Living For The Weekend: A 2018 Diary By The BBG

Echoes start as a cross in you / Trembling noises that come too soon / Spatial movement which seems to you / Resonating your mask or feud / Hollow talking and hollow girl / Force it up from the root of pain / Never said it was good, never said it was near / Shadow rises and you are here / And then you cut / You cut it out / And everything / Goes back to the beginningDiaries! They're rubbish, aren't they? Too much space for you to write in all the boring work stuff you've got to do during the weekdays: too little space for you to write in all the fun stuff you want to do during the weekends. A good diary would display an entire week across two pages, but dedicate one of those pages just to Saturday and Sunday.

But you know all this, of course. Because you were told about it in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. And guess what? 2018 isn't going to be any different. So for the seventh year running, The Belated Birthday Girl presents her Living For The Weekend diary, available for £3.99 (plus p&p) from the good people at

(Okay, you could argue that December 31st 2017 is a bad date to be releasing a 2018 diary. Still, at least it's better than last year.)

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Living For The Weekend: A 2017 Diary By The BBG

If it's possible to have a favourite escalator, then I think this one is mine.Om Puri, the great Indian actor, died on January 6th 2017. You may know him best from his starring role in East Is East: while in these pages, I've reviewed his 1997 performance in My Son The Fanatic. But aside from UK productions like those, he was also a solid and comforting presence in Indian and international films for forty years.

Here's a wee experiment for you to try. Go to your 2017 diary and turn to January 6th. Is Om Puri's death noted in there? Of course it isn't. You might just assume that all diary publishers are racists, but in fact what you're seeing is the revelation of a dirty little secret that these publishers have been keeping to themselves for decades - even though the diary says 2017 on the front, it was actually written and published in 2016.

What if there was a diary that didn't play to those rules? A 2017 diary which didn't even go on sale until January 16th 2017, largely down to Microsoft Word generating ghost pages which couldn't be edited or deleted but still kept printing out regardless? A diary which could, therefore, include events from the first two weeks of the year in its listings?

Well, that was my idea for justifying the publication delay of Living For The Weekend: 2017 Diary. But when I suggested it to The Belated Birthday Girl, she looked at me like I was some sort of mental and refused. So that's why Om Puri's death isn't listed in there. Fair enough: it's her name on the cover, after all.

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Living For The Weekend: A 2016 Diary By The BBG

You'll have to buy the diary to find out where this picture was taken. (Or try to decipher it from the low-resolution preview on the Lulu website. But obviously we'd prefer the former.)One of these years, The Belated Birthday Girl and I will get our respective acts together to such a degree that we can publish her Living For The Weekend diary in good time for people to be able to order it and receive it before Christmas Day.

As you've probably realised by now, 2015 is not going to be that year.

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Living For The Weekend: A 2014 Diary By The BBG story so far. Towards the end of 2011, The Belated Birthday Girl's frustration with the diaries available in shops reached some sort of peak. None of them were laid out in the specific way she wanted. So, with the aid of my book publishing arrangement over at Lulu, she made her own.

She did it again towards the end of 2012.

This article doesn't need anything like this number of paragraph breaks, but it helps to make the text stretch out to fit against the portrait-formatted image on the left. Because she's now designed a third one. So if you're in the market for a new diary, why not consider Living For The Weekend: 2014 Diary? Available for just £3.99 plus postage from Lulu. Buy now for Xmas. (Disclaimer: may not arrive in time for Xmas.)

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Living For The Weekend: A 2013 Diary By The BBG

Another phallic symbol for the cover. Sorry, Suze.I don't want to sound like I'm obsessed with this or anything, but I want to go back to Suze's comment on the Simian Substitute pages from a few weeks ago. As I mentioned at the time, for the last three years those first-of-the-month posts have also been used for what I call Month End Processing: a series of short reviews of things that I've done recently that I don't believe justify a whole article to themselves. Looking back on them for the first time in a while, it strikes me that quite a lot of them are reviews of books, which I've been happy to dash off in a few hundred words rather than a couple of thousand.

In fact, the last full-length book post I wrote was almost a year ago, and it was written specifically to promote a book by The Belated Birthday Girl - her 2012 diary, Living For The Weekend.

She is now utterly horrified to realise that the first full-length book post after that will be the one promoting her 2013 diary. (Out now from, price £3.99 plus postage and packing.)

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The Man In Seat 61

Seat 61 revisited. (Actually, it's nothing of the sort. It wasn't until this latest journey on Eurostar that I realised that only the first class carriages have a seat 61. This, however, is what a first class seat on a TGV from Paris to the southern border of France looks like when you get it in an insanely good €40 deal from I racked up an insane number of air miles last month. Through a combination of personal holidays and business travel, I started May 2011 in America and finished it in Australia. People keep telling me what an exciting time I must be having: unfortunately, I'm too much of a drooling jetlagged wreck to be able to pay them much attention.

Long-haul jet transport is one of the marvels of our age, and obviously the travel section of this site would be much thinner without it. But to get a bit Luddite for a second, it's just unnatural, isn't it? Aside from the personal effect on your sleep patterns and your bowel movements (don't tell me it's just me), there's that whole pesky planet-killing aspect to consider. More than once - most notably in 2007 - I've wondered if there's a better way to explore the world.

Then, as now, I've used the wisdom of Mark Smith to guide me through possible alternatives. And if you want to spend the rest of this article imagining the lead singer of the Fall barking 'Get the train-AH! Get the train-AH!' over a fractured guitar backing, be my guest.

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Spank Gold Volumes 1a/2a/3a/4a/5a/6a: The Digital Editions

Note the rare version of Spank's LFF Diaries Volume Two with the badly cropped title panel. It was about a year ago that I announced the publication of my first book, Monkey Round The World, in a desperate attempt to grant some degree of permanence to the nonsense I spout off here on a regular basis. Throughout 2010, I've added more books to the range, so that I now have six of them in total, all available from the good people at

And now, bringing the whole thing full circle, you can also buy them in digital form, so they can be read on the electronic device of your choice. As long as that electronic device supports PDF format, of course.

So. Have you bought someone a Kindle for Christmas, but don't have anything for them to read on it? Or have you left it far too late to buy them anything, unless it was something that could be instantly transferred by email? Or maybe you're looking for a present for someone in a coma who's not likely to wake up till at least the second week of January 2011? In that latter case, maybe you could order them the paper versions of my books, as they still take a couple of weeks to turn around. Otherwise, why not consider a PDF of one of my books, each currently available for a measly four quid? Full details of all six books are below.

Merry Christmas! All major credit cards accepted.

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The Lee And Herring Thinly Disguised Memoir Smackdown

Moon on a stick! There'll always be milk! I AM him! Who is the real sick man in this society? And so on.I don't know how long ago it seems to you, but the truth is this: Lee and Herring stopped being a full-time comedy double act in 1999. They get together for the odd reunion gig once in a while, but happily admit their time has passed. As Stewart Lee says, their double act "was predicated on the conflict between a thin man and a fat man... there is no mileage from the conflict of two similarly overweight men."

It's nice that Lee's come to terms with achieving the same BMI as Richard Herring, but to be fair they were never just a fatty and thinny duo. And the key differences in their personalities come through in the two very different books they published this summer, even though both of them start with the word 'How' and document a period of their lives in the early 21st century which saw them both shacking up with female stand-up comics.

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