Today I got into the writing thing a bit more. So much more in fact that I missed my tram to meet my friend for lunch and ended up being fifteen minutes late, which would have been surprising for said friend, who does not know me as intimately as most of my friends do, especially Standing There Producer Rita Walsh, who I have noticed has started leaving the house at about the time our meetings are due to start. This is, I assure myself, on account of my reliability. I am reliably around fifteen minutes late, counter-balanced by another, rather more useful characteristic, which is the number of pens I tend to carry on or about my person, in a range of colours and with a range of nibs. Everyone needs pens, people. Eventually, all of you smug bastards who arrive to things on time... Eventually you'll need to borrow one of my pens. Then let's see who wishes they'd stayed home maintaining their pen supply for that extra five minutes before they looked for their house keys for another ten minutes and then left the house, huh! Who's laughing NOW.

Rita, I realise this is a complete misrepresentation quite possibly besmirching your good name but you are more likely to forgive me than anyone else is, and I am taking advantage of that fact. On the internet. Oh yes I am.

So on the topic of me being a rewarding friend, my friend Michael sent me some excellent things in an email. Now, if I ever send excellent things to people in emails, I expect equally witty and well-considered replies, more or less immediately. Michael, on the other hand, received nothing.

Which was no surprise to Michael, who has known me for a much longer time than my lunch-time friend has. However, contrary to my declaration yesterday that everyone was fired, I have now re-hired Michael, who I credit now with thanks for providing the following excellent links:

For those of you who would like the inside story (as they say in the trash mags) on the Sydney Writers' Festival (which does not get enough coverage in the trash mags in my view)... then go here, and scroll down to the Writers' Festival posts, because Arnon Grunberg (who I've mentioned in posts on the Writers' Festival before) has certainly got a way with writing snipey things about people who make money writing books about time travel. And about people who think they're funny. And just about people generally.

And Oh. My. Lordy! For all you West Wing fans, go here. Michael, I know I just hired you, but you're re-hired. Absolutely cannot wait to see a full episode of this.

Also, and nobody sent this to me, I read it unaided in The New Yorker ... Check out this review of The Da Vinci Code, which I haven't seen but Anthony Lane is my favourite film reviewer and this is one of the rare reviews of his which is entirely, whole-heartedly, grumpy. Excellent.