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2003

April

  • Coming or Going

    Another day, another possible journey. Right now I don’t know if I’m coming or going with the big trip over the summer. West Coast plan lacks a hook, so I’ve come up with another route that I like, but which won’t get publicised here until I hear what the publishers have to say about it.

    On which point, I’m in what’s known as ‘contract negotiations’ in the sporting world. I’ve agreed to sign for the first book, but now we’re discussing personal terms, and it won’t be of either the football (50K a week and all the bad suits I can wear) or pop star (fifteen cases of Stella, white fluffy towels and 100 Big Macs backstage after every gig) variety.

    Given the modest nature of the advance and the small size of the market in Ireland, wrangles over royalty percentages don’t really amount to much, but I find myself bizarrely inspired by the BBC show, ‘Wrong Car, Right Car’. Punter gets sent into car dealer with a hidden earpiece attached to our own friendly dealer. At crucial points in the negotiations, our punter is told what to say: ‘Go on, tell him 15.5 is as high as you’ll go, and you want tax, mud flaps and a full tank of petrol with that.’ Today they were in Porsche dealers trying to shave points off a 100,000 quid deal, and getting a lighter and handbag thrown in ‘for the wife’. And you know what? They got it, too. There’s a lot to be said for moral victories.

  • Dubbers return

    Back in Dublin, sitting on the sofa watching Football Focus; it’s Grand National day, the Boat Race tomorrow, Arsenal going for the double Double, Brazillian Grand Prix, too.

    Sport grounds you, tells you where you are: the chat in the pub, the stories on the newspaper back pages. Having been away for three months, it’s great to get my fill of it all, and in the process it recalls all the previous Grand National weekends I can remember.

    Hard working week, as soon as I got back, so it’s great to reach the weekend intact. A bit of work on the book, and a lot of doing nothing. Come on you gooners!