Tuesday, 21 September 2010

New Kid on the Blog

Whilst working on the first chapters of my memoirs, I have found it difficult to resist the temptation to check out my competition in the cat blogger market. I naively thought this would be a helpful part of my 'research and development' phase, but as any as-yet-unpublished author will tell you, there is nothing more likely to awaken your own insecurities as a writer than reading the work of your rivals.

Rather alarmingly, I have discovered that being a cat who writes is not, in fact, unusual. In the blogosphere, it seems that there is hardly a cat out there who does NOT write. Who knew there was so much literary talent among the cat population? I certainly didn't.

A fact that I am unable to ignore is that most of these cats live in the US. Maybe it's something they put in the water over there, but these cats know a thing or two about self-publicity. They don't just have cats with blogs, they have award ceremonies for cats with blogs: http://dogtime.com/sparkle-cat-petties-best-cat-blog-winner-interview.html
And they have weekend conferences for cats with blogs, where cats can discuss the merits of different blog layouts, or share tips on how to get published: http://www.catwriters.org/annual-info.html

What have we got here in the UK for ambitious cat writers like myself? Anwers on a postcard, if you can think of any. I can't.

Of course the most elite band within the cat blogging community (the Kitterati, you could say) are the cats who have achieved the elusive status of published author. It goes without saying that this is the holy grail for most cat bloggers. But what is it that sets the bona-fide authors apart the amateur cat bloggers? While I write my own memoirs this is the million-dollar question I must keep in mind.

These published cats fill their blog posts with updates about their hectic schedules involving book signings, awards ceremonies, and positions on bestseller lists. Not for them the blogs posts about the mundanities of everyday life in a small town. Their (thousands of) followers would expect more than details of who they met at the park, where they spent the night, or what they had for breakfast.

Another alarming trend I have noticed among the Kitterati is that they all seem to have some special talent or skill (in addition to their aptitude for writing, of course). They are supermodels, or actors, or have special healing powers. Some of them have overcome the adversity of a physical disability. How can a common-or-garden moggy such as myself compete with cats like these?

But then maybe this is my innate English reserve speaking. Perhaps I need to find some of that famous American 'can-do' spirit. As someone once said, your only obstacle to success is yourself (or something like that, I can't be bothered to google it for accuracy. Let's just attribute it to Oprah - it sounds like something she might say).

The simple fact of the matter is that, in order to achieve the global media domination I crave, I am going to have to do what the Spice Girls never managed: I am going to have to crack the US market. And for me that means playing those American cats at their own game. Or perhaps more accurately, holding onto their (coat-)tails and hoping that some of their success rubs off on me.

So, for now, my marketing strategy is to make nice with the Americans. I will have to hope that some of my self-deprecating English charm can be conveyed through my writing (and all Americans love an English accent, right?) I will be like the Ricky Gervais of the cat world - you'll think I'm a bit kooky, but loveable and funny nonetheless, and before you know it I'll have taken over your airwaves and you'll be sick of the sight of me.

Sounds like a plan to me.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Nancy No-Mates

Right, listen up, everyone. This is an appeal for help.

As you may know I will shortly be embarking on stage two of my media campaign, and the success of this may depend, in part, on me being able to prove my existing popularity. In this day and age, as I'm sure you already know, the scientific measure of popularity is number of Facebook friends.

Currently my friends tally is a modest 80, which is probably less than an acne-ridden teenager with halitosis could muster. I need to be aiming for at least 3 figures, if not 4. To give you an idea, that bloody dancing dog off Britain's Got Talent has got over 9,000. How can I compete with that?!

Now obviously there is an argument to say that quality is more important than quantity, which in some circumstances might be true, but, to be frank, in my situation is completely irrelevant. To a big-shot publisher wondering whether my memoirs would sell, quantity is all that matters. (Besides which it's not as if I've been particularly picky about who I've become friends with so far - without naming names we all know there are a few oddballs in my gang.)

So think of this as being a bit like one of those mawkish charity ad appeals you see on daytime TV. Picture me, looking miserable, hunched over my laptop, waiting for someone to befriend me (cue stirring orchestral background music). "Could you spare 30 seconds to help Nancy? No-one loves her. She's only got 80 friends on facebook. Her media career is over before it's even started." Cut to: me looking up excitedly as a 'friend request' message pops up on screen. "All you need to do is suggest Nancy as a friend to your friends, and you might just rescue this poor cat from the oblivion of anonymity." Fade out over wide shot of me typing happily away, chatting to all my new friends. On-screen caption reads: HELP FIND FRIENDS FOR NANCY.

The really great thing about my appeal is that you don't have to sign up to a monthly direct debit, and you won't get an annoying quarterly newsletter updating you on my progress, which is actually a thinly-veiled request for more money. So you get all the smug satisfaction of knowing that you've done your bit to help the animal(s), without any of the pain of having to spend money to do so.

So please, (cue rousing orchestral music again) think about your friends. If any of them like cats, or live in the area, or have a sense of humour (or even none of the above - like I said, I'm not fussy), send them a friend suggestion for me. Then when I'm on the red carpet at some awards ceremony they can feel the warm glow of satisfaction as they tell all their friends 'I helped that cat get to where she is now'.

PS In case anyone's reading this who isn't already a friend, you can find me on FB under Nancy Smalltown-Cat.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Teenage Kicks

Writing is, believe it or not, a tiring activity, and can also be emotionally draining. So having finally completed the first chapter of my memoires, I felt I owed myself a little R&R.

I started the evening by popping into the Marquis to find out who was around, and see if anyone was up for a big one. I ran into the usual Crabtree Lane suspects: Murphy (my on/off boyfriend), Blackie, and Molly. One thing led to another and before we knew it word had got round and we had something of an impromptu street party going on. One of the cats had the house to himself as his owners were away* so we all piled in through his cat flap and raided his kitchen. I think it's safe to say that a good time was had by all (his owners always keep a well-stocked larder).

You know there's a point on any night out, when the evening could go either way? Kind of like a 'Sliding Doors' scenario where in one version everyone goes home to bed and wakes up fresh as a daisy the next morning, but in another version a collective decision is made to take the party to the next level? Well that happened to us last night, and let's just say we didn't decide to call it a night. Instead, some bright spark (it could well have been me) suggested that we do a 'house crawl' along Crabtree Lane to see if we could pick up any more cats, and possibly more munchies en route. Molly the tabby started moaning that we might get caught and decided to stay put - she's all fur coat and no knickers that one - but the rest of us set off in pursuit of good times.

As usual, I was de facto leader, so I slipped in through the conservatory door of Murphy's next door neighbour Kim. I've been in Kim's house loads of times before, and I know where she keeps the refreshments, so I headed straight for the kitchen. I turned round expecting to see my gang right behind me, but instead I realised (too late) that the door had been shut behind me and I was trapped. Not only that, but Kim was picking up the phone to call my owners (or the police, or possibly both).

I couldn't believe I'd been so stupid! Molly's words of caution were ringing in my ears, but yet again I'd let my heart rule my head, and now I was going to pay the price for it. I spent the next 10 minutes yowling in the kitchen, trying to warn my gang (who I knew were waiting for me outside) to leg it, but I also knew they probably couldn't hear me. Meanwhile I tried not to think about how much trouble I was going to be in with my owners. I was aware that I had not been home for a while (OK, two and a half days) and that they'd been trying to contact me. Anticipation of the inevitable telling-off, combined with the humiliation factor of having the party broken up by my owners, meant that this was not shaping up to be quite the evening I'd had planned.

Sure enough, before long I heard a car pulling up outside, followed by a knock on the door. I could hear my owner's voice thanking the Kim for calling, and apologising for my behaviour (slightly unnecessary, I thought - no one got hurt!). Next thing I knew the kitchen door was open and Kim was picking me up to hand me over to my owner. Obviously I did what any self-respecting party-cat would do and exploded into a frenzy of claws to try and escape. The shock of my reaction succeeded in loosening her grasp long enough for me to jump. If I'm honest I didn't really have a long-term plan, other than somehow to make my escape and then lie low until the dust settled. The plan didn't work though (damn those slippery tiled floors!) and I soon felt my owner's hands around my middle.

As predicted, all the gang were waiting outside the front door, to witness my final humiliation of being carried like a baby to my owner's car. Murphy made a futile show of solidarity by following us to the car (even sitting in front of the wheels by way of protest). Molly on the other hand was unbearably smug (as usual), observing proceedings with a look of 'I told you so' written all over her face. I let out an audible growl in her direction just to let her know I had noticed, but even this earned me a rebuke from my owner.

I was thrown, rather unceremoniously, into the back seat of the car, where I pressed my paws against the window as we drove off, watching the desolate faces of my friends disappear into the distance.

In my Sliding Doors alternative life, I am probably lying in a sunbeam right now, wondering what to do with myself today -who to visit, what adventures to have. Instead I am in the proverbial dog house, being told to get on with my writing and not cause any more mischief.

I know where I'd rather be.

*I'll preserve his anonymity so he doesn't get into trouble

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Writer's block

I have recently begun writing my memoirs. As Harpenden's premier celebrity cat I felt it was only right and proper, and I have made at least 3 advance book sales to Facebook friends alone.

However, I have discovered that the path to literary greatness is not an easy one. It's a lot more challenging than writing a status update, or even a blog (about 70,000 words more challenging, to be precise). The good news is that my agent tells me that what my book needs is 'a journey'. You've come to the right cat, I told her, journeys are my speciality. One time I even got as far as Wheathampstead. Turns out this wasn't quite the sort of journey she had in mind, but it's a start.

The main problem I'm facing at the moment is the perennial scourge of the author: writer's block. It's not so much that I don't know what to write, it's just that there are so many - dare I say it - more exciting things I could be doing with my time (all in the name of research, of course).

For instance, I started writing a chapter about my favourite Harpenden pub, when I suddenly realised I couldn't remember the exact layout of seating options there, and nor could I recall precisely the cupboard in the kitchen where the chef keeps the tuna. Among writers this is known as the 'tyranny of detail', and of course it meant that I had to pop down to aforesaid pub and sample both the seating and the tuna in order to be able to continue writing the chapter. If you can imagine this scene multiplied by a thousand, you will have some understanding of my current dilemma.

There are also the numerous distractions of writing at home to be overcome. My desk overlooks the back garden, which at this time of year is positively buzzing with activity: cats passing through, wildlife taunting me, sunbeams just waiting to be napped in. Plus I have to cope with the added distraction of the little people in the house who, when they are not trying to distract me with their toys, are pestering to use my computer themselves.

I am trying to console myself with the fact that JK Rowling managed to write Harry Potter during her baby daughter's naps. Clearly, where there's a will there's a way (although did JK also have a facebook page and a blog to maintain at the same time? I doubt it). But if JK can do it, so can I.

First, though, I think it's time for a nap.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Cat Haiku

Knowing what a cultured bunch my readers are, I have decided to put my life to verse, using the ancient Japanese form of haiku....

Lady with buggy
Talking to me in playground.
Will follow you home.
Watching and waiting,
Tom-cat seems keen to impress.
What's that funny smell?
If you don't want me
To jump on your bed at night,
Why have a cat flap?
Not sure where I am.
Must meow till door opens.
Come on, let me in.
Street needs new road sign:
'Give way to oncoming cats'
Drivers need to learn.
Dogs are so stupid,
Barking at me, high in tree.
Can't reach me here, fools!
Heading home for night,
Hear laughter from the Marquis.
Time for a swift one.
You will be amazed
How long I can make myself,
Stretched out on your bed.
Next up, Nancy: The Sonnets.

Monday, 7 June 2010

The Rules (for Cats)

I've been doing some research on what the experts have to say on the subject of dating etiquette (a subject close to my heart, as you know), and I stumbled across a copy of 'The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr.Right'. Now this sounds like my kind of book!

I've had a quick flick through the chapters and think I can safely say that, without even knowing it, I am indeed a 'rules girl'.

Here's a few examples:

Be a 'Creature' Unlike Any Other
I think it goes without saying that this sentence could have been written about me.

Don't Talk to a Man First
As you all know, I let the men do the yowling.

Don't Stare at Men or Talk Too Much
See above (although I do perhaps need to work on the staring part - I have been known to deliver the occasional Medusa stare across the garden).

Don't Meet Him Halfway or Go Dutch on a Date
We always meet in my garden, naturally. As far as I know neither of us has ever paid on a date.

Don't Accept a Saturday Night Date after Wednesday
This one's a bit of a sticking point as I have been known to think it's still Saturday on Wednesday, but I've never knowingly broken this rule.

Stop Dating Him if He Doesn't Buy You a Romantic Gift for Your Birthday of Valentine's Day
As I explained in my last blog, a healthy tomcat spray around the hallway counts as a romantic gift for cats, so I think this one's covered.

Don't See Him More than Once or Twice a Week
I try to make a habit of not seeing ANYONE (human or cat) more than once or twice a week, so not a problem.

Let Him Take the Lead
Hmm. I'm not a dog, you know.

Be Honest but Mysterious
Check. To both.

Slowly Involve Him in Your Family
Well, he's had a few stand-offs with Pip in the back garden. Same thing.

Love Only Those Who Love You
Easy - EVERYONE loves me!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Sex and the Kitty

This week has seen me reach two major milestones - my first birthday and my first romantic entanglement.

The man in question (a Mr Big to my Carrie Bradshaw, if you like) is a rather attractive tabby and white tom. He started hanging around my garden last week, culminating in a night-long declaration of his affections in the form of yowling outside my bedroom window. Always a sucker for a good singing voice, and giving him credit for persistence, we hooked up.

Unfortunately, my Mr Big proved to be about as reliable as his namesake, and after a whirlwind 48 hour romance he vanished, leaving me feeling used and humiliated.

Having sought solace from my friends (sadly not over a Manhattan brunch, but on Facebook) I decided the loss was all his and that I was too good for him anyway.

As is so often the case, the effect of this was like catnip, and sure enough he was back a couple of nights later, taking up his old position at the bottom of the garden, waiting till we were all in bed before starting to serenade me.

Coming downstairs the following morning we found that, in addition to the singing, he had been in through the catflap and sprayed the downstairs hallway. (I tried to explain to my People that this is the feline equivalent of a dozen red roses, but they weren't having any of it.)

But this time I'm playing it cool. After all, I am still in my first flush of youth (you can draw your own comparison with Carrie Bradshaw here - enough Botox already, girlfriend!) and there may be a whole town of potential suitors out there just waiting to fall under my spell.

And of course I have to think of you, my readers. What would you all do if I traded my celebrity lifestyle for a life of boring domesticity?

So, sorry Mr Big, but no can do. I have dipped my paw in the pool of romance, but it is not for me. Yet.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Nancy on the couch

I fear my hectic celebrity lifestyle might be starting to catch up with me.

In this week alone I have played cricket and baseball in the park, been flour-bombed by scouts, and chased up a tree by a dog with an inferiority complex. Add my all-night socialising, singing practice, and regular rounds of the local pubs into the mix and I think I might be on course for a Lindsey Lohan-style attack of 'exhaustion'.

After a bout of sneezing yesterday I decided to spend the night at home, only to be woken by one of my cat posse yowling underneath the bedroom window all night in an effort to get me to come out. Everyone wants a piece of me, and sometimes there just isn't enough to go round.

Like a true celebrity I blame the demands of my working schedule, and of course the pressures of media scrutiny. I've started therapy to help me deal with my issues of low self-esteem and my constant need to please, and am considering a trip to the Priory to de-tox and de-stress.

My therapist says I must listen to my inner kitten in order to heal my emotional self. I will have to reassess my relationships and cut out toxic influences on my life. It won't be an easy journey, but then when has an easy journey ever been a worthwhile journey (apart from the journey to the pub, perhaps)?

Who knows, perhaps in time I might be able to write my own self-help guide - 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Cats'.

If that fails, there's always prozac.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

How to solve a problem like Nancy.

Having completed the cover design for my debut album, I was suddenly struck by an idea so staggering in its simplicity that I can't believe I wasted so much time dabbling in politics: Nancy the Musical.

Andrew Lloyd-Webber has proved that he's not averse to milking - sorry, reviving - his early hits such as Phantom, so now surely the time has come for a sequel to Cats!

And of course there would be the inevitable spin-off TV talent-show hosted by Graham Norton to audition potential co-stars for me.

I will take my rightful place on my own judging throne next to Lord L-W, and pass judgment on the performances in a wry yet insightful manner, to the delight and amusement of the viewers at home.

I can see it now - cat-fights in the dressing room, the fur flying, tears every week as a contestant leaves with their tail between their legs, having missed out by a whisker.

Damn, I'm good. Someone get me Lloyd-Webber's phone number please!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

A guaranteed number 1?

Here's my proposed debut album cover. What do you think?

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Virtuoso Nancy

Whilst surfing the cat blogosphere earlier this week, my attention was caught by the website of Nora, a moggy pianist from the US:


The cynic in me wanted to point out that Nora appears only to have one performance piece in her repertoire, but who am I to criticise a cat who has managed to build an international media profile on the back of a few tapped piano keys? (She even has her own line of merchandise. Respect.)

So, drawing strength from the saying that politics is showbusiness for the ugly, I have decided that my talents (and looks) are in fact much better suited to a career in showbiz than politics.

And like a true diva, music is my first love (although depending on how things go it might not be my last).

Given the absence of a piano in my house, I decided singing would have to be my instrument of choice, and went out onto the streets of Harpenden in the early hours of this morning to flex my vocal cords.

Readers, I do believe my impromptu open-air concert was a hit.

Certainly, the lady on Ox Lane whom I serenaded remarked that she'd 'never heard meowing like it', although admittedly she did eventually call my People to come and collect me. (I guess I still need to the learn the art of leaving them wanting more.)

So where do I go from here? I suppose I could enter Britain's Got Talent. There can be no doubt that I've got more talent in my little toe than most of the pond-life who get up on that stage. But I've never liked the look of that shifty Cowell fellow, and don't even get me started on the other two.

I think perhaps I would be wise to follow Nora's example and start with YouTube. I reckon a 30 second film of my singing at full throttle would have the internet at melt-down, and from then on all I'll need to do is sit back and wait for Oprah to call.

I'll go and get the camcorder.

Friday, 7 May 2010

As one door closes...

So there we have it. The British people have spoken, and although no-one's quite sure what they said, it is clear that they didn't say 'Let's give that plucky cat from Marquis Lane a chance'.

Just like Nick Clegg, I was unable to translate my popularity in the polls into votes.

I stayed at home to watch the election coverage last night but realising things were not looking good I went for a late night walk, ending in a protest sit-in on the doorstep of a house in Stewart Road in the early hours of this morning. But I found cold comfort there and at 7.30am they called my people to come and take me home.

Politics is a cruel business.

But do not despair, Nancy fans. So my route to celebrity will not be via 10 Downing Street, but that does not mean I am at the end of the road in my quest for fame!

The options before me are endless - newspaper columnist, agony aunt, tv pundit, restaurant critic. The world is my proverbial oyster (or at least, pouch of oyster flavoured chunks in jelly).

Watch this space, friends. In the words of the Terminator, I'll be back!

PS Dave, if you do need the support of the Independents to form a coalition just give me a call - I am of course happy to sacrifice all my principles and policies in the pursuit of power.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Monday, 3 May 2010

Vote for change. Vote for Nancy.

As phase one of my quest for infamy I have spent much of the bank holiday weekend pressing the flesh in Harpenden. Tiring, yes. Cold and sometimes wet, yes again. But I'm confident that I've been on more doorsteps and met more 'real people' than either Bella, the tortoishell from next door, or the large ginger tom with the attitude who sprays all the gardens in my street.

Focus groups tell me that the Marquis Lane / Crabtree Lane areas are predominantly safe seats of Nancy-supporters, however the area to the west of Station Road is looking dangerously marginal.

So off I headed on Sunday in the direction of Sir John Lawes school, to meet some of the floaters.

It was not until I reached West Way that I could get a punter to invite me in, and even then she was reluctant, leaving me waiting on her doorstep for a good 20 minutes before finally opening up. Of course my charm offensive worked its usual magic and by the time I hit her with my proposed Working Cats Credit she was eating out of my paw.

Friends, there is much work still to be done, many people still to meet. But with your support I know that universal Nancy-awareness (in Harpenden North) is achievable!

Don't be fooled by the other cats. They're all style over substance.

Use your vote wisely - vote Nancy!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The celebrity has landed

People often ask me 'What's it like to be a famous cat, Nancy?' Well, to be honest with you, it's the hardest job in the world sometimes. What with 24 hour news channels and tele-photo lenses it's easy to feel like you're never off duty.

To give you an example, earlier this week I was having a wash in the 'privacy' of my own back garden when, unknown to me, one of my People took a photo of me, posted it on the internet, and before I knew it a discussion was underway about the size of my rear end (size 0, in case you're wondering). Later I popped into a couple of my local pubs for a consolatory drink, just to find that my whereabouts were being monitored on Facebook.

Such is the price of fame, you might say. And you'd be right.

So, I've decided, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Clearly, there is a vacancy for a celebrity cat. The people want me. And what the people want, the people get. From now on I'm on a mission for maximum self-publicity.

If you ask me what I've done to deserve my fame you can talk to the paw, 'cause the face ain't listening. We all know you don't need to 'do' anything to be a celebrity these days. Just think of me as a feline version of Jordan.

Spread the word, Nancy fans - I've arrived!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

This is what Spring's all about

Sunday afternoons in the park - can't beat it. Found loads of little people to play with this weekend - a bit of football, a bit of follow-my-leader (with me as the leader, natch), lots of messing around in the playground. Tried to introduce some of them to my favourite game: cat and mouse. They seemed up for playing until I actually caught the mouse, at which point they lost interest. Some of them even ran away. Spoilsports.

Had a hectic night on Monday too - stayed out all night. So tired by Tuesday morning I couldn't be bothered to walk home, so I found a convenient house on Granby Avenue, sat outside the front door and meowed till they let me in. Then spent the morning sleeping on their sofa until my Person arrived with the car to take me home. Taking it easy now, chilling at home. Life is good.

Friday, 19 March 2010

All this blogging is making me sleepy...

(By the way I'm not as big as I look in this photo. The camera adds 5lbs, don't you know.)

How many People does it take to read a name tag?

Surely only one, I hear you say. Apparently not.

Yesterday morning I was out in the park after a fun night's exploring, waiting for someone to phone my People to come and collect me. A lady with a dog walked past so I meowed and began to follow them, as per usual. The lady looked like she was going to do the honours but said something about not wanting to get too close to me to read my name tag in case her dog attacked me (I would like to have seen it try - the phrase 'attack dog' didn't exactly spring to mind. I could have taken him in a fight, no question).

So we all stood around making pleasantries and waiting for another (dogless) Person to walk past. The next man to arrive declined to help because he was scared of cats (!) and then a lady walked past who wanted to help but didn't have her glasses so couldn't read my tag. I was wondering if now was the time to mention that we were in fact standing about 100 yards from my house and that it probably would have been easier for me to just walk home, but it seemed a shame to spoil their fun.

Finally someone came past in possession of perfect eyesight, and without either canine companion or cat phobia, who read my tag and told the dog lady my People's phone number. When the lady phoned I heard her say was worried about my odd behaviour and thought I might be lost and disorientated. I'm fairly certain I heard laughter coming from the phone at this point.

Anway, job done, my Person arrived to carry me home and I ate breakfast and slept for 7 hours straight, before heading over to the Gibraltar Castle. But that's another entry.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

here goes...

Am I the first cat in Harpenden with my own blog? I think I might be. Anyway, my People have got fed up with constantly being asked what I'm up to, so they've asked me to start blogging (the phrase 'anything to keep that bloody cat indoors' cropped up).

This week is registering about a 6 out of 10 on my 'fun' scale so far. On Monday night I found my way in to a house on Marquis Lane (well it had a catflap, so what did they expect?) and onto the bed of a lovely (sleeping) pair of People. I had to walk over them several times and jump onto their computer before they woke up, and then they seemed to freak out a little - something about their own cat not liking other cats (?!)

We then played a great game where they carried me downstairs and put me outside, and I came back in through the catflap and went upstairs again, and so this went on, to our mutual amusement, for some time. Then they got bored and decided to make the game more fun by barricading their catflap. However their barricade was somewhat flimsy and it only took me a few minutes to get through it. At this point the People put me in their car and drove me home, leaving me on my doorstep. I thought this was an interesting development in the rules of play, so of course ran straight back to their house and through their catflap to tell them how much I liked this new twist.

It would seem that 2.45am is the time at which most People stop wanting to have fun and suddenly decide that they really should be in bed, so at this point they phoned my People to ask them to come and get me. A shame, in my view - I could have carried on playing that game all night. Still, there's always tonight...