop and asking them if they stock it (then dressing up in a variety of disguises and coming in again and again and doing the same) would be a really big help.
Hugh Jassburn has a copy. I bought one of his too. Some people think that me and Hugh Jassburn are the same person and that I have created this rivalry just to garner publicity for my toilet books. But the competition is real and we are two very different people and I hate Hugh Jassburn as much as Edward Norton hates Brad Pitt in Fight Club. He’s the letterbox and I am the postman.
As we go to press my book is higher in the charts than his. Don’t let the toiletists win.