Back to Britain

My four months of self-imposed exile has come to an end. I went to America to write my book. To Los Angeles in fact. I know some people will instantly shriek in horror at the idea of a someone going to Los Angeles to write a book, usually those who either have never been there themselves or who don’t know the place well, but we shan’t have that argument all over again. I wrote a blog on that very subject some ago. Let me just say the town suited me perfectly. I was up in the Hollywood Hills, just below the well-known sign. It was like being in the country, invaded as my house was by racoons, skunks, deer and, from time to time, wildcats. The weather was charming without being absurd, the people ditto. I write in the mornings, the very early mornings, from about 5am till lunchtime, which allows afternoons and early evenings for other things. Bed by nine if I can and then the same the next day and the next and the next until it’s done. A peculiar life, but it seems to be the only way to coax a book out of me.

View from the house

In case you forget where you are

In that writing period I have, as I explained to my followers, more or less abandoned Twitter. There were one or two exceptions, my journey to San Francisco for the iPad launch and a trip to Barcelona for the World Mobile Congress. I hope now that I’m back that I can resume a tweeting life, but I hope too that I will be forgiven if I do not instantly accede to every request to tweet or retweet on behalf of charitable instiutions, birthdays, political affiliations, injustices and other causes. I would rapidly lose my followers if my twitter feed became nothing more than a charity bulletin board.

I start life back in Britian with recordings for sixteen more QI programmes, so I shall be hitting the ground running. I also have various speaking engagements for causes I support and shall be busy writing speeches and preparing addresses as well as revising the book and catching up on the mountain of obligations and correspondence that my absence has necessarily occasioned. So, once again, I hope those who are looking to buttonhole me and beg for some of my time will be aware of the fact that while I may be back in Britain very, very few of my hours are my own.

So far as this site is concerned, – we have plans to develop and enhance. In a few weeks we launch an iPad app on which you can read blogs, blessays, microblogs and other pieces of writing that I publish to this site. We’re testing it at this moment and I’m very pleased with the smooth flow and finish of it. Of course not many in Britain are likely to have an iPad and many would rather eat poo than be seen dead with one, so astonishing has the tribal polarity and antagonism for and against Apple become in the last few months. I shall reflect on that in an upcoming blog. I have the good fortune to have got my hands on some juicy and exciting HTC Android phones, the Desire, the Legend and the Incredible (somebody in the naming department should be spanked) and I will unburden myself on my thoughts on those two as soon as I find the time.

Well, I must go and pack. The plane leaves in a few hours and I should hate to miss it.

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55 comments on “Back to Britain”

  1. davidbike says:

    It was nice to meet you briefly after the wonderful Noel Coward program at the Motion Picture Academy. I mentioned that I had watched QI online, here in the states. Here’s a Los Angeles Times article I wrote about the controversial technology.

  2. Patrisha says:

    I’m new here and this ramble is too long, although I secretly wish and wish that someone would read it and respond, I know nobody will! I am sitting in a, dusty but beautifully light filled, converted greenhouse at the top of my garden (yeah, yeah, I know – DT I ain’t). I’m reading about Stephen’s trip to LA . . . I am writing my third non-academic book (my tenth book in total) and I’m also working on some Old English literature which really should be produced in spoken word format by an Actor with a good baritone voice and a penchant for Beowulf and Shakespeare! I will never, never, ever get the lucky break that will see me off to LA or any other place to complete my writing – why not? I don’t know! It just happens for some but not for others. BUT – people like my writings and they tell me so – you can’t buy that( as the saying goes). I’ve taught the roughest, most struggling and poorest of kids at A-level and seen them learn to shine and glister as they gain capacity and confidence. Like most people I would love to spend time discussing my ideas with Stephen Fry and talking nonchalantly about commercial scale productions of my works (I used to work as an artiste liaison and PR officer with big time American Singers such as Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, or Jerry Lee Lewis for example – so I do really have first hand experience of the look and smell of commercial sound recordings, theatre and so-on . . . it’s not the money it’s the taking part that becomes your way of life – actually I do miss it although I do also enjoy actually being able to eat once in a while.) I’m glad Stephen came home – he represents all the things to me that I think he set out to do – cheers!

  3. rufio says:

    Welcome home..have just joined this little world of yours. How lovely. As i am still figuring out modern technology, instead of joining here earlier, i sent you a good old fashioned letter last month. Hope it reached the right place. I realise you will have a mountain of letters to get through, but i think mine will make you smile x

  4. Tomtom154 says:

    I have just viewed your piece on BBC News site previewing tonight’s Wagner programme. I shall watch with interest but I have to say that I believe the Nazis picked up on a deeply anti-semitic trait of Wagner. Several of the repellent features of his philosophy are evident in his works. I am a great fan of his music but I cannot close my eyes to the paradox that such marvellous music was greated by a thoroughly detestable person.

  5. feesas says:

    I really think that the oddest places bring out the best in us! Hollywood so what? Recently I went to Pattaya, Thailand, for 6 months (the infamous Walking Street destination included). Adored it and had a lot of fun! Sat in villages on the outskirts, or quiet temples. Went to pole dancing bars where my eyes popped out and i had many laughs with the girls and and snapping their G-string – if they had one that is (including sorry, having a giggle at all the men!) Met all sorts and some of the most stimulating conversations of my life. Found it wonderful and would deter anyone being snobbish about it, or me, for that matter for actually going there. ‘Real’ places and ‘real’ people are everywhere if you care to look; places that are suitable for us to write, or paint, or make music – whatever – are where we feel comfortable. That might be where we can be left alone and be peaceful. Or rest during the day and party at night, or party 24/7. Whatever rocks your boat. Personally I like to be in a place where it is your choice not where you feel you should be placed.
    So hats off to you for finding your place at the time you wanted Stephen.
    P.S. You look so gorgeous in the Wagner programme. Quite made me wish you weren’t gay and I could write you love letters …. Thank you for good TV. You are an absolute tonic as always, in whatever you are in – QI, bi-polar documentary (thank you so much for that – you did a lot for many, many people to name but a few. Don’t even need a gin or a vodka with you. Tonic enough!

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