Help! Am trapped in the house by a gang of strangers, demanding something called 'figgy pudding'. Have told them I have no pudding of any sort, 'figgy' or otherwise; but they are deaf to reason, and simply keep repeating that they won't leave until they get some. Did my best to improvise with what I could find in the kitchen, and offered them tinned rice pudding with dried prunes in it; but they threw it angrily back in my face, and went back to chanting 'bring some out here', despite the fact that they are inside with me. The siege is now in its third day. Please send help. Or figs.
Sunday, 20 December 2009
Monday, 14 December 2009
Monday, 7 December 2009
It did occur to me that the woman might be supposed to be Paul's daughter and giraffe girl's mother, but evidently not: when I looked up the book to find a picture to post here, I find most editions have made this small but significant change to the colourisation:
Posted by John Finnemore at 12:43 pm
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
I'm so impressed. I certainly wouldn't have got more than two. Anyway, in case you haven't seen the answers compiled by the Brains Trust in the comments box, here they are.
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
I've had this great idea for the picture round of a pub quiz, but sadly I don't run a pub quiz, so I'm going to inflict it on you instead.
Here are pictures of six very, very famous faces. I mean, really amongst the most instantly recognizable people in history. But I you bet you can't identify more than, say, two of them.
Answers on Wednesday afternoon...
...but before then also, mostly, in the comments box.
Friday, 20 November 2009
Monday, 9 November 2009
Firstly, Miranda Hart's fantastic new sitcom, in which I play a small part, starts going out tonight on BBC2. It's called 'Miranda', written by Miranda, and starring Miranda as the character 'Miranda'; and it's basically about a man named Chris who goes to a tango class. What the writer has rather cleverly done is restrict the main character's appearance to a couple of scenes in the second episode, to really maximise his impact; like Colonel Kurtz in 'Apocalypse Now'. (Or possibly, given that I haven't seen the edited version, like Rebecca in 'Rebecca'...) As I say, my bit is in the episode broadcast next week, on the 16th, but you should definitely start watching it tonight. It's really very good.
Secondly, I'm happy to say 'Cabin Pressure', that thing I do on the radio about pilots, has been nominated for a Writers' Guild Award. Hooray!
Friday, 6 November 2009
Conversation that presumably took place between the planner and the caterer of a thing I was at recently.
- So, you want six trays of sandwiches, four of hors d'oeuvre, and four of fruit.
- Yes. Oh, and let's have one of cheese and biscuits as well.
- ...Ok. Some cheese, and some biscuits.
- ....Some cheese and biscuits, yes.
- ...How do you mean?
- Well, you know. A tray of cheese and biscuits.
- ...What, all on one tray?
- Ok! You're the boss!
Monday, 2 November 2009
Posted by John Finnemore at 2:30 pm
Friday, 30 October 2009
Just passed a young guy selling poppies at King's Cross tube station, with the words: 'Poppies! Getcher poppies! All profits go to the armed forces!'
Er... no. No no no. To an armed forces charity. That's probably an important difference. I mean, it's not that I'm such a hopeless leftie I don't think we should have an armed forces, or even that they should be adequately funded, but I do think maybe buying a symbolic representation of a Flanders Fields poppy to help get the Royal Tank Regiment a new Challenger 2 might be ever so slightly missing the point.
Or so I thought. The above is what I composed in my head between hearing the guy and getting to my computer, but to my shame I realised I couldn't remember who wrote 'In Flanders Fields'. I assumed, however, that it was one of the Owen / Brooke / Sassoon / Graves gang, and I was absolutely sure - it didn't even occur to me to doubt - that the sentiment was of the 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' variety. Not at all, as I'm sure everyone but me knows. 'In Flanders Fields' is by the Canadian John McCrae, and ends:
Those don't sound to me like the words of a man who'd be unhappy if we all chipped in for a tank.
(The tattered remains of my original point still just about stand, though. That's not what we're doing, and I'm glad about that.)
Monday, 26 October 2009
I was infuriated by the confusing instructions for assembling some flat-pack furniture.
I avoided work by needlessly alphabetising my DVDs.
I hit my thumb with a hammer.
Join me next week, by when I will have slipped on a banana skin, had my computer explained to me by a child, and enthusiastically slagged someone off before realising that she's standing right behind me, isn't she?
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
First five things I thought on looking at this portrait in the National Gallery, which basically mean I don't deserve to go there.
* Charles I and his horse have the same hair.
* If everyone had a small framed sign saying who they were hung up beside them wherever they went, would that be useful or irritating? It would certainly be good at parties.
* Did Charles pick the horse because it had his hair, or did he get the horse first, and then grow his hair out in order to copy his horse's signature look? Or hasn't he even noticed? I bet the rest of the court has. Van Dyke definitely has.
* Well. I'm hungry.
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
I heard a wise man say:
"You're twenty one, the numbers there
go round the other way."
Monday, 12 October 2009
A.E.Housman (probably, or at least possibly) once wrote a couplet to follow Wordsworth's lines in 'To the Cuckoo':
Posted by John Finnemore at 11:23 pm
Monday, 5 October 2009
So, it turns out you can have a whiter shade of pale, and grass that is greener on the other side. You can have redder blood than I; tell bluer jokes, and have a blacker heart. Your face can be pinker; browner; yellower; greyer or even purpler than mine. But... there's no such word as 'oranger'. What crazy system is this? How am I meant to compare two things, both of which largely reflect light at a wavelength between 585 to 620 nm, but one noticeably more so than the other? How am I supposed to differentiate between half-hearted and fervent supporters of the Dutch royal family? What sort of a impoverished tongue is it in which we cannot point out that both these oranges are orange, but this orange is the oranger orange? It's an outrage.
(I accept it is possible that to fully appreciate the enormity of this situation, you may need to be an occasional insomniac; to try to defeat your insomnia by playing word games in your head, such as the one where you build up a word by adding a letter at a time, each time creating a valid word; and to have believed last night that you had smashed your previous record with the sequence 'a, an, ran, rang, range, orange, oranger, orangery'. Until you checked the dictionary this morning, and discovered this OUTRAGEOUS GAP IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. But even if such happens not the case for you, I expect you're pretty cross about it.)
Friday, 2 October 2009
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
Thursday, 24 September 2009
Monday, 21 September 2009
For a phone company, answering the question 'What would you do if you had free texts for life?'
Friday, 18 September 2009
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
So, yesterday I was grossly unfair to John Hamilton-Gordon, seventh Earl of Aberdeen. I went through the whole of 'Jokes Cracked By Lord Aberdeen', and deliberately selected the one that has aged least well in the last hundred years or so. So today, by way of atonement, here is his Lordship's best joke. Seriously, I really like this one.
Monday, 14 September 2009
The British Library sells postcards (that's not the main thing they do, but they do do it), and some of them are of unlikely book-covers, such as this one:
Thursday, 10 September 2009
- I think, therefore I'm.
- Unforgettable, that's what you're.
- I'm what I'm, and what I'm needs no excuses.
- 'Will you love her, comfort her, honour and keep her, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others keep thee only unto her so long as you both shall live?' 'I'll.'
Thursday, 3 September 2009
Hello. Back now, and straight into the myriad joys of flat-moving. One of the sixteen billion boxes into which our lives have been packed is labelled as follows:
Posted by John Finnemore at 4:13 pm
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Right, I'm on holiday for a bit. A very small amount of walking in Italy, followed by a large amount of lazing around in Italy, which I will pretend has been justified by the walking, but which, in fact, isn't. So, nothing here until the end of the month... but the last of the second series of Cabin Pressure goes out tomorrow on Radio 4 at 11.30, and will be on Listen Again and iPlayer for a week afterwards. It's a bit different from the others - hope you like it.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Friday, 7 August 2009
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
Monday, 3 August 2009
Posted by John Finnemore at 8:01 pm
Saturday, 1 August 2009
Friday, 31 July 2009
Sunday, 19 July 2009
Friday, 17 July 2009
Should you have missed the first of the new series of Cabin Pressure - and heaven knows, what with it going out at 11:30 in the morning on a weekday, who wouldn't - you can listen to it here for one week starting... now.
Thursday, 16 July 2009
Hello. Sorry about the hiatus, I was writing a sitcom. It's done now, by the way; and recorded;and the first one is broadcast tomorrow at 11:30 in the morning. Hope you like it. I think I do.
Posted by John Finnemore at 4:41 pm
Thursday, 25 June 2009
Is there really not an English accented rhyming dictionary on the net? Stupid Yankee RhymeZone thinks that 'bananas' doesn't rhyme with 'Bahamas' and 'pyjamas'; but does rhyme with 'Atlanta's' and, bizarrely 'pianos'.
Posted by John Finnemore at 2:11 am
Friday, 12 June 2009
The BBC website invites me to sign up to its Facebook or Twitter feed, because 'it's embarrassingly easy'. I am English enough that I embarrass easily, and often unnecessarily, but I think even I could manage to quell the hot flush of shame about how easily I have signed up to a Twitter feed. I'm not going to sign up, though. Just in case.
Thursday, 28 May 2009
That was dispiriting. I was just called up by ICM, the pollsters. And it wasn't a boring one about how many holidays I take or how much yoghurt I buy, it was a proper one about general elections and the expenses row. Great! Like everyone else, I've always secretly felt it was a shame that these polls consist entirely of people who aren't me, and that they therefore do not reflect My Important Opinions. Now all that would change! Now My Important Opinions would at last be heard. Bring it on.
Monday, 18 May 2009
Prayer improvised by teenage boy on bus yesterday, sort of jokily, but not, I think, deliberately getting it wrong:
Posted by John Finnemore at 2:43 pm
Thursday, 14 May 2009
Advert Google served up to me alongside my emails today:
Posted by John Finnemore at 7:47 pm
Friday, 8 May 2009
Monday, 4 May 2009
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Monday, 27 April 2009
Sorry about the hiatus - this place often tends to suffer a bit when I have a lot of writing to do (in this case series two of Cabin Pressure). So, in order to keep the posts ticking over, and because I need practice, and because I've bought a new scanner, I thought I might start putting drawings and caricatures up as well. I expect they'll mostly be people and faces, because that's what I mostly draw. They'll tend not to be actual specific people, though they might be sometimes. Hope you don't this too self-indulgent, though possibly the ship of me not being self-indulgent sailed when I bought 'www.johnfinnemore.com', and filled it with three years of what I reckon about stuff.
Saturday, 11 April 2009
At the cinema, there was an advert for something or other to do with the cinema itself, advance booking or something, that involved several ultra-mini-trailers for forthcoming films. One, in its entirity, went like this:
Tuesday, 7 April 2009
- Fifty Taxi Drivers
- The Fifty Godfathers
- The Fifty Elephant Men
- The Fifty Ladies Vanish
- The Fifty Godfathers, Part One Hundred
- The Fifty Men in The Fifty Iron Masks
- The Hundred and Fiftieth Man
- Six Hundred Angry Men
- Five Thousand and Fifty Dalmations
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
The franchise of the cafe in the British Library has changed hands, which has left me flustered, indignant and disturbed , despite the fact that the staff and prices remain the same, and the food looks, if anything, nicer. Is this a sign I have become institutionalised?
- PHD-takes forever!
- Would never put myself through that.
- You don't have to.
- It's worth it in the end. DR.
- I didn't get funding, so...
Monday, 23 March 2009
- White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emaneul cleans out his toenails with a toothpick.
- Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Oscar-nominated director of 'Babel', jiggles his leg up and down in meetings.
- Atsutoshi Nishida, President of the Toshiba Corporation, keeps his wallet in the breast pocket of his jacket.
- Sir Nicholas Macpherson, Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, does the Everyman crossword in his bath on Sunday mornings.
- Carl-Henric Svanberg, CEO of Ericcson Telecommunications, absent-mindedly pulls hairs from his moustache when thinking.
- Jaideep Bose, Editor in Chief of the Times of India, empties his pocket change each night into a clay dish his daughter made at school.
- Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, Commander in Chief of the Russian Navy, sleeps with the light on.
Posted by John Finnemore at 2:50 pm
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Posted by John Finnemore at 4:33 pm
Monday, 9 March 2009
Today I opened a book of mine I haven't looked at for a few years, and out fluttered the number 38 bus ticket I had used as a bookmark. And immediately I was hit by a wave of nostalgia - Oh yes! The 38! I used to take that all the time! And just think, the last time I closed this book, I was sitting on the 38, and now here I am. Ah me, where are the snows of yesteryear, etc etc.
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
Posted by John Finnemore at 4:32 pm
Sunday, 1 March 2009
Today, Marianne's computer told her it had 'experienced a minor lapse in fidelity'. Which sounds to me more like a senior civil servant trying to weasel his way out of trouble with his wife: 'Listen, darling, we were both drunk, it meant nothing... but to be perfectly blunt with you, I have experienced a minor lapse in fidelity'.
Wednesday, 25 February 2009
It is wrong of me, absolutely wrong of me, and I don't pretend it's anything other than wrong of me; that whenever I see the headline about teenage pregnancy on the front of the copy of 'The Week' that's lying around the flat at the moment- 'Children Who Have Children' - I find myself humming '...are the luckiest children in the world'.
Monday, 23 February 2009
Just to let you know... The first series of my radio sitcom Cabin Pressure, about a tiny charter airline and starring Roger Allam, Stephanie Cole, Benedict Cumberbatch and me, is being repeated on Radio 4 at 6:30 on Tuesdays starting tomorrow (February 24th). After that time, you should also be able to hear each episode for one week after broadcast on the BBC iplayer or via Listen Again. Hope you enjoy it.