Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Archive for June, 2008

Hard Copies

The day has come! Yes, Wednesday. Well, not just Wednesday, obviously. Wednesdays come around most weeks, usually somewhere in the middle. But I today I’ve actually got a copy of ‘Wiffle Lever To Full!’ in my hand! Well, not right now, obviously. That would make typing a bit difficult. But I did have, thirty seconds ago. Actually, this isn’t going too well, is it? Should we start again?

Deep breaths. And relax. Yes, I’m now the proud owner of two proper copies of ‘Wiffle Lever To Full!’ My first book, and I’m delighted to say that not only does it look lovely, it’s also surprisingly waterproof and resistant to garden waste. I know this for certain, because my postman left the package in the compost bin while I was out. But they’re remarkably unscathed! Even if they do smell slightly of damp grass cuttings. But then I don’t know for certain that they didn’t already – it might be a new marketing ploy that Hodder & Stoughton are trying out. New scratch and sniff books! Put me down for a copy of The Brothers Karamazov that has just a whiff of streaky bacon.

Anyway, just to prove I’m not making this up, here’s a picture of (ahem) a satisfied customer being slightly alarmed by a minor expletive on Page 151…

Whhhhhhhhhhhat???

I have to keep pinching my right arm to convince myself that it’s all actually happening. And when I get tired of doing that, I’ll use what’s left of my advance to pay a small team of Teesside University students to do it for me.

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I’m back…

…earlier than I thought, but I’m coated in mud and haven’t slept for nearly 30 hours.

Obsessive Compulsive Update

I might have mentioned this before, but for the last few months I’ve been trawling through Ebay trying to replace all the vintage Star Wars figures that I sold in 1986 to pay for a ZX Spectrum game called Alien 8. Which was worth it, as it’s a great game, but now I want my Star Wars figures back! I keep chipping away at them, but unfortunately a couple of weeks ago I realised that my vintage figure of Lobot (he’s Lando Calrissian’s hitman in Cloud City) had come without his Bespin Blaster weapon. Luckily, after slogging through a few more auctions, I managed to find a seperate gun for him to tote on the spare room shelf, and this morning the two of them were happily united.

So here he is, posing before the (ahem) Cloud City CD collection in all his blaster-wielding glory…

Lobot totes his Bespin Blaster...

As you can see, Lando Calrissian is pretty fond of John Otway and Gene Pitney. In fact, if anyone can name all the CDs in that picture, then I’ll send you a little prize (but don’t complain to me if Fun-Size Topics melt in the post…)

Anyway I’m off on another half-baked expedition in the morning, so keep this place tidy. Can someone bring the milk in on Saturday, and put the bins out on Sunday night? Ta.

Oh Brendan, Stop Honking!

I watched K-9 And Company tonight, for the first time since Christmas 1981.

For those heathen non-believers out there who aren’t aware, this was Doctor Who’s one-off spin-off (and try saying that after half a bottle of QC Cream and a Toblerone) from the early Eighties, pitching his trusty companion Sarah Jane Smith and her prissy metal dog K-9 against a coven of pagan warlocks and witches who seem to worship the goddess Hecate. Although Hecate was the Greek Goddess of Crossroads, so I’m not sure how that works. And ‘Greek Goddess of Crossroads’, what a great job to have! Presumably if she knuckled down and worked hard then eventually she could move on to being Witch Queen of Emmerdale Farm. Hem hem.

It was great. The only drawback being that it’s set at Christmas, so releasing it on DVD in the week of the Summer Solstice seems like the act of some twisted, BBC scheduling pervert. But I turned all the lights off, ate a mince pie and pretended that my family were all in the room being annoying, and that put me fully into the festive spirit. Even moreso when I discovered that also included on the DVD are the first few minutes of the Christmas Eve edition of Pebble Mill At One. From 1981! The theme music alone took me back thirty odd years, and that was before I caught sight of Bob Langley in a Santa suit.

Anyway, it’s worth the entrance money alone for the opening titles of the main feature, which are still enough to make me laugh so hard that little globules of QC Cream trickle down my nose. Here you go, fill your boots…

If that’s not worth £17.99 of anyone’s money, then I don’t know what is. I’d like to see Series 3 of Torchwood get a similar treatment.

Woofkinses and Pusskinses

OK, back in action… phew, that was a manic week or two. I’ve spent years as a bona fide bone idler, and literally done nothing whatsover with my life but watch daytime television, gorge myself on Jamaican Ginger Cake and think up ever-more elaborate excuses as to why my NatWest overdraft is spiralling out of control. And then suddenly, in the last couple of months, I’ve started getting deluged with offers to do stuff. Proper stuff, like work. It’ll never catch on.

So I’ve suddenly found myself working on a second book. I won’t say what it’s about yet in case it never comes to pass and I end up looking (more of a) fool, but needless to say it involves me travelling around the country a lot – again – and equally needless to say I’ve decided to start it in the midst of the UK’s latest crippling petrol strike. So if, at the end of next week, I suddenly find myself stranded in Wiltshire (ooh – a clue!) then please auction off this blog to the highest bidder and give the resulting £3.47 to the Blue Cross Animal Shelter at Topcliffe. I give most of my money to them, anyway. I love da ickle woofkinses and pusskinses.

In the meantime – some Wiffle news! All of you Teessidey people, I’m doing readings from the book a mere two days after release in Borders at Teesside Park, at 2pm. Saturday 26th July. That’s halfway between Middlesbrough and Stockton, near a road that has always been known locally as ‘The Wilderness’ although I don’t think Jesus ever spent forty days and forty nights there. Not all in one go, anyway. I’m hoping Klebba Obion and the cardboard robots might come down as well, but I haven’t asked them yet, and the robots have started getting offers of better work since their film appearances. Anyway, come along! And see the sight of an overweight 35-year-old man reading stories about Blake’s 7 to baffled-looking pensioners searching for the latest Barbara Taylor Bradford.

I’m now going to leave it 24 hours, come back this time tomorrow, and see how many people have chanced upon this blog by searching for ‘Barbara Taylor Bradford’ in Google.

Wiffle Lever To Full – The Movie!

Well, today is the day! After endless post-production squabblings, tantrums and arguments over the extensive CGI work (and the cardboard boxes), the three Wiffle Lever To Full! movies can finally be unleased onto an unsuspecting public.

Huge thanks to James Harris at www.shamelessfilms.com for his endless help in putting this nonsense together.

No vanilla slices were harmed in the making of this production.

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Please feel free to give nice ratings to our handiwork, as James is very sensitive and likes to know he’s loved.