Sunday, August 10, 2003
So, today history was made: the hottest day in England since records began. 98.1C. This event has lead to much use of the word 'torpid' in the MarkCity crib. As in, 'Uuuurgh, I feel really torpid' and 'Syd and Nancy look everso torpid'. Speaking of the little critters, Nancy is still sneezing and will be going to the vet very soon, but she's perked up a lot and she and Syd are wrestling as we speak. Now, I hope it's play fighting and not heatstroke that has made them go mad. The heat hasn't made me want to do much wrestling, although last night I did feel the urge to mow down my neighbours wiv an uzi.

Butter and I had returned from a barbecue, the highlight of which was when a stray greyhound wandered into the house. Surreally, we were talking about dogs at the time (cue Twilight Zone music) and if we'd been imbibing substances other than Pimms we might have thought we'd, like, conjured the dog with our thoughts, man. But we hadn't. No, it had sensed the imminent cooking of sausages. We christened the pooch Willie then called the dog warden who came round with a big net and some dog food flavour lollipops... sorry, the heat's getting to me too. He was actually a very nice man. Let's hope Willie is claimed by an equally nice family and not her original neglectful owners.

We got home, went to bed, tried to sleep, feeling as if we'd slipped into one of the circles of hell. And then, at 1 am, just after I'd fallen asleep, our neighbours started to have a garden party. For the next two hours we were treated to the following one-liner, sung over and over again in the style of a tone-deaf football hooligan:

All we are saaaaying, is give peace a chaaaaance

There's an irony in there somewhere. After that, they started murdering 'Imagine' before turning to what I heard one of them proclaim the "greatest song ever written - better even than David Bowie" - 'Three Lions'. Aaah, there's nothing better than hearing a dozen pissheads bellowing 'Football's coming home' at two-thirty am on the hottest night in the history of the world. Butter said she could feel me glowering beside her. But I've calmed down now. Deep breaths, Mark.

On a more positive note, the 2nd best programme in the history of television, after Big Brother, has returned to if not rock, then pop my world. Pop Idol. It's brilliant. And I praise God that I'm too old to audition because otherwise I might be tempted to shame myself on national television. Butter says they'd say I was 'pure cabaret'. Cheek!