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21 December 2002

Chapter Twenty-Three: in which Chazzie has a Nice Time and neglects his work, his cats and his weblog...

Well, I'm sorry, but I have been kind of busy being Chaz. Tuesday I cooked vegetarian, with just the one near miss, where Kate only just stopped me using nam pla in a dressing. Nam pla is Thai fish sauce, which - you'd never credit it - actually has fish in it. Oops. Wonderfully reminiscent of the time when I was a serious full-blown vegetarian myself, and was discovered at a party happily munching away on salami. Well, I liked salami, I had always liked salami, it was my idea of the perfect party food, and I simply neglected to remember that it is in fact made out of meat...

So Wednesday I had a happy day at home, washing up largely, and then went to the Christmas Dance for Peace and So on (or Peace and Shhh..., or Peace and the S-word: once upon a time it was Socialism, until that was abolished under the first Blair government, so then it became Solidarity for a while, only then there was hardly anyone left to be solid alongside, so now it's just So...) and had a happy dancy time. Thursday I was just in the Tyneside Cinema all day: City of God in the morning (wonderful Brazilian film about kids growing into the gangs in the favellas: made with lots of untrained first-time actors, and very stylish indeed), then twenty minutes in the coffee rooms before we went in to see Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Which has left me with half a craving to go read the books again, but I think I'll hold off another year. See the final film, hopefully see them all together, some cinema's got to have a three-in-one showing, and then redeem my soul with the pure text again. I do actually enjoy the films, but I find that I grumble like a fanboy - well, all right, like the fanboy that I am - all the same. As, for example, I do not like the ents in this one. Not at all. Don't like the realisation - they're too tree-ish: I don't believe that ents actually grow branches with leaves on, the text does not say that ? and I don't like how their script has been altered. And yet, I did thoroughly enjoy the film, largely because it doesn't matter. Jackson can do what he likes, he can't actually harm the books. They're safe, they exist, they're on my shelves, so who cares what he changes?

Out of the cinema and onto a bus, out into the rural wilds (well, Ryton - t'other side of the river and upstream a bit) for dinner with friends and their children, and that was Thursday; and Friday was down to Sunderland for the annual sculpture project get-together in a pub. Which we did, we got together in a pub at lunchtime and drank till dinnertime; then I went back to Craig's flat and drank gin, and then we came back to Newcastle together because he and Klaire were going to their friend Julie's party-in-a-pub, and their friend Julie's boyfriend turned out to be my old friend Robin, so I crashed in and drank wheat beer until it was going-home time. At which point I went home and fell asleep in the bath, and woke up at half-past two in the morning. Whoops.

And today I've been to Gail's talk on fantasy films at the Tyneside and counted how many extracts she'd taken from my video collection; and now I've had to come home and turn down a run of invitations because they all clashed with prevous engagements, and life is sooo hectic at the moment I have no idea when I will ever get the chance to work again. Or even to sit still and be sat on by discontented and insufficiently cuddled cats...

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© Chaz Brenchley 2002
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.