Archive for August, 2011

Best Friend had to return to London during our holiday for a pitch, meaning that Talented Art Director With Monkey Arms and I were left in charge of the four children (my three and their daughter, Gifted God Daughter). It was a shame that she had to miss out, but it was great to spend a bit more time with TADWMA, even if occasionally it came with understanding looks from the good people of Taunton.

As we toured the local sights (Longleat, where the Monkey Drive Through was accomplished without the loss of the windscreen wipers to my delight, and the disgust of the children – not so the BMW X5 in front of us, whose car was all but left on bricks and spray-painted “Wanker” by the monkeys; Wookey Hole which only really came alive not during the exploration of caves thousands of years old, but during the time spent in the jungle gym; Weston Super Mare, where Eldest Son and Daughter covered themselves in the clay that makes us so much of the beach and appeared to be wearing grey diving suits), it became obvious as we (in that very English way) almost came to blows over which of us was going to pay for everybody, that the merchants we were dealing with thought they were dealing with a very modern family indeed: two dads and four children.

TADWMA probably got the worst of it, as he queued for the entrance to Wookey Hole and explained that he wanted a family ticket (it being cheaper) while gesturing at me and my children, and was rewarded with a flustered and over-accommodating swiftness from the ticket seller.

On her return, Best Friend thought this was hilarious and made much play of it, referring to her husband as “Mrs. Eiljert” – but this was a step too far, and brought forth the heated and heartfelt objection “Why am I Eiljert’s bitch? He’s the one doing the washing up!”

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I shall write in full about the latest holiday with the children and Best Friend and Talented Art Director With Monkey Arms. For the moment, just let me record that it was the most brilliant fun, and that the children seemed to love every second of it: I had been slightly nervous of a week spent without electricity (and thus DSi, television etc.) but it did not bother them at all, and it was great to see how much time they spent outside, making up games, drawing and reading. Maybe a return to the Dark Ages is a necessity for every year’s holiday…

Needless to say Best Friend and Talented Art Director With Monkey Arms were both absolutely brilliant, and great fun to be around and made the whole thing even more fun that it would have been without them.

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It appears that one of the most popular search phrases to deliver traffic to my blog is as follows: “Zoe Wanamaker fucked…”

I don’t know what to make of this. Is it critical opprobrium being shown towards her Ranyevskaya, or is there, perhaps, some darker meaning?

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American Diva Planner has left the agency – in fact, she was asked to leave…

Hers is a particularly sad story: not because she didn’t see her demise coming (I think she did), but because she saw it coming and simply couldn’t alter her behaviour in such a way as to prevent it – like being tied to the railway tracks, and watching the engine approaching. She had a very lofty view of herself and her discipline – and once (unfortunately) when asked by someone whom she viewed as her junior for her mobile number, she replied (without irony) “You? You don’t get MY number!”. This wasn’t a one-off: she used not to do things that she viewed as beneath her (which, it must be said, were viewed by pretty much everyone else as absolutely within her job description), and used not to concern herself with actually translating her thinking into creative work (which, for example, Good Friend at Work and I spend the bulk of our time doing) – indeed, when I was talking to her after she had been fired, she actually said “I don’t care about the creative work”.

This disengaged and detached view of Planning doesn’t cut it any more – if it ever did – either with clients or agencies, and her death knell was sounded by being asked off a piece of business for the third time. Eventually, there’s no way to remain employed if clients don’t want you on your business.

So: she’s with us for another couple of months, and I’ll miss her when she’s gone. I’ll still see her, I hope (she’s a lovely, generous and funny woman – and she throws the best parties known to man) and I hope that a life as a consultant, which is what she’s going to do, will suit her better and bring her more satisfaction.

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