I realise that the world shortage of nasal effluvia in both its green and grey variations is bothersome to people currently experiencing colds who cannot skive off work because they don't sound ill enough, and I assure you that it was never my intention to monopolise the world snot supply.
It's just that since being saddled with The Most Vile Cold In Fecking Christendom, I would appear to be using all the snot right now. This was never my intention or my ambition.
I suggest that perhaps if you put off having a cold for say, a week or so -- perhaps substituting a nasty case of tonsilitis or bunion flare-up if you need some time off work -- then you may well find that next time you find a window in your diary for acute nasopharyngitis, there will be adequate supplies of snot for your nose-blowing pleasure.
In the meantime, while I am hoarding the snot, I suggest that those of you with shares in tissue manufacturers, or the makers of Lemsip Cold And Flu Powders, get ready to party. There's been a run on your products in the East London area and you're going to be rich.
Not that I am feeling sorry for myself or anything.
* * *
I see the MI5 challenge. Interesting.
You might have to do a bit of work to make the crossovers work given that MI5 deal with domestic terrorism rather than international threats, and it would really be easier if Spooks were about MI6, but then ...
... what am I saying? Fandom can give wings to policemen who are rougher than a badger's arse and make men pregnant, so I don't think that British intelligence agency policy remits are going to pose too much problem. < g >
I've been rewatching Spooks, bless its preposterous little heart, while painting the living room, but you in the US are getting to some episodes I have not seen yet, due to flatmate issues. (I saw all up to S2e02, then missed ones here and there) Does anyone know of a BitTorrent site which would have the episodes? I didn't check into BitTorrent for a month or two this year and all my favourite sites have been replaced by porn emporiums.
The S2 DVDs are being released to coincide with the start of S3 in the UK, in autumn 2004. Autumn 2004. Oh, the humanity! And I can't tape them off UK Gold due to the flatmate issues. Even though it's my TV, my video and my house and I pay for the cable. I am a little frustrated about this.
* * *
This is part of something larger, which may be going nowhere. But it's a slashy nowhere.
* * *
"Are you going to the funeral?"
"No." Blunt, with little elaboration, like all the best untruths. Harry sighed.
After Tom had swept out of the office, Harry stared at Zoe and nodded a head, inviting her into the red maw of his office. He ushered her in, closed the door and pressed a newspaper cutting into her hand. "Silly bugger's going to pay his respects," Harry snapped. "Try to make sure he does it from a safe distance, will you?"
"Should I take Danny?"
Harry made a soft impatient sound and flung himself back into his desk chair. "Does it really take both of you to hold Tom's hands and sing Kum Ba Yah?"
"It could help, sir. Make him feel it's more a gesture of solidarity than a rescue mission."
She didn't flinch at his sarcasm. Good girl. And it would do Danny good to have a few hours away from his punishment; make it all the harder when he had to go back to it. "I suppose so," Harry said. "I want all three of you back by 3pm."
* * *
Zoe unfolded the cutting, cheap newsprint blacking her fingers. Danny sliced through the traffic on the A13 in one of the staff Jaguars; it was all expensive-smelling leather seating and cedar panels. Danny was taunting coppers and spy-cameras with his speed, in the safe knowledge that his ID card gave him a Teflon coating. Working off some of that frustration.
Five didn't send mourners to its people's funerals as a rule. Bosses sometimes went to represent the department, and everyone else went to a secure wake, where they could get stinking drunk and tell lies about the wars.
Only Helen's funeral had been different so far, because Helen's death had been different in ways Zoe couldn't let herself think about yet.
The death notice had been placed by Peter Salter's elderly aunt. She thought he had been a middle manager at the Ministry of Defence, prone to being posted abroad for long periods, and that he had died of a heart attack. She lived in Ilford, so the funeral would be in Manor Park, and no one who even knew who Peter Salter was would be in attendance.
Except maybe Tom. No one knew how Salter had spotted that young Tom, on his straight and narrow path to a career in banking, was actually a twisty, crafty bastard. It always seemed as though he had been open and honest, even generous with the facts. You basked in the way he trusted you. But when you examined what he had actually told you, you had a handful of ashes and pretty smoke.
It was a confidence trick Zoe wanted to master. She wondered whether he'd learned it from Peter Salter.
* * *
The latest film that British film-makers are hoping will take off in the US is Calendar Girls, which is a comedy based on a true story, about a bunch of middle-aged women from a Yorkshire branch of the WI posing for a (tasteful) nude calendar to raise money for leukaemia research.
I realise that this follows on from The Full Monty, in which a bunch of steelworkers from Yorkshire posed nude in order to find pride in their manliness following their (virtual) emasculation via loss of job in the deindustrialisation of the north etc etc blah blah O-level sociology thesiscakes and thus it might appear that northern Britain is a hotbed of nudity-leading-to-freedom-of-the-spirit!
I am from Yorkshire and please let me reassure you that the hills are NOT alive with the sound of stripping. Apart from anything else it is too cold. If you go to Yorkshire, people are not likely to start shedding outerwear or underwear thus leading to unpleasant flesh/eye interfaces. It's all a coincidence.
The film is written by Tim Firth, who also wrote a lovely, meandering, funny and strange series about the territorial army, so I have hopes that I can persuade fialka to see it tonight.