Sunday, July 18, 2004
Butter and I went to see Belle & Sebastian yesterday and had a marvellous time. The setting - the courtyard of Somerset House, a grand house on the banks of the Thames - was perfect, as was the setlist. Good crowd too. Last time I saw B&S, the audience acted like they'd just been zapped with stun guns. They weren't exactly moshing last night, but they got into it at least. Even Butter - not B&S's biggest fan - enjoyed herself, particularly their lovely version of 'Waterloo Sunset'. Making her come to see B&S was my revenge for last year, when she forced me to accompany her to the ballet, when I had to entertain myself by thinking up puns to put on here. I think she got the best part of the deal.

Earlier in the day we visited Neal's Yard Dairy, which is probably the best cheese shop in London. We bought something called Stinking Bishop which lived up to its name. The inside of Butter's bag, which she used to carry the cheese around in for the rest of the day, smells like an old pair of trainers now. After the dairy shop, we sat with the dossers in Leicester Square then had dinner at Belgo, where the Brug beer tastes like liquid heaven.

Last week, Chris from Melbourne visited, giving me another chance to reminisce about the good and bad times in Japan. We went to see Mean Girls which was sharp and funny. Chris gave me his copy of The Da Vinci Code, which I read this week. What a deeply silly book. When I started reading it, I was so outraged by how badly-written it is that it kept me awake at night. After a while though, the terrible prose stops being so offensive and you get into the story. Well, it's not really a story - it's a puzzle. The characters are flatter than a crap boxer's nose, the whole thing is totoally unbelievable and the ending is very disappointing. However, it has inspired me in a way and made me realise that thrillers are the kind of books that I really want to write, even if it's just to prove that I can do better than this. At the moment, I'm reworking my BBC-commissioned book (and god knows what's happening with them, by the way) and also have a fantastic idea for another joint novel with my friend LV.

Big Brother 5 has been going for 7 weeks now, unbelievably, and has been fantastic so far - the best series yet. On Day 2 I put £5 on Nadia to win, envisioning the headlines: Portuguese Transexual Wins BB5. She was 20-1 against back then. Now she's 10-11 on. The bookies are usually right, aren't they? £100. I'll be rich. Rich!