Monthly Archives: December 2010

Man About the House

I’m still ill. From now on, and unless I say otherwise, I’m always still ill. I’m also still in Surrey. Again, unless I say otherwise, I’m always still in Surrey. I can’t get out of Surrey. I might never be able to get out of Surrey. The rest of my life could be spent in Surrey. Surrey has got hold of me and won’t let go. I can’t get out because I’m both snowed in and I’m ill. I’m slowly, brilliantly, getting cabin fever. I haven’t spoken to another human being for four days. I speak to the television, or myself in the mirror and if things carry on I might start imagining that I’ve got a dog and speak to that. It’s a lot like The Shining down here in Surrey, except scarier and nowhere near as good.

So what to do? Well, the obvious answer is to drink and play with myself but my heart isn’t really in either – and besides, I’ve comically exhausted both options over the last few days. Instead, I’ve started to think about pitching again, to get the phenomenon that is Pitching the World back on its original course. Problem is – and, as regular readers will know, there’s always a problem – my Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook is stuck in my office in Mayfair and I’m stuck, with just a make-believe dog for company, here in Surrey.

Thankfully, there’s a solution. As regular readers will know, there’s always a solution. The solution, in this instance, lies with three magazines that have been left in the flat that I’m borderline squatting in in Surrey. And I’m going to pitch all three of the fuckers. Today. Later today, of course, after I’ve finished doing this and taken the dog for a walk.

The three magazines are Woman and Home, Waitrose Kitchen, and Olive. Now, if I was stuck in a flat in Surrey – and I am, I really am stuck in a flat in Surrey – then I couldn’t think of three magazines that I would least like to be stuck with. Or at least I would have thought that, until a second ago when I started looking at the October 2010 edition of Woman and Home. Have you seen the October 2010 edition of Woman and Home? It’s incredible, it’s like it was made for me. Woman and Home is my ideal magazine, I adore it. I’m going to subscribe.

Everything you need to get you through life you can learn from Woman and Home. “MAKE THIS THE WINTER YOU DON’T GET ILL – De-stress your life” sings one coverline and I think, yes, I wish this was the winter that I didn’t get ill. I wish I had read this back in the Autumn, I think, so that I didn’t get ill. Although if I hadn’t have gotten ill this winter, then I wouldn’t be stuck in Surrey and if I wasn’t stuck in Surrey (and I am, I definitely am) then I wouldn’t have been introduced to Woman and Home, so in fact I’m glad that this wasn’t the winter that I didn’t get ill. And there’s more, plenty more. “HAVE MORE MONEY” promises the cover, “New ways to bring in the cash – and stop it going out”. Wow, I think, this is definitely what I want. I want new ways to bring in the cash and I want to stop it going out. What else do I want? “BRIGHTER, SOFTER, YOUNGER – Secrets of fabulous skin & great hair every day”. Yeah, I want that too, especially every day. I want everything that Woman and Home can offer. I even want a 21 page Baking Special.

Yes, I’ll be pitching Woman and Home later, as soon as I come up with a suitable idea. As for Waitrose Kitchen and Olive, I don’t know where to start. I try to read them, but my mind is on other things, my mind is on Woman and Home. Still, I persevere. Waitrose Kitchen is a magazine about how to cook you and your lovely families lovely food and is full of good looking mums and dads with happy children. And all the food is lovely and beautifully shot and the editor’s letter is lovely (and yet completely fucking annoying. Example: “And here’s a good party conversation gambit: to share or not to share food? Small plates for all, or hands off my tucker?”), and all the adverts are lovely and the interviews are all innocuous and lovely and there is a feature on salt which is probably the loveliest feature on salt you’ll ever read.

Yet this loveliness doesn’t sit well with me. Although I may be living in Surrey and working in Mayfair, my life is a million miles from the lives depicted in Waitrose Kitchen. I can’t relate to it (yet, strangely, I can relate to the lives of the women in Woman and Home). I fear I will never have a lovely wife and lovely kids to serve lovely food to. I’ll be forever here, in Surrey, serving cups of tea and roll ups to my make-believe dog. If the editor of Waitrose Kitchen wants to send someone round to take some beautifully shot photographs of that, then he’s very welcome.

In the meantime, the pub beckons.



Getting Stuff

It’s been a while. Since you last heard from me, I’ve managed to get out of Dubai, get into London and get a job. I’ve also managed to get a flat, for free, for six months. I’m about to get paid. Oh, I’m all about getting stuff these days. You should see me get stuff. I might even get laid soon. I might even get to show one lucky woman how terrible I am in bed.

But not everything I’ve got has been good. I’ve got a bit madder and I’ve got ill. My first thought was that this was bad: getting madder and ill, I thought, is not what I want to be getting – I want to be getting other stuff. But then on my way into London to get to my new job this morning – my flat, for free, for six months is in Surrey – I realised that I wasn’t alone and that everyone has been getting ill. My train carriage was full of people coughing, snivelling, wheezing and having heart attacks and mini-fits and aneurisms and strokes and all sorts of other stuff and I realised that everyone travelling from Surrey to London at eight-something in the morning is either ill or mad and working in ill and mad jobs in an ill and mad city. When I realised this – when I started getting this – I felt strangely comforted.

What does this have to do with pitching? Well, nothing. Well, a bit. Because this morning as I was looking through the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook – for the first time in about five months – I realised that getting madder and ill is precisely what I need to get in order to pitch to the likes of Park Home & Holiday Caravan and Picture Postcard Monthly and Pensions World and if anything I need to get madder and iller.

Any ideas on how to achieve this, please let me know.