Tuesday 22nd October

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Spent last weekend with my friend Alison, a former TV news anchor and current media training guru. We had a lovely lazy time eating too much – she makes mean toasted cheese – watching Broadcast News (1987 film classic), and talking about nothing very much. Slight hiccup with the technology (now referred to as the T-word) when neither of her DVD players functioned – Alison plugged and unplugged every possible connection without result, like trying to assemble IKEA kitchen fittings or a Damien Hurst installation – and we had to watch the movie on the laptop, but it was just as good if not quite as large. Since it’s about journalism and the politics behind the scenes in the newsroom it’s a favourite of hers, though we both found the ending slightly unsatisfactory. William Hurt and Holly Hunter both particularly brilliant.

The rest of the time was spent playing online Scrabble with a string of random opponents, Alison on her phone, me on her iPad. Unfortunately, I become instantly addicted as soon as I start. I’m killer competitive, something I usually keep to myself, but Scrabble brings out all my worst instincts. We were playing sixteen or seventeen games at once, putting words down fast, within minutes – sometimes seconds – of the competition, starting a new game every time we got bored. After twenty-four hours, Alison’s placing had gone from tenth to third (that’s against all the other players anywhere in the world!), one of our opponents had committed suicide, and I was throwing seven-letter words at the board crying: ‘Take that, you fucker!’ and similar. I get aggressive/compulsive – it makes me understand how people become addicted to gaming if not gambling, though I’d probably play Scrabble for money if the chance offered. But it’s the game that grabs you, the constant challenge. I daren’t download the app on my phone – I’d never do anything else!

At least it proves my brain’s working normally (well, normally for me) after the double dose of anaesthetic, which I’m told stays in your system for six months to a year and can make you really weird. Last month I did something particularly scatty, so dumb it was scary, but if I can still wipe the floor with the opposition at Scrabble I feel my leetle grey cells are getting back on track. When I find the body in the Groucho – forget the library, that’s one I’ve always wanted to try – I should be able to work out who the murderer is…

After a sumptuous birthday dinner in a private dining room for his ex-lovers, secret enemies, open enemies, and anyone who stands to inherit (why do potential victims always give these parties?), Stephen Fry’s body is discovered sprawled on the snooker table, naked except for a pair of Noel Coward’s underpants, stabbed to the heart with a personalised steak knife belonging to Gordon Ramsey. Beside him, a glass with the trace elements of an Espresso Martini, a rare poison which can only be distilled from a Serge Lutyens limited edition shampoo, and the DNA of an unknown royal. And written on his chest in congealed béchamel is the word SMARTASS…

Everyone who has ever appeared on QI is promptly arrested.

More later.

Footnote: I just switched to BBC News 24 for a catch up. The most-watched list runs as follows: Second sea serpent found in US – Cat helps dog – Alligator locked out of supermarket (!!!) – Shark steals swordfish from fisherman – Obama dials out for pizza…