Busy doing nothing

My name’s Phillip Barron and it’s been a week since my last post.

A week? Christ, I’m turning into Stuart Perry.

So what have I been doing in the last week?

Nothing much.

Well, that’s not true – I’ve been mad busy every day but none of it’s massively exciting. I’m just working and sleeping, plodding through to the next stage of every project, one after another, desperately trying to get everything done before the baby arrives.

Sunday I took a day off, drove to Birmingham and waved a sword around under the critical scrutiny of a Chinese Kung Fu Master. Then I drove back.

Today I’ve managed to squeeze in a little bit of procrastination and counted my Target novels, largely in response to posts by Rob and Dave. This is tougher than you might think since it’s not immediately clear what constitutes a Target novelisation. Do the radio episodes count? I think not … largely because I haven’t got them … but if not, then do the ‘Missing Episodes’ count? And are they really as crap as I remember them?

All important questions, but I have no more time. I must get on before the baby arrives and I down tools for a couple of weeks. All I have left is a treatment to finish and a script re-write. I’m fairly sure I can squeeze those in before Mandy squeezes the baby out.

Oh, and a couple of scripts to read; but they can wait … I’ll need something to do while Mandy’s giving birth.

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Categories: Random Witterings | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Busy doing nothing

  1. So, did waving your sword under the Kung Fu master’s nose result in a black belt?

    I’m afraid all my Target novels were consigned to the dark void of my mother’s basement about a decade ago. Bad geek girl…

  2. crustynomad

    I’m thinking of writing a musical rom-com based on my thesis on the real time distributed control system for a flexible micro-robot. I’m sure the Lloyd-Webb-meister will bash out a tune or three for that one.

  3. Christine: don’t know yet. Probably.

    Crusty: um … Good?

  4. Michael

    I’m just going through the traumatic process of ‘letting go’ of my Targets. I’m at Stage 2 – i.e. having decided which ones to keep, the others are living, out of sight, in a box on the landing. They’ve been there for about 3 months now, while I work myself up to Stage 3 – removal from the house! I’m keeping around 60 of them (from an almost-complete collection). They’re a vast archive of memory: getting “Dalek Invasion of Earth” for my 6th birthday, my dad giving me the money to buy both “Inferno” AND “The Highlanders”, the lady in Boots saying, a propos “The Time Warrior”, “one pound sixty five?* That’s a funny price for a book”, finding “Warriors’ Gate” a real struggle as it had no chapters… Sigh. My whole pre-adult life is bound up in those thin volumes, but I can’t remember the last time I read one, and they take up a lot of room…

    *As I’m going from memory, this may not be the exact price. But I bet it is.

  5. Michael

    Oh, it shouldn’t matter, but you’ll all understand that it does when I say… I meant “The Time Monster”, not “The Time Warrior”. Time for bed.

  6. By an amazing coincidence, ‘Warriors’ Gate’ is one of the seven I haven’t got. If it’s looking for a good home …

  7. Michael

    Well, that’s one I was planning to hold on to for a bit, but if you let me know what the other 6 are, I might be able to help…

  8. Don’t do it Michael!

    You’ll only regret it later…

  9. Michael

    Get thee behind me, Piers! How am I going to move on to Stage 3 if you’re going to say things like that?!

    You see, I’ve started the process of thinning out the rest of my Who collection – which, as it started in 1979, and has been an ongoing pursuit, is rather extensive – and I’ve already experienced the euphoria of (a) reclaiming space in the house that had previously been filled by boxes full of things that I looked at approximately once every house move, and (b) being given money in return. When you’re poor, and live in Steptoe’s Yard (hang on – I mean Totter’s Lane!), this is heady stuff. But I have ground to a halt on the Targets.

    The problem is that, for those of us of a certain vintage, the Target books are an inextricable part of the process that committed us to that fabulously silly and brilliant Saturday night telly programme, but also to literature and the act of reading. They are, if it’s not stretching a point, part of *us*. I know it’s daft that I can remember an offhand comment by a shop assistant relating to a purchase I made 21 years ago, but that’s because the week was leading up to Saturday, when I could go into town and *buy a book*! (I wonder if today’s kids feel similar about Harry Potter). Don’t get me started on the day that Terrance Dicks did a signing in WH Smiths in Derby: they ordered in every single Target book for that – shelves and shelves of them! I was like Charlie, wide-eyed in Wonka’s factory. I knew I had the money to buy only one, but that was OK. It was enough to just *look*. I used to race home and eat those books alive, often in one sitting. And though they can’t lay any claim to being Great Literature (capital letters), some of them are pretty good for stretching young, inexperienced readers; I mean, think of a 7 year old reading David Whittaker’s novelisation of The Daleks, a child of any age reading those books by John Lucarotti or Donald Cotton! The Targets are the spiritual ancestors of the wall of ‘proper’ books I’ve got on shelves downstairs; my Literature degree can be traced back to those flimsy, spine-bashed novelisations.

    Sigh. Maybe I need to toughen up…!

  10. I second Piers, you will regret ditching them. Put them in the attic or something.

    On the other hand, if you’re desperate to get rid of some:

    The Romans
    The Rescue
    The Time Meddler
    The Power of the Daleks
    The Evil of the Daleks
    The Wheel in Space

    and in the spirit of reciprocation; if anyone wants a battered copy of The Green Death or a hardback version of Meglos – let me know.

    Unless they turn out to be incredibly valuable.

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